John Quincy Adams, Alexander von Humboldt, and Ansel Adams: The Phenomena of Nature

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Date: February 1, 2016
Contact: Caroline Keinath, 617-773-11177
Contact: Jessica Pilkington, 617-773-1177

Adams National Historical Park News Release

Release Date: January, 2016 - For Immediate Release.

For more information, contact Caroline Keinath, Adams NHP, 617-773-1177.

John Quincy Adams, Alexander von Humboldt, and Ansel Adams:The Phenomena of Nature

170 Years of Science, Nature, History, and Culture!

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Adams National Historical Park Celebrates 70 Years!

QUINCY, MA - Adams National Historical Park highlights three visionaries who informed, influenced, and inspired others through their work in the field of nature and science. When not working as a diplomat, senator, president, or congressman, John Quincy Adams set aside time to engage in his passion of dendrology. Believing trees to be important and useful for the country, he was one of the first presidents to set aside land for their preservation and growth.John Quincy's contemporary Alexander von Humboldt was widely decorated in his lifetime for his travels in Latin America and Russia. His ideas changed the way the natural world was seen, and created modern environmentalism in the process. Influenced by Adams and Humboldt, Ansel Adams used photography to highlight the natural beauty of the United States and helped to spread the desire to preserve it.

On Saturday, May 21, 2016 starting at 1:00 p.m. in the Adams Carriage House, three esteemed authors come to Adams National Historical Park to discuss these three men who changed how we view the world around us. At 1:00 p.m., Phyllis Levin, author of The Remarkable Education of John Quincy Adams, will analyze how John Quincy Adams used his passion of nature to inform the world about "the magnificent phenomena of physical nature." At 3:00 p.m., Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World, looks at how Humboldt's observations influenced Charles Darwin, Thomas Jefferson, and even shaping John Muir's ideas of preservation. At 5:00 p.m., Mary Street Alinder, author of Ansel Adams: A Biography and chief assistant to Ansel Adams, will discuss his works and how they continue to inspire to this day. Copies of these works will be available for sale and signing during the event.

The Adams Carriage House is located behind the Old House at Peace field, 135 Adams Street, Quincy, MA. Limited street parking is available. Information, restrooms, and a small gift shop are available at the Carriage House.

This event occurs in conjunction with guided tours of the John Adams Birthplace, John Quincy Adams Birthplace, and Old House at Peace field. Tickets to the historic homes can be purchased at the Visitor Center located at 1250 Hancock Street, Quincy. A free park trolley transports visitors from the Visitor Center to the Birthplaces and the Old House at Peace field for a two and a half hour tour. The first tour leaves the Visitor Center at 9:15 a.m. and the last tour leaves at 3:15 p.m., seven days a week including federal holidays. Tickets are $10.00 for adults (children 15 and under are free) and sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Trees…"one hundred years hence will bear delicious fruit, or afford a shelter and shade [to] ages of men." John Quincy Adams

"Devoted from my earliest youth to the study of nature, feeling with enthusiasm the wild beauties of a country guarded by mounts and shaded by ancient forests, I experienced in my travels, enjoyments which have amply compensated for the privations inseparable from a laborious and often agitated life." Alexander von Humboldt

"No matter how sophisticated you may be, a large granite mountain cannot be denied –it speaks in silence to the very core of your being." Ansel Adams

Last updated: February 1, 2016

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