More Than Scenery
My romance with the American West began as a child of the mid-Atlantic nurtured by horseback riding, movies, and my Father’s dreams. However, when I began to spend adolescent summers in Wyoming my world changed forever. I fell under the spell of the sublime; only later did I understand the costs of preservation. The real and ideal landscape of Yellowstone National Park, an iconic American landscape, is the subject of More Than Scenery: Yellowstone, an American Love Story. Each generation invests the park with values reflecting their own historical moment. I survey these relationships photographically from the vantage points of nature, culture, and history in a work in three parts.
I began this project in 2008, looking toward the Haynes postcard that stirred my interest for guidance (see slide 1), with a series of images of park visitors titled Views from Wonderland. As the project progressed, I understood objects of cultural memory as significant and began Collecting Yellowstone. Finally I realized I could not ignore the land and its care, and began Stories from the Ecosystem. This trilogy triangulates the intellectual ecosystem of More Than Scenery.
Janet L. Pritchard photographs place with a special interest in the intersection of nature and culture. She describes her method as the pursuit of artistic vision through historical empathy. She teaches at the University of Connecticut and makes her home in New England with her wife, and partner, of thirty years and their three sons. Having lived more than twenty years in the Rocky Mountain west, Janet feels herself to be geographically bilingual.
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