Rochester, NY’s George Eastman Museum Celebrates National Parks Photography

Photography and America’s National Parks have always gone hand-in-hand, and Rochester, New York’s George Eastman Museum recently wrapped up a major exhibition to celebrate the National Park Service Centennial.  When the National Park Service was first established in 1916, nascent photography helped American’s experience these remote and fantastic landscapes.  Photography and America’s National Parks gathered many of these early images from noted photographers such as Ansel Adams, on up to contemporary artists who have pushed National Park photography to an artform.

Eastman Museum

“From Yosemite being set aside as publicly held land in 1864 to Pinnacles National Park as the most recent addition in 2013, the lands that make up America’s national parks have been interpreted and enjoyed through photographs for more than 150 years,” said Jamie M. Allen, exhibition curator, Department of Photography, George Eastman Museum. “This exhibition, which spans the 1860s to the present, illuminates the history of the most significant national parks through lush landscape photographs.”

Eastman Museum

The 170+ photos on display addressed the themes of exploration, tourism, and art.  A collage of historical to modern photos of the Grand Canyon was my favorite work on display, and encapsulated all of the themes of the exhibit.

Eastman Museum

Like the National Parks themselves, photography was welcomed in this exhibit, and visitors were encouraged to share their own photos taken in the museum on social media using the hashtag #GEMparks.  Having just returned from our own National Park road trip, it was wonderful to reconnect and #FindYourPark right here in our hometown.  Plus, I couldn’t resist a photo with George Eastman himself.

Eastman Museum

It’s special exhibits like this that keep our family coming back to Rochester’s George Eastman Museum, the world’s oldest photography museum and one of the largest film archives in the United States.  In addition to the photography collections, you also have the historic mansion and gardens of George Eastman, Rochester’s pioneer of popular photography and founder of Kodak.

George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, NY

If you missed Photography and America’s National Parks, the museum published a book titled Picturing America’s National Parks, available at the Eastman Museum Store and online at eastman.org/store.  The George Eastman House Museum is located at 900 East Avenue, Rochester, NY, and open 10 am to 5 pm Tuesday-Saturday; 11 am to 5 pm Sunday (Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas Day).  General museum admission is $14 adults; $12 seniors (62+); $5 students; and FREE for children 12 and under.  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.