A Hybrid Brown Bag Program by Ren and Helen Davis on July 21, 2021, at noon EDT

Physical Location: East Tennessee History Center at 601 South Gay Street Knoxville, TN 37902 (Seating is limited.)

Virtual: on Zoom

Reservations Requested: Email eths@eastTNhistory.org and indicate whether your reservation is for in-person or Zoom attendance by no later than 5 p.m. on Tuesday, July 20.

 Description: George Alexander Grant was the first staff, and later the first chief, photographer of the National Park Service. The Davis’s three years of research in the National Park Service Historic Photograph collection and other archives culminated in the award-winning book Landscapes for the People: George Alexander Grant, First Chief Photographer of the National Park Service. It will be available for purchase and signing.

Grant’s career spanned more than 30 years (1920-1954), and he was a colleague of renowned landscape photographer Ansel Adams. His work is considered among the best ever produced of the national parks, but he was virtually unknown outside the Park Service, as most of his photographs were credited simply “National Park Service.” He photographed in the Great Smoky Mountains on a couple of trips in the 1930s.

The Davis’s are currently researching the influence of Knoxville-based photographer Jim Thompson and North Carolina photographer George Masa on the establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the 1920s and 1930s. We thank them for sharing the stories they have chronicled while they are visiting the East Tennessee History Center conducting research for this project.


About the Speakers: Ren and Helen Davis are writers and photographers from Atlanta, Georgia, whose award-winning research and scholarship has been published by the University of Georgia Press.