On June 1st to 4th, 2013, Alan Petersen, Curator of Fine Art at the Museum of Northern Arizona, will be teaching Drawing the Landscapes of Yellowstone for the Yellowstone Institute. In addition to his teaching and curating, Alan also paints the landscapes of the Colorado Plateau and Grand Canyon, and is writing a book about Gunnar Widforss, a watercolorist of the 1920s who was championed by Stephen Mather, first superintendent of the national parks. I met Alan while I was doing a little bit of my own research online about Widforss, an artist I deeply admire. I've written about him several times on this blog. I am thrilled that Alan is giving a lecture on Widforss one evening during my June 5th to 8th class at Yellowstone, The Pleasure of Plein Air Watercolor. Alan's drawing, pictured above, beautifully captures the topography of the inner Grand Canyon near Kanab Creek; I was reminded of the work of William Henry Holmes, "one of the greatest field artists America ever produced", according to Henry Fairfield Osborn of the American Museum of Natural History.
Holmes faithfully and magnificently recorded the topography of Yellowstone in trips he made in the 1870s, beginning with the Hayden Survey in 1872. Colleen Curry, curator of the Yellowstone Heritage and Research Center, shared several of Holmes' drawings with me, including this one of basalt cliffs.