At Home in the West

The Lure of Public Land

Willam S. Sutton

Date Published :
February 2013
Publisher :
George F Thompson Publishing
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781938086083

In stock


Throughout the world, the American West has defined the character of the United States of America as no other region in America ever could. The combination of awe-inspiring topography and landscapes, from the 100th meridian to the Pacific Coast, along with the integration of Indian and Hispanic cultures into the American fabric of life have long inspired citizens of the world to travel to and explore the vast lands that define the American West, from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present time. Photography helped to open up the West after the American Civil War by sharing views of nature unparalleled in any other place on Earth. And photography helped to create the beginning of a national park system that may well go down in history as America's greatest democratic ideal. It is no wonder that public lands have come to dominate the American West, from national parks to national grasslands and wildlife refuges, from national forests to national monuments and historical sites, from wild and scenic rivers to other sanctuaries of wilderness. Willy Sutton has spent much of the past thirty years getting out of his truck and into the landscape, taking his camera to places of natural wonder both well known and obscure. He has assembled one of the great photographic bodies of work dealing with the public lands of the American West, providing a glimpse of what these landscapes looked like before they were designated as national treasures. But, of course, because of their preservation, they are available to all citizens of the world today. Whether one has lived in or visited the West for an entire lifetime, or whether one is coming to the West for the very first time, all readers of this book will find in Sutton's photographs a magisterial guide to what makes the West so unique, so special. As essayists Toby Jurovics and Susan B. Moldenhauer make plain, Willy Sutton's photographs, as represented in this book, will long be held in esteem for the pioneering work they embody, even in this contemporary age dominated by urban development, social and economic inequality, and climate change. At Home in the West:The Lure of Public Land is a book for the ages.

About The Author

William S. Sutton was born in 1956 in Toledo, Ohio, and was raised in New York State, Scottsdale, Arizona, and the western suburbs of Chicago. He began his academic journey at Arizona State University, completed his B.F.A. and M.F.A. in photography at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Photography in 1981. His photographs have been exhibited widely and are in the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including the Amoco Collection, Arizona State University, Bellevue Art Museum, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Center for the Study of Place, Chase Manhattan Bank, Colorado Historical Society, Denver Art Museum, Joslyn Art Museum, Library of Congress, Museum of Modern Art, Phoenix Arts Commission, Princeton University Art Museum, Southwest Collection at Texas Tech University, University of Chicago, University of Colorado Special Collections, University of Wyoming Art Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery, among others. Mr. Sutton is an associate professor of art at Regis College in Denver, and he lives in the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado. His website


In the essay that kicks off his beautiful black-and-white photography book, At Home in the West: The Lure of Public Land, William S. Sutton says he began taking pictures to investigate notions about living in a place." Over the last 30 years, his rambling investigations have led him to public lands from the Nebraska Sandhills to the Pacific Coast. Sutton's images are not always the pristine nature-scapes we might imagine; he doesn't shy from documenting man's imprint on the land, from ancient stairsteps carved in rock to stacks of cut trees ready for the sawmill. He prompts readers to ask themselves: How can we use this land for the greatest good? Sutton doesn't provide an easy answer, but his photographs remind us that we are not the first to ask. With additional essays by art curators Toby Jurovics and Susan B. Moldenhauer, At Home in the West offers a sweeping, timeless look at the land that shapes us.

- High Country News

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