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

Monday, July 4, 2016

John Muir

This c. 1919 portrait of John Muir by Orlando Rouland hangs in the Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.
"For Scottish-born naturalist John Muir, the unchecked exploitation of America's natural resources in the late nineteenth century was a tragedy. With his gifts for repartee, descriptive writing, and summarizing the essence of issues, he played a decisive role in protecting such areas of the American West as the Yosemite Valley, the Grand Canyon, and the Petrified Forest. Founder of the Sierra Club, active lobbyist, and author of numerous articles and such books as Our National Parks (1901), Muir became America's leading conservationist. During Theodore Roosevelt's presidency, he led the effort to preserve some 148 million acres of forest.

This portrait's pensive quality reflects Muir's life­long preference for solitude. Of the urban environment, he once said, 'Often I thought I would like to explore the city, if, like a lot of wild hills and valleys, it was cleared of inhabitants.'" -- National Portrait Gallery

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