At Home in the West.
The Lure of Public Land.
By William S. Sutton.
GFT Publishing, 2013. 176 pp., 71 duotone illustrations, 11x9".
Throughout the world, the West has defined the character of the United States of America as no other region in America ever could. The combination of awe-inspiring topography and the integration of indigenous Indian cultures into the fabric of American life have long inspired citizens of the world to travel to and explore the vast lands that define the American West.
Photography helped to open up the West after the American Civil War by sharing views of nature unparalleled in any other place on Earth. And photography helped to jump-start the creation of a national park system at Yellowstone that is among America's greatest democratic ideals. It is no wonder that public lands have come to dominate the American West, from national parks and national forests to national grasslands and wildlife refuges, from national monuments and historical sites to wild and scenic rivers and other sanctuaries of wilderness.
Willy Sutton has spent much of the past thirty years getting out of his truck and into the landscape, taking his camera to places of natural wonder both well known and obscure. He has assembled one of the great photographic bodies of work dealing with the public lands of the American West, providing a glimpse of what these landscapes looked like before they became 'national treasures.' Thankfully, because of their preservation, these public lands are available to all citizens of the world today.
Whether one is visiting the West for the first time or has lived in the West for a lifetime, readers will find in Sutton's photographs a magisterial guide to what makes the West so unique, so special. As essayists Toby Jurovics and Susan B. Moldenhauer make plain, Willy Sutton's photographs will long be held in esteem, even in this modern age dominated by technology and urban development, social and economic inequality, and the imminent prospect of climate change. At Home in the West: The Lure of Public Land is a book for the ages.