CEDAR CITY–Frontier Homestead State Park will host a special program on Thursday, Sept. 7, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Scholars Ren and Helen Davis will present “Landscapes for the People,” a presentation detailing the extraordinary work of George Grant, a master of photography who documented our nation’s natural treasures. This program has received funding from Utah Humanities (UH) and is free to the public. UH improves communities through active engagement in the humanities.
George Alexander Grant is an unknown elder in the field of American landscape photography. Just as they did the work of his contemporaries Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, Eliot Porter, and others, millions of people viewed Grant’s photographs; unlike those contemporaries, few even knew Grant’s name. “Landscapes for the People” shares his story through his remarkable images and a compelling biography profiling patience, perseverance, dedication, and an unsurpassed love of the natural and historic places that Americans chose to preserve.
A Pennsylvania native, Grant was introduced to the parks during the summer of 1922 and resolved to make parks work and photography his life. Seven years later, he received his dream job and spent the next quarter century visiting the four corners of the country to produce images in more than one hundred national parks, monuments, historic sites, battlefields, and other locations. He was there to visually document the dramatic expansion of the National Park Service during the New Deal, including the work of the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Grant’s images are the work of a master craftsman. His practiced eye for composition and exposure and his patience to capture subjects in their finest light are comparable to those of his more widely known contemporaries. Nearly 50 years after his death, it is fitting that George Grant’s photography be introduced to a new generation of Americans.
Jodi Graham, Director of the Center for Local Initiatives, oversees the grants for Utah Humanities. She believes the supporting community-initiated humanities events is a critical work and says that “Utah Humanities encourages groups in all Utah communities to include the humanities in events, projects, and civic discussions. The humanities can provide a very particular lens through which a community can experience their world together. Whether they are addressing a community concern, celebrating a cultural or historical event, or attempting to improve their community in any number of ways, the humanities can provide an important historical, philosophical, or literary foundation. We are thrilled to offer grants to communities who are able to create a first-hand, engaging humanities experience.” Find out more about their range of humanities programs at www.utahhumanities.org.