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National Parks Turn 100? That’s Wild.

Wild Life (The national parks preserve all life), a 20x200 Vintage Edition
10"x8" ($24) | 14"x11" ($60) | 20"x16" ($240) | 24"x20" ($600)

The National Park Service turns 100 today! To celebrate their centennial we’re rolling out this extra special Vintage Edition release: Wild Life (The national parks preserve all life).

Here's something neat: the history of the National Park Service can be traced by 20x200 artists. Follow the thread from the work of Carleton Watkins, who was instrumental in the preservation of our national wilderness. It was Watkins’ work that led President Lincoln to sign the Yosemite Grant of 1864—the first official U.S. federal land protection, and the first step toward the eventual formation of the National Park Service in 1916.

During the Great Depression, the WPA Federal Art Project was established to provide work for struggling artists. Of the artworks created for this project, the National Parks posters are among the most iconic. They served the dual purpose of encouraging American domestic tourism, and bringing awareness to the work of the National Park Service, including environmental conservation and protection of wildlife. That brings us to today’s edition, drawn by Frank S. Nicholson, one of many artists working out of the New York poster division.

In the years following, 20x200 artist Ansel Adams went on to photograph the National Parks from teeth to tail, resulting in a profusion of gorgeous, timeless images that would help define and publicize the beauty of the National Parks and the importance of their preservation. And of course there’s all the artists working today who turn to our National Parks for a little inspiration—like our own Amy Talluto.

Wanna get in on the action? The National Park Service hosts a number of artist-in-residence programs at parks across the country. 

If you're angling for more vintage art in your life, Tuesday’s Walker Evans edition release will do the trick.

With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman + Team 20x200