Yosemite Artists and Photographers
John Muir and Yosemite Valley are closely linked in many people’s minds. Avisit to the exhibition of Ansel Adams’ stunning photographs at Edinburgh’sCity Arts Centre in February prompted Will Collin to delve into the history of Yosemite art and he presented the result to Friends at their November meeting.One may be forgiven for thinking that the white man’s involvement withYosemite Valley began around the time of Muir’s first visit in 1868 but thefirst artist to visit, Thomas Ayres, made the first drawing in 1855; the firstphotographs were taken by Charles Weed in 1859; and the first major paintingby Albert Bierstadt in 1863. Since then, scarcely a year has passed withoutleading US landscape painters and photographers visiting the Valley.Will’s talk focussed on a few of the earliest – painters Thomas Hill andWilliam Keith as well as Bierstadt; photographers Carleton Watkins,Eadweard Muybridge and George Fiske. Time allowed no more. The imageswhich were the key part of the presentation showed El Capitan, YosemiteFalls, Half Dome and the rest in all their glory.If you missed Will’s presentation and can visit the Birthplace, ask to see
Yosemite: Art of an American Icon
by Amy Scott. It was presented to JimThompson by the Yosemite School at the end of their visit in June and isavailable from the front desk.
John Muir Association Conservation AwardsMartinez, CA, 15th November 2008
In September, Friends and Dunbar Community Council nominated the JohnMuir’s Birthplace team for a John Muir Association Conservation Award. Theteam were successful and with less than three weeks notice managed to securefunding, book flights and accommodation to enable Jo Moulin (Manager, JohnMuir’s Birthplace) to attend the award ceremony. Arrangements were alsomade to make the most of the opportunity to promote the work of John Muir’sBirthplace and the events planned for Homecoming 2009.Campbell Theatre, Martinez, offered a cabaret style venue for the evening withsponsorship from Muir-Hanna Vineyards and Shell Oil’s Martinez Refinery.The programme included feature speaker John Muir Laws (no relation) on
Finding Connection in Nature
and gave Jo a chance to meet with Muir