William Henry Holmes and the Rediscovery of the American West
Kevin J. Fernlund
William Henry Holmes and the Rediscovery of the American West Image Cover
Publisher:University of New Mexico Press
Place Published:Albuquerque, New Mexico
Genre:Biographies & Memoirs, History
Summary: "William Henry Holmes is the first full-length biography of post–Civil War America’s most brilliant western artist. Born in 1843, Holmes first came to national attention as a topographical illustrator for western surveys led by Ferdinand V. Hayden and Clarence Dutton in the 1870s and 1880s. The insistent incorporation geological science distinguished Holmes’s illustrations of western wonders such as Yellowstone, Estes Park, Mesa Verde, and Grand Canyon from previous western landscape art and advanced scientific theory and practice in the discipline. His western excursions also led to employment by the National Museum and Bureau of American Ethnology and archaeological excavations in North America and Mexico. Holmes established the scientific evidential standards for the early human habitation of North America and put himself in the middle of debates over human antiquity, race, and culture. In 1909 he resigned the bureau to resume his curatorial position at the National Museum and later moved to the director’s office of the National Gallery of Art. He died in 1933."