How Porter Started Making Books The Dilemma with Glen Canyon The Artist Perspective
The Book The Other Side of the Argument Activities

The Dilemma with Glen Canyon

Dungeon Canyon, Glen Canyon, Utah, August 29, 1961 (P1990.51.5009.1)

Glen Canyon is located just northeast of the Grand Canyon. Only a few people knew about the canyon in the early 1960s when Porter started photographing there. The canyon was remote and had to be navigated by canoe, boat, or raft. Porter's photographs of Glen Canyon inspired David Brower, executive director for the sierra club, to ask the artist to collaborate on a book about the canyon, which was about to be flooded behind a huge government-built dam. The Sierra Club wanted to use beautiful photographs to persuade politicians to stop this and other dams planned for the American Southwest.

Having grown up with a love of nature, Porter was delighted by the challenge of using artistic photography to stir people’s emotions about the canyon. In 1963 the Sierra Club published Porter's images in the large-format book The Place No One Knew: Glen Canyon on the Colorado.

Composing a Subject Expression Through Color The Place No One Knew
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2002 Amon Carter Museum