You'd expect Mortensen to have been the subject of universal acclaim but that wasn't the case. Read this excerpt from his Wikipedia entry:
Geez, even Ansel Adams disliked him. Apparently modernists saw his return to Romantic, touched up, Steiglitz-type photography as retrograde. Even Steiglitz failed to support him.
Mortensen took the old, unresolved issues of philosophy seriously and by doing so threatened to derail the whole project of modernism. I guess that's why he aroused such fury in other artists. They saw the 20th Century as sunlight streaming into a room previously dominated by mildew and shadows.