How Gunnar helped make the Canyon Grand

‘View from Yaki Point’ by Gunnar Widforss. Courtesy the Gunnar Widforss Catalogue Raisonné Project

A hundred years ago today, the Grand Canyon became a national park. One of the people who did most to promote it in its early days was a Swedish watercolour painter, Gunnar Widforss, and to mark the anniversary I followed the Widforss trail for Telegraph Travel. My pilgrimage was prompted by a book: The Art of Flying (Penguin) by Fredrik Sjöberg, another Swede; you can read an extract from that on Deskbound Traveller. To find out more about the artist, see the Gunnar Widforss Catalogue Raisonné Project, established by Alan Petersen, curator of fine arts at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff, who is currently appealing for funds to complete a catalogue of Widforss’s works (you can contribute through the website GoFundMe).

“100 Years of Grand”, a project of Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and Grand Canyon National Park, brings together thousand of photographs, documents and correspondence relating to the park’s history.

  If you’re planning a trip to the canyon, this year or later, I’d recommend you read Stephen J Pyne’s history, How The Canyon Became Grand (Penguin), and Pete McBride’s The Grand Canyon: Between River and Rim (Rizzoli), which I mentioned in my roundup of picture books of 2018.

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