More than Scenery
Yellowstone, an American Love Story
Imprint: George F Thompson Publishing
240 Pages, 11.8 x 9.5 in, 170 illustrations: 150 color photographs by the author, 10 black-and-white historic documents, 5 black-and-white historic photographs, 4 color maps, and 1 color historic postcard
- January 2023
- In Stock
Janet Pritchard’s romance with the American West began with horseback riding, watching movies, and hearing her dad’s dreams of being a cowboy. When she began to spend adolescent summers in Wyoming during the 1960s, her world changed forever, as she fell under the spell of natural wonder in the shadow of the Grand Tetons. Only later did she recognize her feelings as a response to what nineteenth-century Romantics called the sublime.
A vintage 1916 picture postcard of Golden Gate Canyon by F. Jay Haynes inspired this project. When Pritchard turned it over and read the message—“I cannot describe the Yellowstone as the dictionary is only a book. It is more than scenery. In some places, it is so beautiful that the men take off their hats, and the women are silent!”—she was back in a childhood place of wonder tempered by a lifetime of work as an artist and teacher in landscape photography.
Formed by fire and ice, embraced by a nation seeking an ancient past with a future as grand as the landscapes it inhabited, Yellowstone was established as the world’s first national park by an Act of Congress in 1872. One hundred fifty years later, the park and the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem continue to occupy an iconic role in the public imagination of Yellowstone as a place that is both real and ideal. Here, in this complex ecosystem where wild nature and culture meet, the complexities of our relationship to the natural world are revealed unlike any other place.
Yellowstone is truly unique, and each generation who visits it invests Yellowstone with ideas, beliefs, and values reflecting its historical moment. In More than Scenery: Yellowstone, an American Love Story, Janet Pritchard surveys these relationships with her captivating photographs and insightful text, and Lucy R. Lippard’ sets the table with her heartfelt introduction to the world’s romance with Yellowstone. This book reveals why Yellowstone is so important to American and the world and how its landscapes reflect more than scenery.
“Janet Pritchard’s new book, More than Scenery: Yellowstone, an American Love Story, packages a complex experience of awe — well beyond that of the surface value of the iconic landscape.” ~photo-eye
“More than Scenery is more than the usual photography book. Pritchard has worked long and hard to look at Yellowstone ‘from the vantage points of nature, culture, and history.’ She deconstructs the myth of Yellowstone even as she, like most of us, continues to be seduced by its extraordinary beauty. But the beauty is frankly mediated by human intervention, illuminating the social construction of wild nature out West. In a curious and clever way, the book becomes a topographic memoir, and the love story at its heart is a collective one, common to everyone who has been awestruck by Yellowstone. As revealed by Pritchard, the history of the park (once called ‘Wonderland’) is a microcosm of the nation’s confused approaches to nature.” ~Lucy R. Lippard, from Romancing the West
"More than Scenery offers an important new perspective on the meaning and value of Yellowstone. Anyone familiar with the place knows that it is not just the breathtaking Wonderland of popular understanding. It is that—perfectly breathtaking—but anyone who has lived there knows that Yellowstone is also a human place. With four million visitors a year, the common complaint is that the park is all too human, but Janet Pritchard sees how a balance has been struck there. That sounds like a compromise, as if making space for the human is just a way to allow the place to be paved some more, but Pritchard’s is the more sophisticated view that develops over time. She is not just a visitor; she has a long-running relationship with the place going back to childhood. She knows Yellowstone well enough to feel its pulse and appreciate that the place is big enough to make space for many versions of itself. The human and the wild can interact comfortably, which is as much a wonder as anything else." ~Scott Herring, Continuing Lecturer in Writing, University of California, Davis, and author of Rough Trip through Yellowstone and Yellowstone’s Lost Legend
"Janet Pritchard’s More than Scenery is a visual love poem to Yellowstone National Park, a landscape she came to know well and care about deeply. Wandering among her intimate images of the park, its history, and its visitors is akin to taking a long, delicious drive along Yellowstone’s Grand Loop Road. Pritchard’s wonderful book finds every enchanting viewpoint along the way, and her photographs explore how nature, biography, memory, and our own human experiences of the park combine to make Yellowstone—the park and the greater ecosystem—a place like no other." ~William Wyckoff, Professor of Geography, Montana State University, and author of How to Read the American West and On the Road Agai
“Beyond the spectacle of one of America’s most popular national parks, Janet Pritchard becomes an intimate guide to Yellowstone as cultural icon and as a landscape with much to explore. Through remarkable photographs and illuminating texts, More than Scenery takes a deep dive into the overlooked details that make Yellowstone an authentic place of wonder.” ~Mark Klett, Regents Professor of Art, Arizona State University, and author of Seeing Time
“Janet Pritchard’s journey through time reveals the many layers of history, geography, and iconography associated with Yellowstone as a nature reserve, destination, and space of imagination. Through compelling photographs and archival research, Pritchard invites us to look beyond the scenery of America’s—and the world’s—first national park.” ~Liz Wells, Emeritus Professor in Photographic Culture, University of Plymouth, and author of Photography: A Critical Introduction
“A magnificent coffee-table style volume, More than Scenery is an impressive compendium of full color photography showcasing America's oldest (and arguably best) national park.” ~Midwest Book Review