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Fiat Lux Redux: A look back at University of California history

It’s not just about the work of celebrated photographer Ansel Adams, best known for his iconic landscapes of California. It’s also about the University of California, its history and one of its controversial leaders.

Don’t miss the exhibit that just opened at UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library, Fiat Lux Redux: Ansel Adams and Clark Kerr, which features 50 original photographs selected from 605 signed Adams prints in the Bancroft’s collection.

The exhibit runs through Feb. 28, 2013, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Bancroft Library Gallery on the UC Berkeley campus, a short walk from Hearst and Euclid streets.

Clark Kerr, president of UC from 1958 to 1967, commissioned Adams and writer Nancy Newhall to create a book to celebrate UC’s centennial. That book, Fiat Lux, was published in 1967.

The Bancroft exhibit, organized by Catherine Cole of UC Berkeley’s Department of Theater, Dance and Performance Studies, showcases 50 of the Adams photographs as well as related archival materials about Kerr and the development of his ideas and ideals. For a detailed description of the exhibit, see Cole’s story in KQED Arts.

“In this time of terrible budget cuts, it’s more important than ever for us to understand and appreciate the amazing investment the state made in the university and the need for our responsible stewardship of that investment,” said UCOP’s Dante Noto, director or Resource Development in Education Partnerships.

As Cole was developing the exhibit, she asked Noto and several other colleagues to take a look at the 1967 book and comment on photos that spoke to them personally.

Those colleagues are featured in the companion piece “Take Five,” a series of short films by Cole and filmmaker Kwame Braun based on those interviews. You can catch Noto talking about one of his favorite images in the book in this film from the exhibit.

Cole has offered to host a guided tour of the exhibit for UCOP staff. If you’re interested, contact Noto at


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