The George Eastman Museum in Rochester is one of many places where you can celebrate the 100th birthday of the National Park Service. In Photography and America’s National Parks, open through October 2, the museum explores the role of photography in the development of the parks and in shaping our perception and understanding of these landscapes.
“This exhibition illuminates the history of the most significant national parks through lush landscape photographs. From Yosemite being set aside as publicly held land in 1864 to Pinnacles National Park as the most recent addition in 2013, the lands that make up America’s national parks have been interpreted and enjoyed through photographs for more than 150 years.”
– Jamie M. Allen, exhibition curator
Photography and America’s National Parks includes more than 170 images from late nineteenth and early twentieth century photographers to contemporary artists. The museum explores how artists like Ansel Adams, William Henry Jackson and the Kolb brothers have shaped our expectations for how the parks are depicted and how their photographs were disseminated to the public through stereographs and postcards, but also showcases work from photographers such as Marion Belanger, David Benjamin Sherry and Byron Wolfe, whose work draws upon and subverts the history of images made within these natural landscapes.
“Visiting the exhibition and attending programs are a perfect way to celebrate the centennial of the National Park Service. The exhibition is divided into themes of exploration, tourism, land conservation, and art. It also includes murals of sweeping park views and comes with a family guide offering multiple avenues of interaction for visitors of all ages.”
To complement the exhibition, the museum also co-published a book with Aperture, titled Picturing America’s National Parks. Available now, the book features images related to the exhibition, an introductory essay by Jamie M. Allen discussing the relationship between the parks and photography, and a foreword by Bruce Barnes, the Ron and Donna Fielding Director of the George Eastman Museum.