2016 Press Releases

National Archives Celebrates National Park Service Centennial May 11
Press Release · Friday, August 25, 1916

Washington, DC

Landscapes for the People: George Alexander Grant, First NPS Photographer

Washington, DC…On Wednesday, May 11, at noon, the National Archives celebrates the National Park Service centennial with a special program titled: Landscapes for the People: George Alexander Grant, First Chief Photographer of the National Park Service. This program is free and open to the public and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station. A book signing follows the event.

George Alexander Grant is an unknown elder in the field of American landscape photography. Although millions of people have viewed Grant’s photographs of the American landscape, few knew his name. In Landscapes for the People, authors Ren and Helen Davis share his story through his remarkable images, showing Grant’s unsurpassed love of the National Parks. Landscapes for the People shares Grant’s story through his remarkable images and a biography profiling patience, perseverance, dedication, and an unsurpassed love of the natural and historic places that Americans chose to preserve.

Grant’s images are the work of a master craftsman. His practiced eye for composition and exposure and his patience to capture subjects in their finest light are comparable to those of his more widely known contemporaries. Nearly fifty years after his death, and in concert with the 2016 centennial of the National Park Service, it is fitting that George Grant’s photography be introduced to a new generation of Americans.

The National Park Service was established in the Department of the Interior on August 25, 1916. There are close to 400 units in the National Park System, including national parks, monuments and memorials, scenic parkways, preserves, reserves, trails, rivers, wild and scenic rivers, seashores, lake shores, recreation areas, battlefields, parks and sites, national military parks, international historic sites, and historic sites associated with important movements, events, and personalities of the American past. The National Archives holds the permanently valuable records of the National Parks Service, including photographs by Ansel Adams.

Related online resources:

  • Blog: “Colorful Chemistry and a Visit to Your National Parks”

  • Blog: “Majestic Mount Rainier: Finding My Park in the Archives”

  • Blog: “Happy Birthday, Rocky Mountain National Park”

  • Blog: “ Kodacolor Decoded: Early Color Footage of Yellowstone National Park.” See related update, Press release, before and after film excerpt

  • Film excerpt: Glacier National Park/Lassen National Park/Sequoia National Park

  • Film excerpt: Seeing Yosemite from a Saddle and related National Archives Tumblr post

  • Film excerpt: Yellowstone Footage Side-by-Side Comparison

  • Film excerpt: The Fountain of Life: Rocky Mountain National Park

  • Today’s Document Tumblr feature: “Tinted or toned NPS films in the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab”

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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