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Another aspect of this debate is that oil paintings last so much longer than photographs (especially color photos). Even the most ghastly oil painting may last well into the next few centuries. An accomplished photographer working with C-prints could see his work fade within his lifetime. So a photographer's "body of work" may be gone in 50 years.
While, in my opinion, Ansel Adams was not an "artist", he was a craftsman. As such, he cared about his materials and processes. So, his "body of work", because he was a craftsman, may last well into the next century, even longer. As a result, by then, he will have become an artist. Many modern artists, working in newsprint, or cardboard, or other ephemeral materials, couldn't care less about craft, but only about their vision or message. Unfortunately, their message only lasts as long as the materials survive. If they cared more for craft, then their message might survive, but then the message becomes influenced by the craft.