National Parks At The Eastman Museum

Dune At Granite Falls

Guest post by David Leland Hyde.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service, the George Eastman Museum, the world’s oldest photography museum holding the largest film archive in the U. S., presents “Photography and America’s National Parks”, an exhibition exploring the role of photography in the development of the parks and in shaping our perception and understanding of these landscapes.

From the early pioneers such as Alvin Langdon Coburn, Frank Jay Haynes, William Henry Jackson, the Kolb Brothers, Eadweard Muybridge and Carleton Watkins, to the modernists including Ansel Adams, Edward Weston and Philip Hyde, to contemporary photographers such as Marion Balanger, Binh Danh, Sean McFarland, Sharon Harper, Mark Klett, Abelardo Morell, David Benjamin Sherry and Byron Wolfe, exhibition curator Jamie M. Allen drew primarily from the George Eastman Museum collection to illuminate the history of the most significant national parks from the 1860s to the present.

To complement the exhibition, the museum is co-publishing a book with Aperture, titled, Picturing America’s National Parks, with introductory essay by Jamie M. Allen discussing the relationship between the parks and photography, available in June from the museum store and online at

In 1956, Minor White curated a solo exhibition of twenty-five Philip Hyde photographs at the George Eastman Museum, three of which the museum purchased and will show as part of the new exhibition.

– David Leland Hyde

Editor’s note: The exhibition will be on display from June 4 through October 2, 2016, preceded by an exhibition preview on Friday, June 3, from 7-9 PM. Contact:

The museum is offering a variety of lectures. Topics include a travelogue of Yellowstone, the history of Kodak Picture Spots, and how the staff prepared the works for display in the exhibition. Talks by photographers John Pfahl, Willie Osterman, and Sean McFarland offer the opportunity to learn about the works on view from the artists themselves. All of these programs are free to members and included with museum admission. A complete listing of all related talks follows:

Saturday, June 4, 2 p.m. Artist’s Talk: John Pfahl
Buffalo-based photographer John Pfahl explores our relationship to the landscape as framed with the photographic lens. Book signing to follow. Generously sponsored by Dawn Lipson.

Saturday, July 9, 2 p.m. Wish You Were Here—Special Edition: Yellowstone Travelogue with Tom Tischer
Wish You Were Here photography lecture series sponsor Tom Tischer will share a slideshow of photographs from his travels to Yellowstone National Park.

Saturday, July 23, 12 p.m. Focus 45: Framing America’s National Parks
Emily Phoenix, the museum’s chief object preparator, will discuss framing photographic objects in Photography and America’s National Parks.

Thursday, August 25, 4 p.m. Artist’s Talk: Willie Osterman
Willie Osterman, photographer and professor in the photographic arts department at RIT, will join associate curator Jamie M. Allen for a gallery talk about his work. Generously sponsored by Dawn Lipson.

Saturday, August 27, 12 p.m. Focus 45: Kodak Picture Spots and the Perfect Picture
Leslie K. Brown will discuss the history of these iconic signs, from their use as roadside markers in the 1920s to their installation in national parks, world’s fairs, and theme parks.

Thursday, September 22, 6 p.m. Wish You Were Here: Sean McFarland
Sean McFarland will discuss his work, which explores the relationships between history, photography, and the representation of landscape. Exhibitions open until 8 p.m. Free for students w/ ID. Generously sponsored by museum member Thomas N. Tischer.