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America the Beautiful: The Monumental Landscapes of Clyde Butcher

June 6 - September 4, 2016


(above: Clyde Butcher photographing in the Everglades. Photo courtesy of Lauren Rogers Museum of Art)

The Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in historic downtown Laurel, Miss. is presenting America the Beautiful: The Monumental Landscapes of Clyde Butcher, which will be on display June 6 through September 4, 1916.

Clyde Butcher's photographs celebrate the beauty of the American landscape with a monumental size and extraordinary clarity that set them apart as exceptional works of art. Butcher continues the tradition of the 19th century Hudson River School painters, composing his works at strikingly beautiful and untarnished locations across the United States.

America the Beautiful includes 56 large scale, black and white photographs of the American landscape, spanning beautiful sites across the United States, from the coast of Maine, to the Badlands, to Hawaii. Butcher's views include some of the same locations shot by the photographer Ansel Adams, demonstrating the unique light and clarity that his artistic vision brings to those scenes. The beauty of Butcher's photographs is further emphasized by the epic size of his works. The exceptional size of his compositions -- the largest is 5 by 8.5 feet -- allows the viewer to experience the beauty of the site from an almost first hand perspective. (right: Clyde Butcher, Moon Over Tetons, silver gelatin print. Photo courtesy of Lauren Rogers Museum of Art)

Butcher's unique technique enables him to capture a breathtaking amount of detail within his images. He shoots with an 8 x 10 inch wooden large format view camera from the 1940s, creating an extraordinary depth of field through a synthesis of wide angled lenses and a small lens opening. His large negatives, combined with orange and blue filters and a longer than average exposure time -- up to ten minutes -- allow for clarity and incredible detail within his compositions.

Butcher is known nationally as an avid conservationist who uses his art to help preserve America's environment. His most recent projects include work for Rocky Mountain National Park, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, Audubon Society, The Nature Conservancy, Wilderness Society, Everglades National Park and many other environmental organizations in the state of Florida where he lives. He has been honored by innumerable organizations, including the Sierra Club, which has given him the Ansel Adams Conservation Award, and Public Broadcasting in an award-winning half hour documentary of his work.

The public is invited to attend a gallery walk at 5:30 p.m. by Curator Kristen Zohn followed by a reception for the exhibition at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 14.

This exhibition was organized by Photographic Traveling Exhibitions, Los Angeles, CA. and is generously sponsored by Sanderson Farms and The Jean Chisholm Lindsey Exhibition Endowment Fund.

Resource Library editor's note:

Readers may also enjoy:

Photography: 19th Century, 19-20th Century, 20-21st Century
Hudson River School
Clyde Butcher and Gus Foster - Wilderness Landscape Photographs (6/13/05)
Ansel Adams and Clyde Butcher (12/31/04)
Ansel Adams: Celebration of Genius / Clyde Butcher, Photographer (5/3/04)
Visions for the Next Millenium: Wilderness Photography -- Focus on Preservation by Clyde Butcher (3/17/04)
Clyde Butcher: Nature's Sanctuaries (3/3/00)
Clyde Butcher, Wilderness Photographer, at Orlando Museum of Art (3/10/99)

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