View with Rock Formation, Grand Canyon National Park
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"Leave it as it is. The ages have been at work on it, and man can only mar it. What you can do is to keep it for your children, your children's children, and for all who come after you, as one of the great sights which every American should see." - President Theodore Roosevelt on the Grand Canyon
Roosevelt was really onto something when he made this statement after his visit in 1903. It wasn't until 1919, however, that the Grand Canyon was established as the 17th U.S. National Park. The park is currently one of the world's premiere national attractions, hosting about five million visitors per year. Imagine how many photographs have been taken of the park since its creation! However, it can be agreed that no photographs compare to the gorgeous landscapes taken by Ansel Adams.
A tireless photographer, environmental activist, and writer, Ansel Adams captured the wild of America as no artist before or since. Considered one of the last defining figures of nineteenth-century American landscape imagery, Adams dedicated himself to both his art and his subjects. The sweeping landscapes established him as an expert in photography at the time, consulting for multiple camera manufacturers and developing the zone systemó?, a technique enabling photographers to visualize an image and produce a matching photograph by controlling exposure and the developing process. His expertise was not just in his art, but also in his knowledge of the canyons, cliffs, forests, and plains that were his subjects. A vocal environmental and wilderness activist, Adams advocated for the conservation of state parks. His work is a continuing testament to his passion for the wilderness of America.
In 1941 the National Park Service commissioned Adams to create a photo mural for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The theme was to be nature as exemplified and protected in the U.S. National Parks. The project was halted because of World War II and never resumed. Much of the project is now kept in the National Archives. This photograph is from the initial National Park Service project.
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