Landscape Painting & the Conservation Movement
March 8 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Explore the connection between art, conservation and National Parks.
This is an in-person program. Masks are optional at all in-person library events.
This presentation examines the long association between art, conservation, and National Parks, focusing on a group of landscape painters led by a young English immigrant named Thomas Cole that came to be known as the Hudson River School. The talk covers the birth of the American conservation movement, its expression in national parks, and the role of landscape painting in advancing conservation in the United States. It seeks to answer the fundamental question, “Why do we conserve?” In addition to Thomas Cole, the presentation describes the impact of other artists on American conservation and national parks, including Frederic Church, Sanford Robinson Gifford, Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, and Asher Durand.
James Gramann is a Professor Emeritus of Park and Conservation Policy from Texas A&M University. A native of the Pacific Northwest, he retired to Redmond, Oregon, in 2017. From 2002 through 2010, while on leave from Texas A&M, he worked full-time in Washington, D.C., as the visiting chief social scientist for the U.S. National Park Service. In this capacity, he directed a national social science program providing usable knowledge about people and parks to national park managers, planners, and policy-makers. In 2010, his program received the Department of the Interior’s Unit Award for Excellence of Service. In 2015, the George Wright Society honored him with its Social Science Achievement Award for advancing the application of social science to the management of protected areas and cultural sites. He has a strong interest in the history of American conservation and national parks and has authored over 100 articles, book chapters, and technical reports on park-related issues.