17 Paintings of National Parks to Be Proud Of
By Matthias Anderson
With summer in full swing, we opted to focus on the remarkable parks and historic sites that grace the United States.
Since 1872, our National Park System has grown from a single site (Yellowstone National Park) to include more than 415 natural, historical, recreational, and cultural areas throughout the U.S. and its territories. They now encompass not only national parks, but also national monuments, memorials, military parks, historic sites, parkways, recreation areas, seashores, scenic riverways, and scenic trails.
The U.S. was the first country to develop such a program, and it has subsequently been complemented by thousands of sites designated and operated by states, counties, cities, and other jurisdictions.
The attendance figures at America’s national parks are nothing less than staggering. In 2019, California’s Golden Gate National Recreation Area welcomed 15 million people; the Blue Ridge Parkway 14.9 million; the Great Smoky Mountains National Park 12.5 million; New York and New Jersey’s Gateway National Recreation Area 9.4 million; the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., 7.8 million; and so on.
Of course, when we say “national park,” many of us conjure up spectacularly picturesque sites in the West: Grand Canyon National Park had 5.7 million visitors last year; Rocky Mountain National Park 4.7 million; Zion National Park 4.5 million; Yosemite National Park 4.5 million; Yellowstone National Park 4 million; Grand Teton National Park 3.4 million; and Glacier National Park 3 million.
Illustrated here is a medley of artworks made in — and in homage to — some of these beloved sites. In their captions we have indicated which park or site the artist was admiring that day, and now we encourage you to visit your own favorites.
The Grand Canyon
Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Yosemite National Park
Denali National Park & Preserve
Big Bend National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Assateague Island National Seashore
Glacier National Park
Mesa Verde National Park
Everglades National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
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