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The Aperture Foundation was founded in 1952 by Ansel Adams, Minor White, Barbara Morgan, Dorothea Lange, Nancy Newhall, Beaumont Newhall, Ernest Louie, Melton Ferris, and Dody Warren. Their vision was to create a forum for fine art photography, a new concept at the time. The first issue of Aperture (magazine) was published in spring 1952 in San Francisco.
Aperture is a publisher of photography books, with more than 500 titles in print. Some, like the Diane Arbus: Monograph, have been in print for 40 years. [ Aperture supports the efforts of other non-profit organizations by partnering on books, exhibitions, and educational programming.
In 2005, Aperture’s three-thousand-square-foot gallery opened in New York’s Chelsea art district. Many of the shows travel, to a total of more than 25 venues in the U.S. and abroad each year. Aperture's Chelsea gallery showcases exhibitions organized by sister institutions that otherwise would not be seen in New York City.
Aperture has exhibited shows including Nazar: Photographs from the Arab World; Joan Fontcuberta: Landscapes Without Memory; William Christenberry, Photographs: 1961–2005; A Couple of Ways of Doing Something, images by Chuck Close, poems by Bob Holman; Lisette Model and Her Successors; and the Lucie-nominated Invasion 68: Prague, photographs by Josef Koudelka.