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Art of the Parks: Two All New Exhibitions

On view now through December 31, 2016NPS_CENTENNIAL_4C

Parks in America not only offer a beautiful space for the people they serve, they also champion the conservation of natural resources. This year, in honor of the National Parks Service Centennial, The Rockwell presents two special exhibitions that highlight the pivotal role that art has played in influencing the contemporary decision makers who designated these treasures for public enjoyment on both the national and regional level.

Art of the Parks: Celebrating 100 Years of the National Park Service

Thomas Hill (1829 -1908, Yosemite, ca. 1908, oil on canvas. Gift of Hertha G. and Robert F. Rockwell Jr. 91.94 F.

Thomas Hill (1829 -1908, Yosemite, ca. 1908, oil on canvas. Gift of Hertha G. and Robert F. Rockwell Jr. 91.94 F.

Art of the National Parks is a new self-guided gallery tour that marks the centennial celebration of the National Parks Service, which created nature destinations such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Grand Canyon and Glacier national parks.

Art has been part of the history of national parks since the 1870s when Hudson River School painters captured majestic Western landscapes. Through their awe-inspiring works, the public came to see these special places in America for the first time. The works captured their imaginations, spurring them to preserve these lands for future generations. Visitors are invited to learn first-hand how Hudson River School artists and their successors documented America’s majesty and influenced the preservation of our land.

The tour, which continues throughout 2016, will feature art that exemplifies the parks, as well as artists who were instrumental in building public support for the creation of the National Park Service such as Albert Bierstadt And Thomas Hill.  Art of the Parks includes pieces from Hudson River School painters and Western landscape artists, as well as artists from other important movements within American art. The self-guided tour of the exhibition reveals how early explorer artists like George Catlin and Karl Bodmer documented America’s majesty and used art to influence preservation back in Washington, D.C.


Historic Photographs of Watkins Glen State ParkJosh Teeter - 1MileBridgewithFalls1933_smallweb

State parks also champion conservation of natural resources on a local level. In 2015, our own Watkins Glen State Park was voted the #3 Best State Park in America by the readers of USA Today. In conjunction with the NPS centennial, we would like to recognize the local diversity of the American landscape preserved in the Finger Lakes Region. Exhibited here are historic images of Watkins Glen State Park, from its origins as a private retreat through its modern incarnation as a public state park.

Images courtesy of the Finger Lakes Region of New York State Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.

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