"A portrait is a picture in which there is just a tiny little something not quite right about the mouth." -- John Singer Sargent

Saturday, March 26, 2016

John Wesley Powell

This 1889 portrait of Major John Wesley Powell by Edmund C. Messer hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"John Wesley Powell's work as an explorer, geoiogist, and anthropologist in the American West helped to shape national policies on a host of issues, including the status of native peoples and the development of public lands. Although he was celebrated for leading the first American exploring expedition through the Grand Canyon in 1869, his greater contribution came from his scientific reports on western lands and the peoples living there, many of which contradicted long-held beliefs. His advocacy of communal or government control of water for irrigation in the West was derided at the time, yet his studies served as the foundation for twentieth century water-use policies. As director of both the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Bureau of Ethnology, Powell saw science as a vital force in promoting the common good" -- National Portrait Gallery 
The landscape visible behind Powell is Kanab Creek, where the geological survey found gold in the creek on the 1871-72 expedition.

Kanab Creek

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