“Their art made once-distant landscapes real to people with the power to protect them,” Pierno writes, “even though they had never set foot in Wyoming and probably never would.”
“The Art of the National Parks” was put together by Fifty-Nine Parks, a group that works with artists to create screen-printed posters that portray the variegated bluffs of the Badlands and the Seussian flora of Joshua Tree National Park, among other wonders.
The works feel like a modern take on the coaxing posters that the government began commissioning in the 1930s (“Visit the National Parks,” urged a 1940 silk-screen print depicting a waterfall under a pleasantly undulating mountain range). The artists use an array of styles to explore what makes these destinations unique.
“Our goal has always been simple,” writes JP Boneyard, the Fifty-Nine Parks creative director. “Get park nerds into posters and poster nerds into the parks.” And let’s not forget about conservation: The group has raised more than $100,000 for the preservation of public lands.
Here is a selection of art and facts from the new book:
Stephanie Merry is editor of Book World
The Art of the National Parks
By Weldon Owen, Theresa Pierno and JP Boneyard
Earth Aware Editions. 176 pp. $45