I appreciate the research assistance of Debra Gust and the staff of the Lake Country Discovery Museum, as well as Colleen Hyde and Kim Besom at the Grand Canyon National Park Museum Collection. I am thankful for Michael Anderson's extensive knowledge and generosity with his time and expertise; Rebecca Sheehan for her early reading of and commentary on this manuscript; Kevin Blake for lively and thought-provoking discussions about postcard representations of the environment, and Daniel Arreola for his enduring guidance and inspiration in the field and archives. The National Endowment for the Humanities “Grand Canyon Nature, History, and Culture” grant and the Grand Canyon Association provided partial funding for this work.
EDITING NATURE IN GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK POSTCARDS*
Article first published online: 22 OCT 2012
© 2012 by the American Geographical Society of New York
Volume 102, Issue 4, pages 486–509, October 2012
How to Cite
YOUNGS, Y. (2012), EDITING NATURE IN GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK POSTCARDS. Geographical Review, 102: 486–509. doi: 10.1111/j.1931-0846.2012.00171.x
- Issue published online: 22 OCT 2012
- Article first published online: 22 OCT 2012
- environmental perceptions;
- Grand Canyon;
- national parks;
- Curt Teich;
- visual representations
This research takes a critical look at the interplay of vision and the production of knowledge in the context of cultural constructions of nature and environmental perceptions. The basis for this work is an exploration of the manufacturing process and subject matter in 259 Curt Teich Company postcards of Grand Canyon National Park manufactured from 1936 to 1955. Through a content analysis and interpretation of the postcards, four themes emerge—scenery, vegetation, water, and animals—that reveal the structure of Curt Teich Publishing Company's representation of the Grand Canyon environment. The company employed a printing technique known as “color embellishment” that allowed the manufacturer to alter the postcards with each reprinting and, in the process, create an edited view of nature at the Grand Canyon. This visual shorthand equated a series of selective and repetitive subjects and locations with ideas of scenic, wild, and grand landscapes.