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  • The National Parks: America’s Best Idea?

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016
    6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    Add to Calendar 05/24/2016 6:00 PM 05/24/2016 7:00 PM America/New_York The National Parks: America’s Best Idea?

    The National Parks: America’s Best Idea?

    Thomas Hill (1829 -1908, Yosemite, ca. 1908, oil on canvas. Gift of Hertha G. and Robert F. Rockwell Jr. 91.94 F.

    Thomas Hill (1829 -1908, Yosemite, ca. 1908, oil on canvas. Gift of Hertha G. and Robert F. Rockwell Jr. 91.94 F.

    Lecture by Aaron Sachs, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the History Department at Cornell University

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016
    6:00 – 7:00 p.m. 
    Rockwell Members: Free, Not-Yet-Members: $10, Students: $5

    Advance reservations have closed. Space may be available at the door.

    From awe to humility to pure exhilaration, our National Parks and the artworks that depict them inspire a wide range of sentiments. From a policy perspective, they reveal our capacity for restraint: for all our profligate use of natural resources, at least there are some places we have preserved. At the same time, though, the seeming timelessness of these landscapes seems to place them outside of history. Their light-filled beauty may sometimes serve to erase certain darker stories. Might it be possible to come to a more modest appreciation of what the Parks mean in the context of American history?

    Join Aaron Sachs, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the History Department at Cornell University, as he places the creation of the National Parks System into greater historical context and sheds light onto little-known history.

    In conjunction with the centennial of the National Park Service, The Rockwell is featuring a self-guided tour highlighting works that illustrate the role that art played in preserving these natural wonders. Click here to learn more.

    About the Speaker

    Aaron Sachs

    Aaron Sachs

    “My general focus is on nature and culture: I wander through parks, cemeteries, and wilderness areas (often with my kids), stare at landscape paintings and photographs, and re-read Thoreau, all in an effort to figure out how ideas about nature have changed over time and how those changes have mattered in the western world.  My primary appointment is in the History department, but my Ph.D. is in American Studies, and I remain fully committed to interdisciplinary approaches. In my graduate teaching, I work with students not only in History but also in English, Science and Technology Studies, History of Architecture, City and Regional Planning, and Natural Resources. On the undergraduate level, I teach courses ranging from an overview of environmental history to seminars on consumerism, the American West, the meanings of wilderness, and the road trip in American culture. Often I come back to intellectual traditions of dissent.”

    The National Parks: America’s Best Idea?

    Thomas Hill (1829 -1908, Yosemite, ca. 1908, oil on canvas. Gift of Hertha G. and Robert F. Rockwell Jr. 91.94 F.

    Thomas Hill (1829 -1908, Yosemite, ca. 1908, oil on canvas. Gift of Hertha G. and Robert F. Rockwell Jr. 91.94 F.

    Lecture by Aaron Sachs, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the History Department at Cornell University

    Tuesday, May 24, 2016
    6:00 – 7:00 p.m. 
    Rockwell Members: Free, Not-Yet-Members: $10, Students: $5

    Advance reservations have closed. Space may be available at the door.

    From awe to humility to pure exhilaration, our National Parks and the artworks that depict them inspire a wide range of sentiments. From a policy perspective, they reveal our capacity for restraint: for all our profligate use of natural resources, at least there are some places we have preserved. At the same time, though, the seeming timelessness of these landscapes seems to place them outside of history. Their light-filled beauty may sometimes serve to erase certain darker stories. Might it be possible to come to a more modest appreciation of what the Parks mean in the context of American history?

    Join Aaron Sachs, Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the History Department at Cornell University, as he places the creation of the National Parks System into greater historical context and sheds light onto little-known history.

    In conjunction with the centennial of the National Park Service, The Rockwell is featuring a self-guided tour highlighting works that illustrate the role that art played in preserving these natural wonders. Click here to learn more.

    About the Speaker

    Aaron Sachs

    Aaron Sachs

    “My general focus is on nature and culture: I wander through parks, cemeteries, and wilderness areas (often with my kids), stare at landscape paintings and photographs, and re-read Thoreau, all in an effort to figure out how ideas about nature have changed over time and how those changes have mattered in the western world.  My primary appointment is in the History department, but my Ph.D. is in American Studies, and I remain fully committed to interdisciplinary approaches. In my graduate teaching, I work with students not only in History but also in English, Science and Technology Studies, History of Architecture, City and Regional Planning, and Natural Resources. On the undergraduate level, I teach courses ranging from an overview of environmental history to seminars on consumerism, the American West, the meanings of wilderness, and the road trip in American culture. Often I come back to intellectual traditions of dissent.”