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National Museum of Wildlife Art Celebrates 2016 Centennial of the National Park Service

 

As the United States celebrates the centennial of the National Park Service -- the National Museum of Wildlife Art commemorates this important part of our cultural fabric with numerous park-themed exhibitions and events. The National Museum of Wildlife Art's compelling and beautiful summer exhibitions include: "Grand Teton National Park in Art: Painting the Park from Thomas Moran to Today," which opened May 13 and extends through September 6, 2016; "Yellowstone National Park Through the Lens of Time: Photography by Bradly J. Boner and William Henry Jackson," which opened May 21; 2016; "Yosemite 1938: On the Trail with Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe," opening June 10, 2016; and "Vintage Park Posters," opening June 18, 2016. (right: Thomas Moran (American, born England, 1837-1926), Mount Moran, Teton Range, 1903. Oil on canvas. 47 x 56 3/4 inches. On loan from the Stonehollow Collection.)

"Grand Teton National Park in Art: Painting the Park from Thomas Moran to Today" (May 13-September 6, 2016) is a collection of artworks from the National Museum of Wildlife Art, Grand Teton National Park, and select private collections. On display will be ten paintings by Thomas Moran that have been unavailable for public viewing for more than a decade. This exhibit places the past alongside the present, to highlight a continuum of artistic interpretations of the park as well as the impact that preservation itself has had on its pristine wilderness.

"We are really excited to be collaborating with Grand Teton National Park on our 'Painting the Park' exhibit, says Adam Duncan Harris, Ph.D., Petersen Curator of Art & Research at the National Museum of Wildlife Art. "We feel very fortunate to be able to display original Moran watercolors as well as more contemporary works from their collection. There will be an exciting mix of paintings from the 1870s to as recently as 2015, including works by contemporary local artists.

"Yellowstone National Park Through the Lens of Time: Photography by Bradly J. Boner and William Henry Jackson" (May 21-August 28, 2016) is a project by veteran photojournalist Bradly J. Boner. In it, he retraces the visual steps of William Henry Jackson, the pioneering photographer of the 1871 Hayden Survey, who documented what would become our nation's first National Park.

"Yosemite 1938: On the Trail with Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe" (June 10-August 28, 2016) shows Adams's artistic expression of his beloved Yosemite landscape. Adams's photography introduced influential visitors to the deep wilderness of the region, and played a role in the conservation of countless public lands. "Yosemite was such a special place to him, and he just reveled in taking different people through it like Georgia O'Keeffe. That's evidenced by the expedition that we're lucky enough to have the portfolio for," says Adam Duncan Harris, Ph.D., Petersen Curator of Art & Research at the National Museum of Wildlife Art.

Between 1935 and 1943, to stir the public's imagination, the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project printed more than two million posters in 35,000 different designs, some of these intended to promote the National Park Service and the nation's diverse array of magnificent parks. The exhibit "Vintage Park Posters" (June 18-August 18, 2016) will feature a selection of original park posters, supplemented by modern reproductions.

Ken Burns, interviewed for the National Museum of Wildlife Art's annual publication Call of the Wild, says, "The National Parks belong to everyone equally. They are places where we can go for inspiration, rejuvenation, to learn more about our history and our place in the world. Our relationship with the land is essential to understanding just who we are as a people." Burns also believes that the Museum provides similar inspiration for viewers of its collection: "The National Museum of Wildlife Art can inspire art, but that art can inspire people to do important things like conservation, and species preservation."

This is a time of celebration for all organizations that treasure wildlife and its environs. The trustees, staff, sponsors, donors, and volunteers of the National Museum of Wildlife Art are dedicated to presenting, preserving, and growing unsurpassed collections for future generations as the Museum begins to celebrate the 30th Anniversary in 2017.

 

Resource Library editor's note

For further biographical information on artists mentioned in this article please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

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