Court of the Patriarchs Zion National Park
Photo by Joe Prokop

Zion National Park: A Century of Views

For over 100 years, Zion National Park has served as a destination for tourists and adventurers, but also as an inspiration to artists. The park continues to be a natural muse for photographers, painters, authors, poets, and musicians. As the park enters its second century, PBS Utah’s newest documentary, Call of the Canyon: Zion National Park, introduces you to some of these artists, and focuses on the challenges that lie ahead and how the public can protect this national gem.

How individuals have captured their view of the park has varied over the decades as technology has advanced. Petroglyphs, stereoscopic photographs, illuminated lantern slides, paint on canvas, and the ubiquitous “selfie” are several examples of how visitors have attempted to explain what the park means to them. This pieces in this exhibit are merely a sampling of how human invention and reinvention continues to extend the grandeur of this landscape beyond the park into the exploring minds and hearts of those who make Zion a regular destination, or for those who dream of visiting someday. Whether the intent was to share it with an audience or preserve a personal memory, it’s now here for us to enjoy. From the indigenous inhabitants of the land who laboriously left their marks on the rocks, to the out-of-town tourist who takes a quick snapshot of themselves against the majestic backdrop of the canyons, there’s something about these images that proudly says, “I was here.”

We would like to acknowledge the Southern Paiute, the ancestral keepers of the land we explore in the PBS Utah documentary and in this exhibition. We gratefully acknowledge the Paiute people for allowing us to celebrate and discover their traditional land and for their continued presence and contributions to the area’s history, culture and tradition.


2020-2021 Traveling Schedule

Updated June 2021