• A translucent blanket of clouds hangs over the snowy continental divide above Bear Lake Road. NPS Photo by VIP Olsen

    Rocky Mountain

    National Park Colorado

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.

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