WASHINGTON (Aug. 27, 2012)—On Saturday, Oct. 27, 10 museums across the country will open simultaneous displays of images by National Geographic photographers that capture the spirit and majesty of the American West. In celebration of the event, National Geographic Books is releasing NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GREATEST PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE AMERICAN WEST: Capturing 125 Years of Majesty, Spirit and Adventure (National Geographic Books; ISBN 978-1-4262-0956-1; on sale Oct. 2, 2012; trade paperback; $30), the official companion volume to the exhibition. The book is produced by Rich Clarkson, former director of photography at National Geographic magazine, with a foreword by James McNutt, president and CEO of the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States.
“The role of photography in creating and perpetuating beliefs and understandings about the West has been continuous and evolving,” writes McNutt. “Beginning with adventurous pioneers in the field and never ceasing to the present day, photography accumulated an enormous record of change beyond the 100th meridian.”
Featuring 175 iconic, rare and never-seen-before photographs, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GREATEST PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE AMERICAN WEST chronicles the epic history and grandeur of the region. The earliest photographs of the American West were published in National Geographic magazine in 1889, setting the stage for the breathtaking images captured by such photographic masters as William Albert Allard, David Alan Harvey and Joel Sartore. In addition to these world-renowned photographers, images by early photographers such as Edward S. Curtis and William Henry Jackson also appear.
NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC GREATEST PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE AMERICAN WEST is a visual journey through the history of America. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of the American West and its importance to our national identity. The first chapter, “Legends,” portrays some of the cowboys, Native Americans and landscapes that define the vast area. Chapter two, “Encounters,” showcases the interactions among the people of the West, visitors and wildlife. Chapter three, “Boundaries,” features places where endless skies, boundless plains and dramatic mountains meet natural and manmade limits. The final chapter, “Visions,” explores the growth of the American West and where its story may go in the future.
“This volume and the exhibit that it accompanies give a small hint of the scope and significance of the National Geographic holdings,” says McNutt. “From that it is only possible to guess at the impact of millions of such images disseminated through National Geographic magazine and other media. What happens to the West in the future may not result directly from National Geographic photographs — but then again, it may.”
The exhibition will open Oct. 27 at the following museums:
Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, Ga.
Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyo.
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis
Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Okla.
National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City
National Geographic Museum, Washington, D.C.
National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States, Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, N.Y.
C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Mont.
Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas