April 4, 2017
William Henry Jackson (1843-1942), Eroded Sandstones, Monument Park, 1873, modern silver gelatin copy print after original albumen silver print, 8 3/8 x 5 15/16 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 2003.
American photographer and explorer William Henry Jackson was born on this day in 1843. Jackson is most well-known for his photography of the American West and, specifically, Yellowstone National Park. Jackson was born in New York and as a young man showed great skill in painting, studying art in school. He served in the American Civil War for a few months, and then traveled with his brother by train to Nebraska, where he joined a wagon train on the Oregon Trail.
In 1870, he was asked to join the expedition to document and record the area that would become Yellowstone National Park. In the expedition was painter Thomas Moran, and the two of them collaborated to provide a visual narrative of this rugged terrain. Jackson was among the first to ever photograph this area.