David Halpern

A narrow wood footbridge in foreground with an elegant stone bridge filling frame behind
Cobblestone Bridge

David Halpern, 1994

Jagged dark ocks along coastline with one smooth white boulder
White Boulder on Otter Point

David Halpern, 1994

Rocky coastline with wooded mountain across water in distance
At Great Head

David Halpern, 1994

Stone steps define a path through a woodland of trees with narrow trunks
Dorr Mountain Trailhead

David Halpern, 1994

Reflections on Acadia, October 9, 1994
(From David Halpern’s journal)

There is poetry in these Acadian woods
And beauty wherever I walk;
In the wind through golden branches
On the Bubbles above Jordan Pond;
In footsteps hard on granite slabs and boulders;
In the excited laughter of children
Exploring the graceful arch of Cobblestone Bridge;
In gently falling streams
And waves softly lapping the shores of Bubble Pond.

I set up my camera on Hadlock Brook
And from overhead come challenges
From two birds I can’t identify.
A squirrel eyes me cautiously with a single chirp
And darts into a hole in the stream bank.

Cautiously, I step onto a wet streamside trail
And there comes a shallow sucking sound,
Twigs snap under foot and
As I climb across a fallen tree trunk
There’s a warm hollow thump.
Alone I stop to look about me
And even the wind rests for a moment.

There are lyrics in multi-colored leaves
Flickering bright red and green and Cadmium yellow
In the Brilliant Morning sun,
And in the blowing fog coming over Conners Nubble
to descend on Eagle Lake;
In birch trunks shining white on a nearby ridge;
In sun dappled rocks tumbling
Down from Granite summits.

There is poetry in these Acadian woods.
It says stay a while,
Though you might be lured to the surrounding sea.

I had been to Acadia before, but not in the fall. I had thought I might spend most of my month roaming the coastal rocks and beaches, but that was before I saw the fall color. (Now I prefer to travel without preconceptions.) Even for a photographer whose preferences trend toward monochromatic images, the Acadian woods can be overwhelming in October. This is a very special place and Mr. Rockefeller’s Bridges and roads became my principal subjects, though it’s impossible to ignore the sea.

– David Halpern, 2018

David Halpern portrait
David Halpern, 2016

For more than 65 years David Halpern, driven by his love of nature, has photographed the American landscape. He’s had more than 50 one-man shows in museums and galleries throughout the country and has served as a National Park artist-in-residence thirteen times.

A native of Nashville, Tennessee, David now lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended the University of Missouri at Columbia and earned a degree from Vanderbilt University in 1958. From 1992 through 1998, an exhibition of David’s photographs commemorated the National Park Service’s 75th anniversary. Viewed by more than 400,000 people in 40 venues throughout the U.S., it became part of the National Park Service Collection in 1999, and is held in the archives at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Also a teacher and writer, David has shared his photographic knowledge in classrooms and in workshops, has authored articles in print and electronic media and contributed to numerous publications. His book credits include two award-winning editions of Tulsa Art Deco (1979 and 2002), and a self-revealing chronicle titled Pilgrim Eye (2007). More information can be found at his website.


Last updated: January 7, 2020

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