In celebration of our 125 Year Anniversary, we'll be showcasing the photography of Vroman's founder A.C. Vroman on our stairwell. In addition to a book enthusiast & entrepreneur, Vroman was an accomplished photographer, whose body of work documented the landscape and culture of the American Southwest at the turn of the century.
A B O U T T H E A R T I S T
Adam Clark Vroman is considered to be one of America’s first modern photographers. Born in LaSalle, Illinois, A.C. Vroman left a career as a railroad agent and moved to Pasadena, California in 1893. In November 1894 he sold his book collection to raise the capital to open a book, stationery, and photo-supply store and he began to pursue his interest in photography.
As a photographer, Vroman first focused on California landscapes and architectural subjects but soon shifted to observing and documenting on film the local Native American tribes and the Southwest landscapes of Arizona and New Mexico. He was often accompanied by his friend, Los Angeles Times newspaper editor Charles Fletcher Lummis, who was also an amateur photographer.
Vroman focused his lens on the daily lives and ceremonial activities of the Hopi, Navajo and Zuni. His photographic travels also took him to Japan, Yosemite, various European countries, and the Canadian Rockies, but his images of the Southwest are generally recognized as his most significant work; the photographer Ansel Adams considered Vroman to be a great influence on his own work. His photographs of Native Americans engaged in daily activities have been praised for their relatively objective eye.
As Jennifer Watts wrote in Adam Clark Vroman: Platinum Prints 1895-1904: “ Vroman’s sure-handed and sensitive approach to the people, sites, surroundings, and religious ceremonies of the Southwest infuse his photographs with a power uncharacteristic of the age.”
Want to see your art on display at Vroman's Bookstore? Click here for submission guidelines.