Artists and Denali
The artist Belmore Browne (1880-1954) was one of the first to advocate for protection of the area that would become Mount McKinley National Park. Not only an accomplished painter and outdoorsman, but a superb mountaineer, Browne participated in three pioneering climbs on Mount McKinley, in 1906, 1910 and 1912. Aware of the effect of extensive market hunting on sheep and caribou populations in the Denali region, Browne joined hunter and naturalist Charles Sheldon to lobby for the protection of the animals and their habitat. Their effort proved successful when Congress designated almost 1.6 million acres of wilderness north of the Alaska Range as a national park in 1917.
Since that time, many noted landscape painters have explored and painted “The Mountain” and the surrounding regions of the park. Sydney Laurence, Eustace Ziegler, Ted Lambert, Jules Dahlager and others created paintings, drawings and prints that have played a significant role in establishing not just the image of Denali, but of Alaska, in the minds of the American public and the world.
Art and America’s National Parks
Artists have had a major impact on the creation and development of America’s national parks. Dramatic 19th-century paintings of western landscapes raised public consciousness about the natural wonders of the west and helped stimulate interest in their preservation. More...