Painting and Nature Preservation: The Adirondacks

Painting also played a role in nature preservation at the state level.

The Adirondacks was overlooked initially by logging interests during westward expanion. In 1885 it was made a state forest reserve. In 1891 it was further upgraded to a state park. In 1893, as a result of continuing concern about the activities of logging interests, the state constitution was amended to make the Adirondacks forever wild and free.

Paintings by the Hudson River School over the previous seventy years were instrumental in establishing the value of the forest area as a state treasure that should not be exploited for utilitarian gain.




Worthington Whittridge, The Trout Pool, c. 1868, Metropolitan Museum of Art