homeaboutarchives + tagsshopmembership!
aboutarchivesshopmembership!
aboutarchivesmembers!

kottke.org posts about parks

A Collection of 100 Years of US National Parks’ Graphical Ephemera

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 22, 2019

From the folks that produced the NYC Transit Authority Graphics Standards Manual and the NASA Standards Manual comes a new book, Parks, about the art, maps, and printed materials produced to support American’s national parks.

Parks Book

Parks Book

Parks Book

From the book’s introduction by Lyz Nagan-Powell:

If, as Wallace Stegner famously declared, the national parks are “America’s best idea,” how can we explore this idea? There is the historical aspect: America invented the concept of nationally owned and operated parks in 1872, when Ulysses S. Grant signed Yellowstone National Park into existence. But there is more to Stegner’s sentiment than just the invention of the parks. The rest of the quote goes on to say that the parks are “Absolutely American, absolutely democratic, they reflect us at our best rather than our worst.”

The national parks story isn’t simple or easy. It’s full of splendor and glory, as well as greed and exploitation. For every person who loves one of the parks like it’s their own home, there is another who resents the federal government for owning it. Even before Yellowstone became the first national park, park history was fraught with tension. Tension between preservation and use, between indigenous people and white explorers, between local rights and federal oversight, between wild freedom and human control, between park purists and park recreationists, and between commercial exploitation and historic value.

With this tense backdrop, or maybe because of it, art, imagery, writing, and design have played a vital role in the history of the national parks. Compelling creative materials that celebrated the land — including books, paintings, performances, and advertisements — have marked developments and milestones. These items have brought the rich landscapes and their scientific and historical significance to life.

Perhaps together, the tension and celebration make the National Park System - parks, monuments, natural areas, historic sites, and more - the perfect embodiment of America itself, and what the “best idea” of the parks is really all about.

Parks is out in October but you can pre-order it now.

Both the NY Times and New York

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 07, 2005

Both the NY Times and New York magazine have fall restaurant previews. The southwestern part of Chelsea (+ the Meatpacking) seems to be really jumping these days…lots of stuff happening on 10th Ave (i.e. my walk to Eyebeam most days): Batali, Morimoto, Cookshop, Colicchio, etc. Maybe with all the action over there, maybe the High Line park will work…

An update on the development of the High Line

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 20, 2005

An update on the development of the High Line. The latest designs will be on display at the MoMA.