Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ken Burns is a National Treasure Along with our National Parks

"In America, magnificence is a common treasure.... We own together the most magnificent places on the continent."
Carl Pope - The Sierra Club

In 1872 the United States Government created the first National Park on the globe: Yellowstone National Park. Ken Burns has created a new series of documentary films, The National Parks - America's Best Idea , that celebrates this landmark achievement.

Thomas Moran
watercolor on paper
from Ken Burns' The National Parks - America's Best Idea

The first installment in the series, The Scripture of Nature, tells the history of Yellowstone and the inspiration for a National Parks system that sprung out of the collection of "artists, writers, entrepreneurs, and tourists" that found beauty and worth in the stunning natural world of Yosemite in California and Yellowstone in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.

Albert Bierstadt
Yosemite Valley
oil on canvas
from Ken Burns' The National Parks - America's Best Idea
On June 30, 1864 President Abraham Lincoln signed a law to preserve Yosemite.

John Muir was inspired by the majesty of the American landscape and became the voice for the preservation of our spectacular wilderness. Ken Burns' series on the National Parks is ever so timely as cynicism seems to be our new national voice. I highly recommend this series of documentaries and am convinced that those who pay attention to Burns' films will come away changed and inspired.

American Indian at Yosemite
from Ken Burns' The National Parks - America's Best Idea
Ken Burns points out that in the American Indian language of the region, Yosemite means "people who should be feared, they are killers."

Ken Burns is an American treasure. My son and I were fortunate to meet him and thank him for the amazing work he has done to bring history to the forefront of public consciousness. We are lucky to have him and his art.

Watch online at:
The National Parks on PBS
On iTunes at:
Ken Burns' "The National Parks" on iTunes

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