• Photo of the continental divide blanketed in snow. NPS Photo by VIP Schonlau

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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  • Old Fall River Road will be closed in 2014 due to flood damage

    Damages on Old Fall River Road are extensive and the road will remain closed to vehicles through 2014. It is unknown at this time whether hikers and bicyclists will be allowed on the road. More »

  • Impacts from September 2013 Flood

    Due to recent flooding, there are still some closures in the park that could affect your visit. More »

Science Behind the Scenery Program American Playground-Images of Rocky Mountain National Park

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Date: August 7, 2007
Contact: Kyle Patterson, 970-586-1363

Rocky Mountain National Park’s spectacular landscapes have been the subject of artists, photographers and writers since the opening of the American west in the nineteenth century. Moreover, throughout the twentieth century, anonymous visitors captured the park through images now harbored in family photo albums, home movies and videos. This rich compendium of visual representations records an evolving dialogue of cultural attitudes about the park. When coupled with supporting textual materials – the few lines on the back of a postcard, a journal entry, a geologic survey summary, a hiker’s narrative - the images become an evocative point of entry into a history of the park and the visitors who recorded it. Join Ann Komara at Beaver Meadows Visitor Center Auditorium on Thursday, August 16, at 7:30 p.m. as she explains reception theory and shares her favorite images of the park found during her study. This program is part of the Science Behind the Scenery Series.

Visual materials like postcards, albums, and brochures not only offer a visual history of the park over time, they allow the public to better understand the role of landscape images as they record and influence attitudes and behaviors. This interpretation assumes that images “re-present” place; that they register intentions and frame or shape impressions about place for others to “receive”-- to read and consume.

This program is free and open to the public. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park please call the park’s information office at (970) 586-1206.

Did You Know?

A photo of a volunteer giving a camera to a visitor for a research project.

Rocky Mountain National Park volunteers give more than 100,000 hours a year to the park. That equals approximately 48 full-time employees. More...