Santa Cruz County History - Making a Living

Ansel Adams Photographs of the Salz Tannery - 1955

Ansel Adams photo of Salz employee
Salz employee photographed by Ansel Adams, 1955.
(This photograph is the property of the Lezin Family
and is displayed here with the permission of the
Lezin Family and the Ansel Adams Trust.)

Ansel Adams and Ansley Salz, the owner of the Salz tannery, were longtime friends. Salz donated his Cadillac to Adams. The Cadillac appears in many of Ansel Adams' more famous photographs. Ansley Salz's grandson Jeremy Lezin recalls that Ansel Adams' greatest trick at Salz family parties was to play marches on Ansley's piano by rolling an orange over the keys.

In 1955 Ansley Salz asked Ansel Adams to photograph the leather-making process at the Salz Tannery. The photographs were not taken to mark any particular occasion but did continue a tradition of photographing the tannery and its skilled employees. The clarity of the black and white photographs document leather manufacturing from a Santa Cruz landmark industry and a by-gone era.

Jeremy Lezin and the Lezin family have generously allowed the Library to display the images on our Website, as part of our Local History Photograph Collection. The images remain the property of the Lezin family. They may not be downloaded or reproduced in any way without the expressed, written permission of the Lezin family and the Ansel Adams Trust. The images may be viewed in the Local History Photograph Collection.

More photographs of the Salz tannery and its predecessor, the San Lorenzo Tannery, are available in the Local History Collection.

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