Ansel Hall & The Last Great Expedition in the American West

book coveransel hall

In the 1930’s, Ansel Hall, the Chief Naturalist for the National Park Service, led a massive scientific expedition along the Arizona/Utah borderlands. For six years a wide array of naturalists and scientists studied the landscape and inhabitants of one of the continent’s least known regions.

To finance the project, Hall traveled the country, showing lantern slides of the expedition’s finds, while soliciting support from philanthropists and foundations. The original black & white photographs (many taken by Hall) had been meticulously hand-tinted by the National Park Service’s Lantern Slide Department — a beehive of activity at the time, devoted to extremely detailed work requiring magnifying glasses and delicate brushes. Gone are those days!

Thankfully a new book preserves Ansel Hall’s story, along with many of the stunning color images. Landscapes on Glass: Lantern Slides for the Rainbow Bridge-Monument Valley Expedition is written and edited by Jack Turner, grandson of the leader of what many call, the last great expedition in the American West. For more information, and many more images, please visit the book’s website!

Join us on Saturday November 20th as the Rocky Mountain Land Series presents a slide talk by Jack Turner, full of wonderful lantern-slide images!
Time: 2pm, at the Tattered Cover’s LoDo Store.

lantern slide

Lantern slide of the Grand Canyon’s Kaibab Trail, looking west from Mormon Flats.

navajo girl at loom
Many of the hand-tinted photographs from Landscapes on Glass focus on the native peoples of the Four Corners, including this Navajo girl at her loom.


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