Museum Exhibits

Deguerreotype created by Binh Danh of Yosemite Falls
Binh Danh, Yosemite Falls, May 21, 2011

Daguerreotype.  Courtesy of the artist.

Landmark: Yosemite Through the Lens of Contemporary Landscape Photography


Dates: November 18, 2016 through January 22, 2017
Hours: 10 a.m. to noon, and 1 to 4 p.m. except for holiday closures November 23-25, December 24-27, and December 31January 2

The Yosemite Museum is hosting this special display of contemporary landscape photography in celebration of the National Park Service centennial. This traveling exhibition, curated and organized by Cara Goger of the Mariposa County Arts Council, features the work of Binh Danh, Mark Klett, Byron Wolfe, Ted Orland, Millee Tibbs and Jerry Uelsmann. These contemporary artists bring new representation and varied voices to the genre of landscape photography, which has been such an integral part of the park’s history. The Yosemite venue for this traveling exhibit will also feature historic photographs and ephemera from the Yosemite Museum collection to help place these contemporary works in their historic context. This exhibit was made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
 
Abstract painting of a bear splashing through water to catch trout
Rare Sighting

Trowzers Akimbo

Yosemite Renaissance 32 Art Exhibit

Dates: February 25 – April 30, 2017
Hours: No longer on display

Yosemite Renaissance is an annual exhibit that presents diverse artistic interpretations of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada by artists from across the country. This year, 65 works were selected from 846 entries. The exhibit includes paintings, sculpture, textiles, photographs and 3-dimensional works

Yosemite Renaissance was founded in 1985 to encourage artists to share new interpretations of the region, explore environmental issues, and celebrate nature through art. By creating a continuum of artworks inspired by the region from historical times to the present, the organization seeks to inspire a new generation of people to understand, preserve and protect our wild lands and natural places.
 
Pickled frog in a jar
Bufo canorus (now Anaxyrus canorus) a Yosemite toad specimen from the museum collection (Catalog No. YOSE 22240)
Why Yosemite Collects: 90 Years, 90 Objects, 90 Stories


Dates: May 31 - November 1, 2016
Hours: No longer on display

This exhibit celebrates the 90th anniversary of the opening of the Yosemite Museum and features a display of the wide variety of artifacts, documents and specimens that the museum preserves. Why do parks have collections? What does the museum have to do with the beginnings of philanthropy in national parks, the development of interpretive programs or scientific research? Stop by and see, and vote for your favorite artifact while you are visiting. This exhibit was made possible through the generous support of Yosemite Conservancy donors.

 
Artist's illustration of a giant sequoia in snow.
Sentinel in Winter

Kris Lael Temple

Yosemite Renaissance 31 Art Exhibit

Dates: February 27 - May 1, 2016
Hours: No longer on display


Yosemite Renaissance is celebrating its thirty-first year with an exhibit of 55 paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures by fifty artists. Drawn from 973 entries, a record amount, this year's exhibit includes a broad range of works from the representational to the abstract, all interpreting the majesty of Yosemite and the Sierra.

The goals of Yosemite Renaissance are to bring together the works of contemporary artists that do not simply duplicate traditional representations; to establish a continuum with past generations of Yosemite artists; and to help re-establish visual art as a major interpretive medium of the landscape and a stimulus to the protection of the environment. It is the hope of Yosemite Renaissance that they can help preserve, protect and expand our parks.

 
Painting of Bridalveil Fall
Thomas Moran, [Bridalveil Fall], 1924.

Yosemite Viewed: Landscape Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Dates: June 1 - November 1, 2015
Hours: No longer on display

"Yosemite Viewed: Landscape Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries" features paintings drawn from the Yosemite Museum collection, representing a variety of styles and approaches to the artistic interpretation of this grand landscape. It includes Thomas Ayres' 1855 drawing "Valley of the Yosemite," one of the earliest representations of the park, along with works by Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran, two nineteenth century artists widely known for their paintings of Yosemite and other national parks. Read more...

 
Oil painting of a cliff edge surrounded by shadows.
"A Touch of Light." Dennis Curry, oil from Yosemite Renaissance XXX Exhibit

Yosemite Renaissance XXX Art Exhibit

Dates: February 28 - May 10, 2015
Hours: No longer on display

Yosemite Renaissance is celebrating its thirtieth year with an exhibit of 49 paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures by forty-seven artists. Drawn from 750 entries, this year's exhibit includes a broad range of works from the representational to the abstract, all interpreting the majesty of Yosemite and the Sierra.

The goals of Yosemite Renaissance are to bring together the works of contemporary artists that do not simply duplicate traditional representations; to establish a continuum with past generations of Yosemite artists; and to help re-establish visual art as a major interpretive medium of the landscape and a stimulus to the protection of the environment. Historically, the arts have played a major role in the establishment of our parks. It is the hope of Yosemite Renaissance that they can be just as important in future efforts to preserve, protect and expand our parks.

 
Richard Lopez, Brace of Winter Trees, oil stick/oil, 22 x 30.  Yosemite Museum Collection (YOSE 90233).
Richard Lopez, Brace of Winter Trees, oil stick/oil, 22 x 30

Yosemite Museum Collection (YOSE 90233)

Rooms with a View:
Three Decades of Yosemite Artists-in-Residence
Dates: October 31, 2014 –January 19, 2015
Hours: no longer on display

The National Park Service and Yosemite Renaissance are celebrating Yosemite artists-in-residence with an exhibit of 51 paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures by 29 artists. During the past 30 years, this program has provided lodging for over 120 artists in or near Yosemite to allow them uninterrupted time to experience and interpret the landscape, environment, wildlife and people of Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada. Pieces in the exhibition are drawn from the park's museum collection, private collections and the artists. Exhibit brochure [910 kb PDF] with artists and artwork listed.
 
Watercolor of Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls, ca. 1863
George H. Burgess (1831-1905)
Watercolor on paper
Bequest of Helen H. Ashton (YOSE 26809)
Yosemite, the Grand Experiment

Dates: June 3 –October 18, 2014
Hours: no longer on display
The Yosemite Grant of 1864 was the first attempt by a nation to protect an extraordinarily scenic landscape. It became the experimental model for land preservation throughout the world. Yosemite was, and still is, an evolving example of what a national park should be.This exhibit commemorates this landmark legislation signed 150 years ago.
Photographs and paintings of visitors and the landscape from the park museum's extensive collection, including some of the earliest Yosemite images, are on display as well as unique historic documents and field notes. Early survey equipment and maps will also be included.

This exhibit was made possible by the generous support of Yosemite Conservancy donors.

 
 
Cultural demonstrator and ranger with a group of visitors
Cultural demonstrator Maggie Howard and Ranger Bert Harwell behind the museum with a group of visitors, 1931.
Sharing Traditions: Celebrating Native Basketry Demonstrations in Yosemite 1929-1980

Dates: June 4 - October 31, 2013
Hours: No longer on display

This exhibit focuses on the weavers in the Indian Cultural Program, who have connected with hundreds of thousands of park visitors through their basket-weaving demonstrations. The work of Maggie Howard, Lucy Telles, and Julia Parker will be featured, as well as the contributions of Alice Wilson and Craig Bates. In addition to the baskets, paintings, ephemera, and archeological artifacts on display, historic film footage and photographs will be shown. This project was made possible through the generous support of Yosemite Conservancy donors.
 
 
Reeds reflected in water
Michael Frye, Reeds and Cloud Reflections, color photograph
Yosemite Renaissance XXVII

Dates: February 23 to May 5, 2013
Hours: No longer on display

Yosemite Renaissance celebrates its 28th year with an exhibit of 46 paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures by 41 artists. Drawn from almost 600 entries, this year's exhibit includes a broad range of works from the representational to the abstract, all interpreting the majesty of Yosemite and the Sierra.
The goals of Yosemite Renaissance are to bring together the works of contemporary artists that do not simply duplicate traditional representations; to establish a continuum with past generations of Yosemite artists; and to help re-establish visual art as a major interpretive medium of the landscape and a stimulus to the protection of the environment. It is the hope of Yosemite Renaissance that they can help preserve, protect and expand our parks.

The artists included in Yosemite Renaissance XXVIII are: Rebecca Alex, Annie Barrett Cashner, Stacey Best, Calvin Bohner, Andrea Broglio, Sue Chapman, Jane Culp, Steve Curl, Clark Davidson, Steve Emery, Ira Estin, William Bradford Frost, Michael Frye, Franka Gabler, Jeff Grandy, Peggy Hansen, David Hoffman, Daniel Horner, Iretta Hunter, Kirk Keeler, Susan J. Klein, Kristal Leonard, Maria Lupo, Jon McCormack, Michael Paul McKay, G. Dan Mitchell, Vidya Narasimhan, Penny Otwell, David Peterson, Troy Poeschl, George Robertson, Hugh Sakols, Ronald Saunders, Jeffrey Skelly, James Swanson, Mike Tauber, Joanna Taylor, Lance Trott, Richard Wagener, Kathyanne White and Brian Wolf.
The exhibit will travel to the Kings Art Center (Hanford), June-July, and the Carnegie Arts Center (Turlock), August-September.

Yosemite Renaissance is a non-profit organization for the arts of Yosemite, supported, in part, by funds and services from the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors, Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts and the National Park Service.
 
Painting of Bridalveil Fall
Thomas Moran, [Bridalveil Fall], 1924.

Yosemite Viewed: Landscape Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries


Dates: June 4 - September 30, 2012
Hours: No longer on exhibit

"Yosemite Viewed: Landscape Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries" features paintings drawn from the Yosemite Museum collection, representing a variety of styles and approaches to the artistic interpretation of this grand landscape. It includes Thomas Ayres' 1855 drawing "Valley of the Yosemite," one of the earliest representations of the park, along with works by Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran, two nineteenth century artists widely known for their paintings of Yosemite and other national parks.

 
Birch Lake, near Hetch Hetchy. Stephen Curl watercolor from Yosemite Renaissance XXVII Exhibit
"Birch Lake, near Hetch Hetchy." Stephen Curl watercolor from Yosemite Renaissance XXVII Exhibit

Yosemite Renaissance XXVII

Dates: Feb. 25-May 6, 2012
Hours: No longer on exhibit

Yosemite Renaissance celebrates each year with an art exhibit of paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures that interpret the majesty of Yosemite and the Sierra. In 2012, Yosemite Renaissance XXVII completed its 27th year on exhibit--drawing from more than 700 entries from the representational to the abstract. Yosemite Renaissance aims to bring together the works of contemporary artists that do not simply duplicate traditional representations; to establish a continuum with past generations of Yosemite artists; and to help re-establish visual art as a major interpretive medium of the landscape. Yosemite Renaissance is a non-profit organization, supported, in part, by funds and services from the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors, Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, the National Park Service, and the Ansel Adams Gallery.
 
B&W historic photo of Glacier Point cafe
During the 1900s, visitors could enjoy the Glacier Point Hotel.

Views & Visitors:
The Yosemite Experience in the Early 20th Century

Dates: June 8-Oct. 31, 2011
Hours: No longer on exhibit


This exhibit of artwork, historic artifacts and souvenirs relates to the period 1900-1946 in Yosemite. Oral history records and digitized historic film footage and photographs complement the display.

 
The “Grand Register” sat on the Cosmopolitan Bathhouse & Saloon’s porch welcoming visitors. RL2739

Views & Visitors:
The Yosemite Experience in the 19th Century


Dates: June 16-Oct. 31, 2010
Hours: No longer on exhibit

This exhibit featured paintings, prints, artifacts, and ephemera from Yosemite's early years. Historic hotel registers and the Grand Register of the Cosmopolitan were also on view. The exhibit included an interactive kiosk related to the Grand Register and a digital slide show of historic visitors and hotels.

Last updated: May 26, 2017

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