Geographies of Wonder

Evolution of the National Park Idea 1933–2016

Exhibition Website

Oct 22 2016 - Feb 13 2017

The Huntington

San Marino, CA

The second of two consecutive exhibitions commemorate the centennial of the U.S. National Parks Service, Geographies of Wonder: Evolution of the National Park Idea 1933–2016,  features items drawn from The Huntington’s collection of rare books, manuscripts, photographs, prints, and related materials. 

The 1920s were a “boom period” for visitors, said Peter Blodgett, H. Russell Smith Foundation Curator of Western Historical Manuscripts at The Huntington, and exhibition curator, fueled by rail and automobile transportation, a roaring economy, and active marketing and advertising. But by the late 1920s and early 1930s, with the Great Depression, the numbers of visitors began to wane and the Park Service’s budget had shrunk. These were much quieter and leaner years for the parks until President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched his New Deal program, which included an ambitious plan to expand the parks. That growth period, through the present, will be examined in this exhibition, Geographies of Wonder: Evolution of the National Park Idea 1933–2016.

Exhibition overview from Museum website

  • American
  • Landscape

Exhibition Venues & Dates