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September 12, 2017

Michael A. Smith, “Canyonlands, Utah

Michael A. Smith (b.1942),

Canyonlands, Utah , 1978, gelatin silver print, 7 7/16 x 19 5/8 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of Michael and Joani Cannon, 2002.

This photograph by Michael A. Smith is a highlight from the MOA's photography collection. The largest National Park in the state, Canyonlands truly is a wonder to behold. The terrain of dramatic red cliffs and the Colorado and Green Rivers still carving out canyons make a scenic backdrop in a place where it is rumored that Butch Cassidy and his gang of outlaws often hid out. The Maze District, one of the most remote locations inside the park, was one of the last areas of the United States to be mapped—it wasn't until planes could fly overhead and take pictures that accurate mapping occurred in this area. Michael A. Smith's photograph captures the other-worldliness of the Canyonlands area and the deep canyons carved into desert plateaus are highlighted by the black-and-white photography medium.