HOCKADAY MUSEUM of ART
Gateway to Montana's Artistic Legacy
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Exhibit Archives

Splendid Was the Trail: 
Photographs of the National Forests by KD Swan 1911-1947

June 2 through August 12, 2005

Sponsored by US Forest Service and Semitool

Kenneth Dupee Swan (1889-1970) was a photographer in the Northwest in the early part of the 20th century. During his USDA Forest career from 1911 to 1947, he captured the face of public lands, revealing its wildness and value to the American public. His messages of long ago still emanate from his images: the value of conserving public lands and the joy of living in magnificent wild places. Through his pictures and many public presentations, Swan revealed the unique beauty of remote, wild areas in Montana, Idaho, and the Dakotas. By Swan’s retirement in 1947, his work had become art that transcended the mere recording of a place in time. Today, almost 100 years later, the photographs still engage and entrance viewers and tell a resounding story about public lands in the West. The photographs of K.D. Swan confirm that these lands are a priceless American legacy. This exhibit is being displayed in conjunction with the USDA Forest Service Northern Region as part of their centennial celebration of the founding of the agency.

Fishing in the Swan River near Salmon Prairie, by K.D. Swan
Fishing in the Swan River near Salmon Prairie, Flathead National Forest, photograph, 1938, by K.D. Swan, on loan from the USDA Forest Service, Region 1


Hockaday Museum of Art  
302 Second Ave. East, Kalispell, Montana, 59901

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