Wild Land Exhibit Grand Opening: Kindred Spirits

6:00 PM

Dr. Jim Gramann
The Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, is pleased to announce Kindred Spirits: Landscape Painting and America’s National Parks, an opening presentation by Dr. Jim Gramann, an expert on the history of national parks and the influence of Thomas Cole. His presentation will be followed by a free reception and gallery viewing of Wild Land: Thomas Cole and the Birth of the American Landscape Painting, a nationally touring exhibition premiering at the Museum. This beautiful exhibition takes visitors "into the woods" and through Cole’s studio, revealing the ways in which he and other artists of his time pioneered cultural conversations that shaped our national landscape intellectually, physically, and visually.

Dr. Gramann is a professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University, where he has been on the faculty since 1983. From 2002-2010, he served as the Visiting Chief Social Scientist of the National Park Service, directing a nationwide science program responding to the needs of national parks for social science knowledge to inform their planning and management.

He has conducted research in 20 units of the National Park System, including Yellowstone, Yosemite, Mount Rainier, and Carlsbad Caverns, and has authored over 100 scientific and professional publications. At Texas A&M Dr. Gramann teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in recreational management of wildlands and protected area policy and politics. His current research focuses on the social and cultural evolution of the National Park System and on challenges facing national parks in a rapidly changing America.

His passion for the visual arts and their formative role in American conservation fuels his interests in how landscape painting has influenced Americans’ perceptions and behaviors towards nature-including national park tourism-and how nature has been presented by artists. In 2012, he will serve as a visiting scholar at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. and at Acadia National Park in Maine.

Wild Land: Thomas Cole and the Birth of American Landscape Painting was made possible in part through Hotel Tax Revenue funded from the City of College Station through the Arts Council of Brazos Valley, through underwriting provided by the William Knox Holt Foundation and by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It has been adapted and is being toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance. The exhibit was organized by The Thomas Cole National Historic Site/Cedar Grove, Catskill, New York.

For more information about the exhibit, visit Wild Land: Thomas Cole and the Birth of the American Landscape Painting.