In the last project he completed before his death, Ansel Adams, probably America's foremost and best-known landscape photographer, sifted through his life work and selected 75 pictures to serve as a visual autobiography.
The photos, which he wanted displayed in museums as a complete set, will be on exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art starting Saturday. "Ansel Adams: Classic Images, the Museum Set" will remain through Feb. 10.
Adams took more than 40,000 pictures in his lifetime. Some of the best known are his views of Yosemite National Park, which he photographed for the first time in 1916 when he was only 14. Thereafter Adams visited the park every year.
In addition to early views of Yosemite, the Museum Set also features still-lifes, portraits and other landscapes.
"Whether interpreting the vast Western landscape with its dramatic light or capturing a humble Taos church, he creates images of memorable drama . . . and maximum visual impact," said Karen Sinheimer, curator of photography for the museum.
Admission to the art museum is $3, free each Thursday and the first Sunday of each month. 963-4364.
The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will have on display a landscape brilliant enough to rival even those of Adams.
On Saturday and Sunday the museum will pull out all its telescopes, including the giant Shipman Telescope, the largest one available for public viewing on the West Coast, and everyone will get a good look at Mars.
For the remainder of the century this is the closest Earth will get to the Red Planet. Not only is Mars on the close part of its oval orbit but it is also high up in the sky. This means telescopes will be pointed upward, which offers greater clarity and less distortion.
Cost is $2 per person with a $7 maximum per family. 682-3224.
Another star will be out Tuesday night as Kenny Loggins performs in concert at the Arlington Theater at 8 p.m. Proceeds will benefit the Council of Christmas Cheer, Christmas Unity. Tickets are $22. 583-8700.
The Museum of Natural History will also be sponsoring a Folk and Tribal Arts Marketplace 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday Ethnic art from Africa, India, Indonesia and Latin America, as well as Native American jewelry, pottery, baskets and rugs will be on sale. 682-4711.
For a taste of European culture, the Lobero Theater will present the second installment of its six-part Travel Film Series at 2 and 8 p.m. Tuesday. The "European Grand Tour" features stops at London, Berlin, Vienna, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Rome and Paris. Tickets are $6.50. 963-0761.
For some American culture, the Civic Light Opera's rendition of the Broadway hit "Annie" opens 8 p.m. Friday, and runs through Dec. 23 at the Lobero Theater.
Inspired by Harold Gray's comic strip about an irresistible orphan, the play won numerous awards, including seven Tony Awards, one for best musical. Tickets are $21 and $22.50. 963-0761.
And for some down-home, foot-stomping American tunes, the Ventura-based country music band Caught Red Handed will play at The Graduate nightclub in Isla Vista (next to UC Santa Barbara) Saturday. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show lasts until midnight. Admission is $8. 685-3112.
Holiday music will be performed 8 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday as the Santa Barbara Choral Society presents a "Festival of Christmas Carols" featuring "Missa Criolla" and "Navidad Nuestra." The shows, $10, will be at the First Presbyterian Church, State and Constance streets. 965-7905.
The Santa Barbara City College Choir and Chamber Singers will hold their annual "Candlelight Choir Concert" Wednesday and Dec. 7 at the First Methodist Church. Tickets are $6. 965-5935.
"On the Crest of the Wave" dance concert, today through Saturday, features works by UCSB faculty and advanced student choreographers. Tickets for the 8 p.m. shows in Campbell Hall are $7. 893-3535.