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Bates Motel Recap, Episode 4: "Trust Me"

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A&E/Joe Lederer

After just a handful of episodes, Bates Motel has already received the green light for season two. This is good news, because it would appear that we still have much to learn about White Pine Bay.

"What Were You Doing in That Cop's House?"

Remember that creepy moonlit stroll Norman took last week? You know, the one where he barrelled down the middle of a busy street in a trance-like state, then broke into Deputy Shelby’s house, ransacked it, found an Asian sex slave and left her there? Well, we’re treated to a new angle of the whole strange situation this week. As Norman left the Bates residence, Dylan passed him on his motorcycle. Wondering what his little brother was up to, Dylan followed Norman to Deputy Shelby’s house and watched him break in. He was also there when Shelby pulled up, so—surprisingly—Dylan did Norman a solid by creating a diversion. This is about the same time that Norman is discovering the girl down in the basement, which is where the last episode ended.

Dylan knocks on the door and pretends that his motorcycle has run out of gas. While they’re standing there discussing this fabricated problem, Shelby has one ear cocked toward the noises coming from the basement, where the girl is essentially beating the crap out of Norman, trying to get him to rescue her.

“Normally, I wouldn’t ask, but I saw the police car our front...” Dylan says, playing the “trusted member of law enforcement” card.

“I’m off duty right now,” Shelby explains, because police don’t help people when they’re not on the clock. He directs Dylan to a nearby Shell station and quickly shuts the door. Dylan rounds the corner of the house just in time to see Norman making tracks out of there. Mission accomplished.

Since he has a (well-fueled) motorcycle, Dylan beats Norman home and is waiting to ambush him about his whereabouts. Norman’s lame excuse? “I was out running.” His brother’s not buying it.

"Who do you think knocked on the front door?" Dylan asks. "What kind of trouble are you in?"

Norman continues to deny: "I don't know what you're talking about. I'm not in trouble."

“I Am Decent.”

Flashback over. Back in the present day, Norman knocks on a door of a house conveniently labeled “Decody” so we know that he’s calling on Emma. Mr. Decody answers the door.

“You’re Norman Bates,” her dad realizes. “I’ve heard a lot about you.”

Emma has the flu, and in her delicate condition, her father doesn’t want her to have visitors.

Then, every teenage girl’s worst nightmare happens: Her dad tells the boy she likes that she likes him. “My daughter has quite a crush on you,” Mr. Decody says. “And you seem like a nice kid. And I know you know she has a lot of problems. She’s not strong, and she’s very young. Just a regular girl in many ways. So please, be decent.”

“I am decent,” Norman responds, almost defensively.

"This Is My Son, Dylan."

Norma hops into Shelby’s Jeep; he immediately begins to grope her thigh. At first, I think she looks uncomfortable, but she doesn’t seem to have much problem with what follows: Shelby suggests they go to a motel he knows. “It’s not exactly open yet, but I happen to be personal friends with the owner,” he says. Norma says that Norman will be home from school by 4:30 p.m. Is that an excuse or just a warning not to linger? Either way, Shelby’s fine with it. “That gives us an hour,” he says. They obviously intend to make the most of that hour, because over at the motel, they’ve ripped their shirts off faster than you can say “McConaughey.”

As they bask in afterglow, Norma gives the deputy the most bizarre compliment in the history of pillow talk: “You’re awfully pretty. I don’t mean pretty like you’re handsome. I mean pretty, like, um, like, you know when you look at an old woman and you might find her very beautiful?”

He’s as perplexed as we are. A few minutes later, Norma walks out of the cabin, buttoning things up, and runs into Dylan.


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“Hello there Norma. How are those new linens working out for you?” he snarks, and then Shelby steps out of the room. As Norma introduces her lover to her son, Shelby’s mouth arranges itself into what can only be described as a smirk.  To me, it’s a “got you” look—he obviously recognizes Dylan from the “ran out of gas” incident, and Shelby has likely figured out that someone was in his house right around the time Dylan showed up. The smirk, it would seem, is an indicator that he put two and two together.

"You’re a Real Piece of Work, Norma."

Ever the dutiful son, Norman is washing windows at the motel. He looks over to see Bradley putting a cross at the site of her dad’s car accident—though technically, his passing was due to the fact that his body was used as kindling, not the car wreck. But I don’t suppose you’d argue that point with a girl in mourning, and Norman doesn’t. Instead, he offers his condolences, then puts his arm around her and pulls her close. Emma would not be pleased. Too bad she’s laid up with the flu.

Inside, Dylan is putting groceries away. Norma looks nearly as stunned as she did when Keith Summers came plowing into her dining room. “What are you doing?!” she asks.

“What? I’m living here for a while. I just thought I should contribute.”

She looks mildly pleased until he calls her “a real piece of work,” then asks how long she’s been seeing the cop. She says it’s none of his business, and he tells her that she should be careful. “I don’t trust him,” Dylan says, and Norma looks thoughtful.

"Death is Profound, Isn't It?"

Later that evening, Norman is walking downtown when he sees the deputy with someone pulled over. He pulls his hood up. Shelby spots him anyway and calls after him, but Norman ignores him. Shelby gives chase, then pops up down an alley. “Freeze!” he yells, jumping out and shining his flashlight directly into Norman’s eyes, making Norman drop everything in his hands. Then Shelby laughs, and it’s exactly reminiscent of that jerky guy you knew in high school who thought his own barely-concealed aggression was totally hilarious “one of the guys” behavior.

Anger flashes across Norman’s face, but he quickly contains it. Shelby inquires as to what Norman is doing; Norman explains the Bradley situation and says he’s taking her some videos to help take her mind off of her dad’s death.

“Death is profound, isn’t it?” Shelby says. So many bizarre responses to things in this episode.

“Hm. I guess so,” Norman responds, unwilling to show his hand. Shelby plows ahead, ignoring Norman’s indifference.

“Look, I really like your mom. She’s a good woman and I care for her.” Norman actually snarls a little. Danger, Will Robinson!

“So, I think it would be a good idea and maybe even a necessary idea for you and I to get to know each other better. Do you like fishing?”

“I don’t know. I’ve never done it,” Norman says.

“Really?! Then I’m going to teach you how. You’re going to love this. Trust me.” Norman reluctantly nods. He thinks the convo is done, but Shelby grabs him for one last bit of wisdom: “Norman? Next time I say hi to you out here on the street? Don’t run away.”

I’m definitely left with the feeling that Norman is not the weirdo in this scene.

"Sometimes You Hear and See Things That Aren't There."


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Norma is in bed, looking up information about city council meetings. Norman comes in. “I need to talk to you. I need to tell you something.”

She’s absorbed in the website, not really paying attention, so he touches her chin—you know, as normal teenage boys do.

“There’s a girl in his basement. Officer Shelby’s. She’s like less than 20. Drugged. I think he’s running some kind of an Asian sex slave business with Keith Summers.”

He’s spouting off information that would make any sane person run to dial 911, but Norma doesn’t look even remotely alarmed—just frustrated. Of the many questions she could ask, “Why on Earth would you go into Zack's house?” is the first one.

Norman reminds her that she was the one who told him to get the belt back.

“Norman, I never told you that,” she sighs. He swears she did, and that's when Norma drops the bomb: “Honey, sometimes you hear and see things that aren’t there.”

“That’s not true," he protests.

“It’s true. I don’t want you to worry, but you’ve done this for a while. It’s like some kind of trance or something. I don’t want you to worry. Don’t be scared. Honey, I’m going to protect you,” she says, and Norman flees.

"Why Are You in the Basement in the Middle of the Night?"


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Sleepover at Shelby’s house. Norma wakes up the the middle of the night to creep down to the basement just to reassure herself that Norman is seeing things. She’s relieved when she gets down there to find totally normal basement stuff—no bed, no disco ball, no sex slave. She even finds the locked steel door, but there’s nothing in there but boxes. Suddenly, the deputy practically apparates onto the screen right behind her.

“Why are you in the basement in the middle of the night?” he yawns.

Norma freely admits that she’s snooping, but manages to do it in a flirtatious way. He seems appeased (and completely unconcerned), but he must know what the deal is. Even if Norman is imagining things, he still left a trail behind when he went through the basement, knocking things over and unlocking a giant steel door. I don’t think Shelby is going to find it coincidental that two people are suddenly interested in his basement at the same time.

"I Need to Know That I Can Trust You, Norman."

Back at Bates Manor, Norman is getting dressed. His ankle is all bruised up. He frowns at it, then hastily pulls the sock up over it.

Downstairs, Norma is reading on the couch when Norman pops in to throw some angst at her about her sleepover. 

She says she made an extra turkey pot pie and took it over to Shelby. Is that what the kids are calling it these days? It's not enough to appease Norman's little snit about it, and Norma accuses him of being jealous.

“I’m not jealous. You’re my mother, not my girlfriend,” he spits. EXACTLY. Then Norma tells him she checked the basement. "There was nothing there. You're acting crazy," she says.

“I’m not crazy. I know what I saw. Look, she grabbed my ankle as I was trying to get out. Did I do this to myself?” Norma is still not convinced, and tells Norman that he is going fishing with Zack. End of story.

So, they do. They’re awkwardly hanging out when Shelby wades into the bonding business with this gem out of nowhere: “So how was your relationship with your dad? Your mom tells me he was a little abusive.” Way to delicately ease into it, Shelby. Understandably, Norman clams up, and the deputy gets angry.

“I’m putting myself on the line every day, protecting your mom,” he guilt trips. “And in so doing, I’m protecting you.” Then he launches into that familiar trust speech again. “I need to know that I can trust you, Norman. And you need to know you can trust me. Can you do that? Can you trust me?” His tone of voice would indicate that he's speaking to a toddler.

“Yes, I can trust you,” Norman enunciates very clearly and purposefully while shooting laser beams out of his eyes. Then Shelby’s phone rings. Something’s come up.

“Oh well,” Norman says, and he is unable to conceal his delight.

The thing that came up? A fisherman has discovered Keith Summers’ very distinctive watch in his fishing net. It’s attached to his severed hand.

"I Killed the Crap Out of Him."

Norman meets Bradley for a little ice cream date, where she tells him that he's one of the few people who aren't judging her or pushing her to tear up.

“I’m glad you can stand to be with me,” he says, and then they discuss grief and how crappy death is.

“I like being with you, Norman,” she says, and then she abruptly blurts out, “Hey, I wonder whose hand they found.” Nice transition.

“What hand?” Norman asks.

“Um, they found a decomposing hand in a fisherman’s net.”

“Do they know whose hand it was?” he says, faux-casually.

“No, just some man’s hand.” Norman runs home, of course, and immediately tells his mother, who tries to pooh-pooh the situation.

“You’re panicking. It’s just a hand. It could be a million different hands," Norma says, which would normally be amusing, but in White Pine Bay, it really could be a number of hands. An eye for an eye—or a hand for a hand, as it were.

Then the doorbell rings. It’s Shelby, but he’s not there to be uncomfortably sexual in front of Norma’s sons like he normally is. Instead, he’s taking her to the station so Sheriff Romero can ask a few questions.

When she gets there, Romero wants to know what happened, but Norma plays dumb. “I was just at home and the police came and told me you wanted to talk to me.” The sheriff is not amused. He tells her that carpet fibers were found under Summers' watch, and that it was going to be a cakewalk to match them to the carpet Norma(n) was pulling up that same night.

“Well, have fun doing that,” Norma says. Romero tries to get her to confess to Keith’s murder by saying that he sympathized—Summers wasn't a nice guy, and he may have threatened her or scared her. Then he asks her where she dumped the carpet. They haven't found it yet, and it sure would be helpful if she could tell them where she last left it. Yeah, like that's going to happen.

Norma, of course, says she doesn’t remember, then drags Norman to the dumpster where they trashed it. The carpet is, of course, gone. She whips out her phone, then calls the garbage service with a bogus story about losing her wedding ring. They tell her which dump that particular dumpster is taken to, but when she gets there, she finds it’s locked up for the day. Norma goes a little mad—we all do sometimes—and for a moment, I think she’s going to throw herself into the barbed wire at the top of the fence. Adding to the chaos is Norman, who’s yelling that she should have called the cops when it happened since it was self defense.

“I didn’t defend myself,” she sobs. “I killed the crap out of him. I don't know why I did it, I was just so angry, angry that he would come into my home, and he would do that to me. You don't understand, Norman. My whole life—my whole life—I’ve had to put up with things.”

"Be a 17-Year-Old for Five Minutes."

Resigned to the fact that she’s probably going down for this, Norma spends the rest of the evening crying in her room. Norman listens to her through the vent in his room for a while, then makes a break for it. He finds Dylan sitting on the porch of the motel—it seems to be his favorite hangout—drinking what looks like a Southern Comfort knockoff.

Dylan offers Norman a swig, which he takes, promptly choking on it. Food for thought: Norman’s an alcoholic in the book that inspired the Psycho craze. Is this a look at things to come? Or just a typical teenage moment?

“Don’t laugh at me,” Norman says, wiping his face.

“I’m not,” Dylan says. “I’m sorry you had to deal with her alone. She’s crazy.” Those words are apparently the equivalent of “Open Sesame,” because Norman pulls up a seat and spills the sordid details of everything that has happened since they arrived, from Norma being stab-happy to the girl chained up in Shelby’s basement.

Dylan’s strangely quiet about the events, and it’s only at the end that he finally says, “I’m gonna help you.” It’s not clear if he means that he’s going to help with all of this madness, or if he’s going to get psychiatric help because he thinks Norman has gone off the deep end.

Then Bradley texts, and from Norman's expression, Dylan knows it’s a girl. “Is she pretty? Do you like her? Text her right now and tell her you’re coming over.”

Norman does, showing off some pretty impressive texting skills. If Norman did Ron Burgundy impressions, he would have said, “Texting was a bad choice,” because he immediately regretted his response.

Moments later, Bradley responds that she’d love to have him over, but Norman hesitates. “Be a 17-year-old for five minutes,” Dylan urges. “Go have fun.” It’s an oddly nice brotherly moment.

Norman does, and as soon as he leaves, Dylan’s face turns into a mask of worry.

"Norma Louise Bates, You're Under Arrest."

As promised, Norman shows up at Bradley’s house. They go to her room, where he is awkward and adorable. Awkworable? Adorward?

“Thank you for helping me so much,” Bradley says, taking his hand. “I’m just tired of being sad. I want to feel something else for a little while. Do you think I’m weird?”

“No. I don’t think you’re weird,” he says. She thanks him, and he responds, “It’s my pleasure,” which no 17-year-old boy has ever said. Then there’s making out (and more).

At home, Norma has realized that it’s late, and her precious Normie is not at home yet. What’s good for the gander is apparently not good for the goose. Dylan is elated to inform her that Norman is out. With a girl

“I hope to God he’s getting laid,” Dylan says, “Because he sure as hell deserves it, for putting up with your crazy ass.” He then proceeds to tell her that Norman spilled enough damning information that Dylan could get Norman taken away, if he was so inclined.

“Nobody’s taking him away from me,” she says.

“That girl is, right now,” he sneers, and then they physically start to fight—until the doorbell rings.

Norma runs downstairs, thinking it’s Norman. It’s not. It’s the cops, and Norma is under arrest. Worst. Night. Ever.

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15 Heartwarming Facts About Mister Rogers
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Though Mister Rogers' Neighborhood premiered 50 years ago, Fred Rogers remains an icon of kindness for the ages. An innovator of children’s television, his salt-of-the-earth demeanor and genuinely gentle nature taught a generation of kids the value of kindness. In celebration of the groundbreaking children's series' 50th anniversary, here are 15 things you might not have known about everyone’s favorite “neighbor.”

1. HE WAS BULLIED AS A CHILD.

According to Benjamin Wagner, who directed the 2010 documentary Mister Rogers & Me—and was, in fact, Rogers’s neighbor on Nantucket—Rogers was overweight and shy as a child, and often taunted by his classmates when he walked home from school. “I used to cry to myself when I was alone,” Rogers said. “And I would cry through my fingers and make up songs on the piano.” It was this experience that led Rogers to want to look below the surface of everyone he met to what he called the “essential invisible” within them.

2. HE WAS AN ORDAINED MINISTER.

Rogers was an ordained minister and, as such, a man of tremendous faith who preached tolerance wherever he went. When Amy Melder, a six-year-old Christian viewer, sent Rogers a drawing she made for him with a letter that promised “he was going to heaven,” Rogers wrote back to his young fan:

“You told me that you have accepted Jesus as your Savior. It means a lot to me to know that. And, I appreciated the scripture verse that you sent. I am an ordained Presbyterian minister, and I want you to know that Jesus is important to me, too. I hope that God’s love and peace come through my work on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”

3. HE RESPONDED TO ALL HIS FAN MAIL.

Responding to fan mail was part of Rogers’s very regimented daily routine, which began at 5 a.m. with a prayer and included time for studying, writing, making phone calls, swimming, weighing himself, and responding to every fan who had taken the time to reach out to him.

“He respected the kids who wrote [those letters],” Heather Arnet, an assistant on Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in 2005. “He never thought about throwing out a drawing or letter. They were sacred."

According to Arnet, the fan mail he received wasn’t just a bunch of young kids gushing to their idol. Kids would tell Rogers about a pet or family member who died, or other issues with which they were grappling. “No child ever received a form letter from Mister Rogers," Arnet said, noting that he received between 50 and 100 letters per day.

4. ANIMALS LOVED HIM AS MUCH AS PEOPLE DID.

It wasn’t just kids and their parents who loved Mister Rogers. Koko, the Stanford-educated gorilla who understands 2000 English words and can also converse in American Sign Language, was an avid Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood watcher, too. When Rogers visited her, she immediately gave him a hug—and took his shoes off.

5. HE WAS AN ACCOMPLISHED MUSICIAN.

Though Rogers began his education in the Ivy League, at Dartmouth, he transferred to Rollins College following his freshman year in order to pursue a degree in music (he graduated Magna cum laude). In addition to being a talented piano player, he was also a wonderful songwriter and wrote all the songs for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood—plus hundreds more.

6. HIS INTEREST IN TELEVISION WAS BORN OUT OF A DISDAIN FOR THE MEDIUM.

Rogers’s decision to enter into the television world wasn’t out of a passion for the medium—far from it. "When I first saw children's television, I thought it was perfectly horrible," Rogers told Pittsburgh Magazine. "And I thought there was some way of using this fabulous medium to be of nurture to those who would watch and listen."

7. KIDS WHO WATCHED MISTER ROGERS’ NEIGHBORHOOD RETAINED MORE THAN THOSE WHO WATCHED SESAME STREET.

A Yale study pitted fans of Sesame Street against Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood watchers and found that kids who watched Mister Rogers tended to remember more of the story lines, and had a much higher “tolerance of delay,” meaning they were more patient.

8. ROGERS’S MOM KNIT ALL OF HIS SWEATERS.

If watching an episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood gives you sweater envy, we’ve got bad news: You’d never be able to find his sweaters in a store. All of those comfy-looking cardigans were knitted by Fred’s mom, Nancy. In an interview with the Archive of American Television, Rogers explained how his mother would knit sweaters for all of her loved ones every year as Christmas gifts. “And so until she died, those zippered sweaters I wear on the Neighborhood were all made by my mother,” he explained.

9. HE WAS COLORBLIND.

Those brightly colored sweaters were a trademark of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, but the colorblind host might not have always noticed. In a 2003 article, just a few days after his passing, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote that:

Among the forgotten details about Fred Rogers is that he was so colorblind he could not distinguish between tomato soup and pea soup.

He liked both, but at lunch one day 50 years ago, he asked his television partner Josie Carey to taste it for him and tell him which it was.

Why did he need her to do this, Carey asked him. Rogers liked both, so why not just dip in?

"If it's tomato soup, I'll put sugar in it," he told her.

10. HE WORE SNEAKERS AS A PRODUCTION CONSIDERATION.

According to Wagner, Rogers’s decision to change into sneakers for each episode of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was about production, not comfort. “His trademark sneakers were born when he found them to be quieter than his dress shoes as he moved about the set,” wrote Wagner.

11. MICHAEL KEATON GOT HIS START ON THE SHOW.

Oscar-nominated actor Michael Keaton's first job was as a stagehand on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, manning Picture, Picture, and appearing as Purple Panda.

12. ROGERS GAVE GEORGE ROMERO HIS FIRST PAYING GIG, TOO.

It's hard to imagine a gentle, soft-spoken, children's education advocate like Rogers sitting down to enjoy a gory, violent zombie movie like Dawn of the Dead, but it actually aligns perfectly with Rogers's brand of thoughtfulness. He checked out the horror flick to show his support for then-up-and-coming filmmaker George Romero, whose first paying job was with everyone's favorite neighbor.

“Fred was the first guy who trusted me enough to hire me to actually shoot film,” Romero said. As a young man just out of college, Romero honed his filmmaking skills making a series of short segments for Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, creating a dozen or so titles such as “How Lightbulbs Are Made” and “Mr. Rogers Gets a Tonsillectomy.” The zombie king, who passed away in 2017, considered the latter his first big production, shot in a working hospital: “I still joke that 'Mr. Rogers Gets a Tonsillectomy' is the scariest film I’ve ever made. What I really mean is that I was scared sh*tless while I was trying to pull it off.”

13. ROGERS HELPED SAVE PUBLIC TELEVISION.

In 1969, Rogers—who was relatively unknown at the time—went before the Senate to plead for a $20 million grant for public broadcasting, which had been proposed by President Johnson but was in danger of being sliced in half by Richard Nixon. His passionate plea about how television had the potential to turn kids into productive citizens worked; instead of cutting the budget, funding for public TV increased from $9 million to $22 million.

14. HE ALSO SAVED THE VCR.

Years later, Rogers also managed to convince the Supreme Court that using VCRs to record TV shows at home shouldn’t be considered a form of copyright infringement (which was the argument of some in this contentious debate). Rogers argued that recording a program like his allowed working parents to sit down with their children and watch shows as a family. Again, he was convincing.

15. ONE OF HIS SWEATERS WAS DONATED TO THE SMITHSONIAN.

In 1984, Rogers donated one of his iconic sweaters to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

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Art
5 Things You Might Not Know About Ansel Adams

You probably know Ansel Adams—who was born on February 20, 1902—as the man who helped promote the National Park Service through his magnificent photographs. But there was a lot more to the shutterbug than his iconic, black-and-white vistas. Here are five lesser-known facts about the celebrated photographer.

1. AN EARTHQUAKE LED TO HIS DISTINCTIVE NOSE.

Adams was a four-year-old tot when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck his hometown. Although the boy managed to escape injury during the quake itself, an aftershock threw him face-first into a garden wall, breaking his nose. According to a 1979 interview with TIME, Adams said that doctors told his parents that it would be best to fix the nose when the boy matured. He joked, "But of course I never did mature, so I still have the nose." The nose became Adams' most striking physical feature. His buddy Cedric Wright liked to refer to Adams' honker as his "earthquake nose.

2. HE ALMOST BECAME A PIANIST.

Adams was an energetic, inattentive student, and that trait coupled with a possible case of dyslexia earned him the heave-ho from private schools. It was clear, however, that he was a sharp boy—when motivated.

When Adams was just 12 years old, he taught himself to play the piano and read music, and he quickly showed a great aptitude for it. For nearly a dozen years, Adams focused intensely on his piano training. He was still playful—he would end performances by jumping up and sitting on his piano—but he took his musical education seriously. Adams ultimately devoted over a decade to his study, but he eventually came to the realization that his hands simply weren't big enough for him to become a professional concert pianist. He decided to leave the keys for the camera after meeting photographer Paul Strand, much to his family's dismay.

3. HE HELPED CREATE A NATIONAL PARK.

If you've ever enjoyed Kings Canyon National Park in California, tip your cap to Adams. In the 1930s Adams took a series of photographs that eventually became the book Sierra Nevada: The John Muir Trail. When Adams sent a copy to Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, the cabinet member showed it to Franklin Roosevelt. The photographs so delighted FDR that he wouldn't give the book back to Ickes. Adams sent Ickes a replacement copy, and FDR kept his with him in the White House.

After a few years, Ickes, Adams, and the Sierra Club successfully convinced Roosevelt to make Kings Canyon a national park in 1940. Roosevelt's designation specifically provided that the park be left totally undeveloped and roadless, so the only way FDR himself would ever experience it was through Adams' lenses.

4. HE WELCOMED COMMERCIAL ASSIGNMENTS.

While many of his contemporary fine art photographers shunned commercial assignments as crass or materialistic, Adams went out of his way to find paying gigs. If a company needed a camera for hire, Adams would generally show up, and as a result, he had some unlikely clients. According to The Ansel Adams Gallery, he snapped shots for everyone from IBM to AT&T to women's colleges to a dried fruit company. All of this commercial print work dismayed Adams's mentor Alfred Stieglitz and even worried Adams when he couldn't find time to work on his own projects. It did, however, keep the lights on.

5. HE AND GEORGIA O'KEEFFE WERE FRIENDS.

Adams and legendary painter O'Keeffe were pals and occasional traveling buddies who found common ground despite their very different artistic approaches. They met through their mutual friend/mentor Stieglitz—who eventually became O'Keeffe's husband—and became friends who traveled throughout the Southwest together during the 1930s. O'Keeffe would paint while Adams took photographs.

These journeys together led to some of the artists' best-known work, like Adams' portrait of O'Keeffe and a wrangler named Orville Cox, and while both artists revered nature and the American Southwest, Adams considered O'Keeffe the master when it came to capturing the area. 

“The Southwest is O’Keeffe’s land,” he wrote. “No one else has extracted from it such a style and color, or has revealed the essential forms so beautifully as she has in her paintings.”

The two remained close throughout their lives. Adams would visit O'Keeffe's ranch, and the two wrote to each other until Adams' death in 1984.

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