Arches National Park, Utah
Len Jenshel, American, born 1949
Chromogenic color print
Sheet: 16 × 20 in. (40.6 × 50.8 cm)
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: GIft of Jane and Raphael Bernstein
Place Made: United States, North America
Not on view
Signed, on reverse, in pen, lower left: LEN JENSHEL. Titled and
Emphasizing the wild natural beauty of Yosemite National Park, celebrated photographer Ansel Adams captures the moon hovering above Half Dome’s imposing façade. In a more recent image, Len Jenshel juxtaposes the monumental sandstone buttes of Arches National Park with a freshly laid concrete path, disrupting the conception of national parks as undisturbed landscapes.
The US government established its national park system, beginning in 1872, in order to permanently preserve lands considered ecologically or culturally significant. Far removed from rapidly growing urban centers, parks offered middle- and upper-class Americans respite and inspiration. These iconic landscapes have become enshrined in American cultural identity. Yet national parks are a direct product of the displacement of Native peoples and have continually disenfranchised rural communities along their borders. Who, then, are national parks for, and how has that changed over time?
From the 2022 exhibition This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World, curated by Jami C. Powell, Curator of Indigenous Art; Barbara J. MacAdam, former Jonathan L. Cohen Curator of American Art; Thomas H. Price, former Curatorial Assistant; Morgan E. Freeman, former DAMLI Native American Art Fellow; and Michael Hartman, Jonathan Little Cohen Associate Curator of American Art
This Land: American Engagement with the Natural World, Rush Family Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, January 5-July 11, 2022.
Larry Miller Gallery, New York, New York; sold to Ridgewood, New Jersey, November 21st, 1986; lent to present collection, 2010; given to present collection, 2013.
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