Binding People & Place / Building a Park

Joshua Tree landscape

Hoyt Album

ca. 1933

Activist Minerva Hamilton Hoyt created this album for government officials in Washington DC offices to illustrate her vision for a new national park in the southern California desert. Her advocacy included botanical exhibits, letter writing campaigns, and political meetings, but these photographs were her most powerful tools.

In 1933, Hoyt brought the album of photographs directly to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes, and National Park Service Director Horace Albright. Roosevelt endorsed the idea and Joshua Tree was designated as a national monument in 1936. Nearly 60 years later, in 1994, Congress designated Joshua Tree a national park.

Leather (album), gelatin silver photograph prints.
L 35.1, W 28.4 cm
Joshua Tree National Park, JOTR 16935