Background: Appalachians
Porter photographed the Great Smokey Mountains in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina intermittantly between 1967 and 1969, drawn by its more than 1,300 varieties of flowering plants and wide range of native trees. In 1970, the same year that America celebrated its first "Earth Day," E. P. Dutton published his book, Appalachian Wilderness: The Great Smoky Mountains. The publication contrasts Porter's enchanting woodland images with Edward Abbey and Harry Caudill's strong indictment of how Americans had mistreated the region.

Once again Porter took a seasonal approach and, reflecting the woods' density, created a portrait of woodland details. Mirroring the region's diverse flora, portraits of flowering plants are a major subject. Hillside views are a second major theme. Often he composed his photographs to create floating tapestries of tiny, densely-packed, color-saturated detail. The collection holds 244 Appalachian photographs.

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