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Located next to the Wawona Hotel, Thomas Hill Studio in Yosemite National Park has served many purposes since it was built in 1883—an artist’s studio and showroom, a dance hall, and even an ice cream parlor. In most recent history, it has functioned as a visitor center, book and gift shop, and wilderness permit station. Thanks to a project involving the National Park Service, The Yosemite Fund, and The Yosemite Association, the newly renovated interior now recreates the feeling and character of the studio’s original interior.
Visitors can still get information, books, and wilderness permits at Hill’s Studio; however, visitors can also now learn more about Thomas Hill’s significance as a landscape painter and the importance of art in establishing and protecting our national parks. The exhibit has recreated a "salon hanging"—paintings covering the wall from floor to ceiling—typical of Victorian galleries in the 19th century. Several of Hill’s paintings have been reproduced on canvas and displayed as they appeared in his lifetime.
The Wawona Visitor Center at Hill’s Studio reopens on Friday, May 8. Hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., daily. The center is closed in winter.