August 9, 2017
Since 1916, The National Park Service (NPS) has been conserving, preserving, and making its National Parks, National Historic Sites, and National Monuments accessible. The Library of Congress has a collection which provides an overview of the American conservation movement which inspired the Government to preserve and protect America’s natural resources. In addition to working to physically maintain sites, the NPS strives to keep and curate the stories and images created in and inspired by its more than 400 sites which include: national parks, preserves, monuments, historical parks, and other sites. The Arts in the Parks Program provides links to resources ranging from sculpture gardens to grants for artists.
The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Vermont, has more than 500 works of art including nature and landscape paintings by artists of the Hudson River School. See the book Art and the American Conservation Movement to learn more about their collections and the movement.
William Henry Jackson lived in the West while working for the U.S. Geological Survey. As a professional photographer, he captured some of the earliest images of Yellowstone Park, the Tetons Mountains, and Mesa Verde. He also sketched and painted. An Eye for History: The Paintings of William Henry Jackson showcases his collection which is now owned by the Scotts Bluff National Monument’s Oregon Trail Museum.
The book Treasured Landscapes: National Park Service Art Collections Tell America’s Stories and the accompanying online exhibit bring together artwork from more than 50 NPS museum collections.
A Photographer’s Path: Images of National Parks Near the Nation’s Capital uses photographs to capture the beauty of NPS sites in the National Capitol Region.
HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?
Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.
Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.
Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.
Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.
About the author: Cynthia Earman is a Cataloging & Metadata Librarian in the Library Services & Content Management division of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.
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Posted by Trudy Hawkins
April 17, 2014
The U.S. Capitol and National Mall are a beautiful representation of the dignity and public spirit of the United States of America. This area is steeped in history, and you can learn more about the past and continued efforts to design, build, and preserve the U.S. Capitol and National Mall through many government publications.
With its famous dome celebrating its 150th anniversary in December 2013, the United States Capitol is a treasure-trove of civic art. Just released, To Make Beautiful the Capitol: Rediscovering the Art of Constantino Brumidi gives a detailed history of renowned Italian-born artist Constantino Brumidi’s masterful work in “making beautiful” the walls and ceilings of the United States Capitol in a span of 25 years starting in 1854. Every page delights with gorgeous, full-color photographs and images of Brumidi’s art, from photographs of the frescoes and decoration, to sketches, paintings and images of the artist, particularly the Brumidi Corridors and his “monumental fresco” in the Capitol Rotunda, called The Apotheosis of Washington. Fascinating anecdotes are included throughout of the artist and the inspirations he received for various elements, his relationship with engineer Montgomery C. Meigs, and the conservation efforts to preserve his work accurately for posterity. Read more about this publication and others about art in the Capitol in our prior blog post, National Treasure: The art and architecture of the US Capitol.
The primary oversight board for projects in the National Mall area is the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, which was established by an act of Congress on May 17, 1910 in Public Law 61-181. This commission was created as an independent review agency for the work of designing the national capitol and to guide the architectural development of Washington. The commission’s role was expanded with later passage of the Shipstead-Luce Act of 1930 (Public Law 71-231 and Public Law 76-248), and the Old Georgetown Act of 1950 (Public Law 81-808). The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts has a long history of guiding the development of the nation’s capital. Several resources are available in print and online to learn more about the commission’s history.
The National Park Service maintains a detailed guide linking to documents and reports that detail the area history. The Mall Cultural Landscape Inventory, part 2 contains several pages describing the history of the Senate Park Commission and its formation into the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.
The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts published a monograph in 2006; Designing the nation’s capital: the 1901 plan for Washington D.C. This 359 page monograph contains illustrations in color and black and white, as well as maps. The National Park Service provides full text access to this title online.
In addition to this title, several editions of this history of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts from 1910 to date were published in 1964, 1977, 1981, 1985, 1991, and 1996.
The most recent addition to the volumes available about the history of the commission is celebrates 100 years of the work of the commission. Civic Art : a centennial history of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts is a beautiful, 626 page monograph with illustrations, maps and plans. It is a comprehensive history of the agency and includes original essays by prominent architects and landscape architects including Arleyn Levee, Carroll William Westfall, and Richard Guy Wilson.
Another beautiful book that features some of the history of the national mall area is A Botanic Garden for the Nation: The United States Botanic Garden. You can read more about this publication in a previous post on Government Book Talk.
For more information about the U.S. Capital building, you can also check out the publications highlighted in the previous Government Book Talk post on the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Capital Dome.
To read more about the history of the Smithsonian, you could visit a depository library and check out the publication, America’s Castle: the evolution of the Smithsonian Building and its institution, 1840-1878.
If you are interested in the official records of the commission, you can locate them at the National Archives. The record collection includes administrative history, annual reports, and a selection of still photographs. The records are divided between College Park, MD and Washington DC. Many of the records pertaining to the building and continued development of the National Mall are available at the National Archives, such as the National Park Service Records for the National Capital Region, and the Records of the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital.
How Can I get this book and other publications about history of the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts?
- Shop Online Anytime: You can buy this eBook or any other eBook, as well as print publications (with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide) from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:
- Order by Phone: You may also Order print editions by calling our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.
- Shop our Retail Store:Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.
- Visit a Federal Depository Library:Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications or CGP.
About the author: Our guest blogger is Cathy Wagner, a GPO Outreach Librarian for the U.S. Government Printing Office’s Library Services & Content Management (LSCM) Division. Additional content, images and editing provided by Trudy Hawkins, a writer and marketing specialist in GPO’s Publication & Information Sales Division supporting the U.S. Government Online Bookstore (http://bookstore.gpo.gov).
Leave a Comment » | Art and Architecture, Award Winning Books, Commission report, Congress, Consumers, Federal Government Role, Gifts, House of Representatives, Libraries, National Park Service, Presidential Commissions, Senate, Smithsonian Institution, Travel and Tourism, U.S. Senate | Tagged: american architecture, American history, American landscape, architecture, Art, art books, art history, Arts, best history books, Botanic Garden, Botanic Gardens, castles, Constantino Brumidi, cultural landscape, dc art, DC tourism, dc tourist attraction, Fine Art, fine art comission, Fine Arts, Fine Arts Commission, free government books, free government publications, government art, government ebooks, municipal art, national mall, nations capital, NPS books, paintings, photographs, Public Law, smithsonian, us capital, washington attraction, washington dc books, washington dc tourism, Washington DC tourist attraction | Permalink
Posted by Michele Bartram, U.S. Government Online Bookstore