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National Champion Valley Oak, California, 1994 by Barbara Bosworth / American Art
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National Champion Valley Oak, California, 1994

1994 Barbara Bosworth Born: Cleveland, Ohio 1953 gelatin silver print 9 1/2 x 23 1/8 in. (24.1 x 58.7 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Haluk and Elisa Soykan © 1994, Barbara Bosworth 2008.2.8 Not currently on view



Exhibition Label

The National Register of Big Trees records the size and location of the largest individuals of over seven hundred species found in the United States. Although Bosworth has tracked more than one hundred of these trees across the continent, she is as concerned with capturing the feeling of the surrounding landscape as describing the particular details of each tree. We are shown only the base of the coast redwood's trunk; a figure nearly hidden in the undergrowth offers the only indication of its height, which reaches over three hundred feet above the forest floor. Redwoods and giant sequoias have long been highlights for summer tourists, but the champion western redcedar is perhaps a more telling example of the fate of many of these natural landmarks. It was discovered within a stand of old-growth forest that was being clear-cut, and now remains as a lone sentinel guarding a deserted landscape. While some of these champions are protected within national or state parks and forests, Bosworth has been more frequently drawn to the commonplace locations where the majority are found: backyards, rural crossroads, parking lots, and housing developments.

Earth and Sky: Photographs by Barbara Bosworth exhibition label

Keywords

Landscape - California

Landscape - tree - oak tree

photography - photoprint

gelatin silver