Among her most compelling sequences of images is a series that combines Monnelly's shots of the rocky Maine coast with Ansel Adams' views of rocky creeks and eroded desert canyons.
Another group pairs their studies of the near-abstract designs created by the freezing, melting and refreezing of water into ice.
"These three are such great photographers that you can hardly go wrong by playing them off each other," the curator says.
"They're really the best at what they do."
Find more visual arts stories at dailypress.com/entertainment/arts & Facebook.com/dpentertainment.
Want to go?
"Fragile Waters," featuring photographs by Ansel Adams, Ernest Brooks II and Dorothy Kerper Monnelly
Where: The Mariners' Museum, 100 Museum Drive, Newport News
When: Through Sept. 2
Cost: $12 adults, $7 children 6-12
Info: 757-596-2222; http://www.marinersmuseum.org
Online: Go to dailypress.com/fragilewaters to see a gallery of images from the show.