Speaker: Peter J. Blodgett, H. Russell Smith Foundation Curator of Western American History, Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens
Lecture: "American Wonderlands: The Romantic Roots of the National Park Idea,1832-1916"
About the Lecture: In this illustrated lecture, Peter Blodgett will examine how the romantic visions of unspoiled landscapes so common in nineteenth century America laid the foundation for the establishment of the nation’s first national parks. As he does so, Blodgett will point out how the evolving enthusiasm for preserving wild spaces in the Far West made John Muir and other prominent Californians leading figures in the national park movement.
About the Speaker: Peter J. Blodgett, H. Russell Smith Foundation Curator of Western American History, has been on the staff of the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Possessing a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College in Maine as well as master’s and doctoral degrees from Yale University, he has written and spoken widely on national parks, tourism and recreation in the American experience. In 2016 and 2017, he curated Geographies of Wonder: Origin Stories of America’s National Parks, 1872-1933 and Geographies of Wonder: Evolution of the National Park Idea, 1933-2016 for the Huntington Library in honor of the centennial of the United States National Park Service.
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