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Park Place (Hardback)

Out West

Hobbies & Lifestyle > Photography

Imprint: George F. Thompson
Pages: 104
Illustrations: 64 photographs
ISBN: 9781938086946
Published: 31st May 2023



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The National Park Service was established by an act of Congress in 1916 to “preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources and values of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations.” This directive to protect wilderness yet provide accessibility to it without somehow compromising the integrity of the natural resources seems to be a self-fulfilling contradiction and an arena for conflicting priorities.

In Park Place, photographer David Heberlein explores the tension between access and enjoyment and preservation of America’s public lands. From 1992 to 2019, he traveled throughout the American West and visited thirty-five national parks, monuments, and recreation areas. His stunning photographs, made in the course of his many journeys, document the human presence within the national parks and monuments of the American West. They allude to human influence both through the marks we make on the land – whether temporary or permanent – and through the presence of visitors who appear in numerous shapes and sizes performing a variety of familiar sightseeing activities. These shifting scenarios provide compelling photographic documentation of the multiple roles that national parks and monuments play and the ongoing need to balance the human impact on nature with the preservation of wild places.

Park Place features sixty-four duotone photographs by David Heberlein along with an introductory essay by the photographer and an afterword. It promises to be a welcome addition to a longstanding tradition of artists, writers, and photographers heading out West to see and explore and interpret America’s national treasures.

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