1. Ansel Adams’s Subversive Images of Japanese Internment

    The photographer was not supposed to capture the barbed wire surrounding the Manzanar War Relocation Center, but he found a way to show the truth.
  2. 1 / 12 Ansel Adams, the renowned landscape photographer, visited the Manzanar War Relocation Center between 1943 and 1944. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  3. 2 / 12 Some 110,000 people of Japanese heritage were detained in internment camps along the West Coast. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  4. 3 / 12 According to Slate, the War Relocation Authority did not allow him to photograph the barbed wire fences surrounding the camp. However, Adams incorporated the security measures in many of his wider, landscape images. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  5. 4 / 12 Students listen to a lecture in a science classroom. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  6. 5 / 12 150 Japanese Americans died while interned at Manzanar, according to the National Park Service. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  7. 6 / 12 A couple reads a book in front of the YMCA at the camp. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  8. 7 / 12 The entrance to Manzanar, at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  9. 8 / 12 Adams published a selection of these photographs in 1944 in his book, Born Free and Equal. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  10. 9 / 12 The book was highly controversial at the time and was pulled from several book stores, according to Slate. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  11. 10 / 12 “I think this Manzanar Collection is an important historical document and I trust it can be put to good use,” Adams wrote to Dr. Edgar Brietenbach at the Library of Congress in 1965. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  12. 11 / 12 The nearest town to Manzanar, six miles to the north, is named Independence. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  13. 12 / 12 Manzanar is now a national historic site. Ansel Adams / Library of Congress
  14. See Also