American National Parks Art


This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "American National Parks Art." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches.

Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.


Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:

John Fery: Artist of the Rockies (7/15/10) an exhibition held in celebration of Glacier National Park's Centennial Year at the Hockaday Museum of Art in Kalispell, Montana

The Continuing Allure: Painters of Utah's Red Rock (2/10/10)

Gunnar Widforss - Painter of the National Parks (11/17/09)

Contemplating the Extraordinary in Nature: Artists and Aesthetic Conservation; essay by Peter H. Hassrick (11/9/09) an essay excerpted from the illustrated catalogue "A Century of Sanctuary: The Art of Zion National Park."

Yosemite 1938: On the Trail with Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe from the National Museum of Wildlife Art (5/29/08)

Grand Canyon Grandeur: Early Paintings and Prints from the Hays Collection (1/28/08)

YOSEMITE: Art of an American Icon (10/4/06)

Yosemite 1938: On the Trail with Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe (8/10/06)

Leonard Lopp: Glacier Park Artist (7/15/04)

Drawn to Yellowstone: Artists in America's First National Park (7/9/04)

The Hole Range: Wildlife and Landscape of the Tetons and Wind Rivers (7/16/03)

William Christine: The Grand Canyon Series (714/03)

Watercolors of the American West: Selections from the Gilcrease Museum Permanent Collection; selected wall text, including selected biographies of artists in the exhibition (8/8/01) including text on Thomas Moran & Yellowstone National Park

Sierra Grandeur (7/23/01)

Thomas Moran and the Spirit of Place (3/27/01) with essay by Eleanor Jones Harvey discussing Moran's role in establishment of national parks

These Rare Lands: Photography by Stan Jorstad (4/4/00)

1999 Arts for the Parks Top 100 Exhibition (10/11/99)

Arts for the Parks at The Anniston Museum of Natural History (6/99)

Inventing Acadia: Artists and Tourists at Mount Desert (5/27/99)

Yellowstone: Seasons of the Wild (2/1/99)

Weir Farm National Historic Site to Develop Museum (12/98) Weir Farm National Historic Site is Connecticut's only national park

First Retrospective of Landscapes by Thomas Moran (1998) National Gallery of Art exhibit with information on the artist that inspired U.S. Congress to establish the first National Park

1998 Arts for the Parks Competition

1997 Arts for the Parks Competition

Western Wonderlands (1977)

Yosemite: Art of an American Icon (11/9/07)

Artist Residencies in America's Parks (9/3/97)


From other websites:

A. J. Rudisill: The National Parks is a 2018 exhibit at the Noyes Museum of Art which says: "Because of his continuing fascination with America's national parks, artist Anthony J. Rudisill has devoted the last six of his 82 years creating more than 38 national parks landscapes and seascapes, celebrating the best of America's natural resources." After exhibit closes, please see "Past Exhibits" section of museum's website for information.  Accessed 7/18

The Art of Preservation: Official Centennial Art of Glacier National Park from Hockaday Museum of Art. Follow links on the museum website to Exhibitions>Archive>The Art of Preservation, Official Centennial Art of Glacier National Park March 4 - May 15, 2010

"Artist George Catlin Proposed Creation of National Parks" by Robert McNamara, from Accessed August, 2015.

Capturing the Canyons: Artists in the National Parks is a 2016 exhibit at the Brigham Young University Museum of Art which says: "This exhibition celebrates the dynamic relationship between artists and National Park sites. For over a century, these iconic landscapes have inspired artists to create images that established the identities of the Parks in the minds of the public, captured history, and fueled endless artistic pursuit." Accessed 3/17

Yosemite Views from Berkeley is a 2005 exhibit at the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive which says: "When Perham Nahl, then head of the UC Berkeley art department, accepted Emma Michalitschke's paintings into the University's collection in 1919, and recommended Chiura Obata for a position as an art instructor a few years later, he could not have imagined that their work would be the subject of a two-person exhibition at the Berkeley Art Museum in a century's time." Accessed 3/17



Drawn to Yellowstone: America's First National Park, by Peter H. Hassrick, Los Angeles: Autry Museum of Western Heritage, 2002.
The Majesty of the Grand Canyon: 150 Years in Art, By Joni Kinsey. Published by Pomegranate, ISBN 0764929569, 9780764929564. 1998 160 pages. Google Books says: "Little was known about the country's most famous natural wonder until 1869, when John Wesley Powell traveled the full length of the Grand Canyon by boat. He returned each year; in 1873 he introduced it to artist Thomas Moran, whose brazenly colored, grand-scale portrayals of the canyon stunned the public. In 1908, Moran's work prompted President Theodore Roosevelt to declare the Grand Canyon a national monument; by 1919, Congress had established Grand Canyon National Park. As the Santa Fe Railway opened up the Southwest, in 1892 the company began hiring artists to paint scenes of the Grand Canyon, including Moran, W.R. Leigh, and Louis Akin. Today, artists are still capturing the splendor of the Grand Canyon: Ed Mell, Clark Hulings, Wilson Hurley, Frank Mason, P. A. Nisbet, Bruce Aiken, and Earl Carpenter are among the contemporary artists represented in 'The Majesty of the Grand Canyon.'"
Yosemite: Art of an American Icon, By Amy Scott, Museum of the American West. Published by University of California Press, 2006. ISBN 0520249224, 9780520249226. 221 pages. Google Books says: "This lavishly illustrated volume offers a stunning new view of Yosemite's visual history by presenting two hundred works of art together with provocative essays that explore the rich intersections between art and nature in this incomparable Sierra Nevada wilderness. Integrating the work of Native peoples, it provides the first inclusive view of the artists who helped create an icon of the American wilderness by featuring painting, photography, basketry, and other artworks from both well-known and little-studied artists from the nineteenth century to the present. Yosemite: Art of an American Icon pursues several evocative themes, including the relationship between environment and aesthetics in Yosemite; the various ways in which artists have shaped how we see and use the park; and the dynamic intersections between art, nature, and commerce that have played out during its history. In addition to offering an updated and comprehensive view of Yosemite's art over the past two centuries, the volume provides a rich and nuanced picture of the complexities and contradictions inherent in its enduring image as both a pristine wilderness and a highly sought-after tourist destination. With Essays by Amy Scott, William Deverell, Kate Nearpass Ogden, Gary F. Kurutz, Brian Bibby, Jennifer A. Watts, and Jonathan Spaulding Copub: Autry National Center, Museum of the American West" (left: catalogue front cover courtesy Google Books)


DVD/VHS videos:

Thomas "Yellowstone" Moran is a 12 minute National Gallery of Art video that "Recounts the story of Moran's involvement with the government-sponsored survey expedition to Yellowstone in 1871. Using archival photographs and footage of Yellowstone, the video shows the pivotal role that Moran's paintings of this area played in securing passage of the first national park bill ." This program is available in the DVD collection: American Art, 1785­1926: Seven Artist Profiles.This DVD is lent free of charge through the National Gallery of Art's Division of Education (go to NGA Loan Materials). . Accessed August, 2015.

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