Painting and Nature Preservation: Painting, Photography, and Species Preservation

There was considerable interplay between landscape painting and landscape photography. Most photographers originally started out as painters. In addition, painters began using photographs as guides for their paintings.

This painting by Albert Bierstadt was based in part on C. E. Watkins' photograph, "The Grizzly Giant" (before 1864).

Concern about the Sequoias developed after the bark of another tree was exhibited on the east coast of the United States. Once visitors accepted that such large trees existed, the exhibitors were denounced as tree murderers.

In 1858 the American Association for the Advancement of Science called for the preservation of the trees because of their rarity. Concern that the trees might become extinct was one of the reasons for the establishment of Yosemite as a park.



Albert Bierstadt, The Great Trees, Mariposa Grove, c. 1875, Hirschl and Adler Galleries