Images of America: What moves you outdoors?

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Images of America

WPA Federal Arts Project poster for Yellowstone National ParkIN OUR TOUR through the photo gallery Images of America, we began with images of core values universally held by Americans, as documented in the book United America. In Part 6, we looked at one of the milestone photographs of the 20th Century—a view of planet Earth from outer space—and discussed how concern over our environment is not a core American value at this point.

Today’s question: What images of our natural world do inspire you?

You’ll find a number of them in the photo gallery. Among them are examples of an almost-forgotten art project created within the Works Progress Administration (WPA) for the National Park Service. Within the Depression-era WPA, a special Federal Arts Project ran from 1935 until 1943—employing thousands of artists and eventually creating 200,000 works of art! A small unit in that program produced park posters from 1938 to 1941.

That unit was just a drop in the ocean of artists working coast to coast. And, to this day, the full documentation for the park posters seems to be missing, including the name of the artist who created the silk screen poster for this once-again popular image of Old Faithful at Yellowstone.

As the Park Service tells the story, the posters themselves nearly vanished. A dusty handful came to light while a ranger was cleaning out an old shed. The few people who saw them were inspired enough to recover and restore at least a handful of these beautiful images.

Have you seen some of the WPA National Parks posters? (You can see more in this gallery posted by National Geographic.)

Do these images inspire you? If not, then what images do move you to get outdoors?

Share this with friends …

The United America photo gallery Images of America was developed so you can freely share these inspiring images with friends. This method has been used successfully with groups nationwide to spark spirited and constructive discussions about what unites us as Americans. Then, to fully understand the 10 core values, get the book United America. So, come on! Start your own discussion …

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