Ken Brower Speaks At “This Land Is Our Land” Philip Hyde Exhibition Opening

January 30th, 2014 by David Leland Hyde Leave a reply »

250 People Attend The Opening For The Largest Exhibition Of Philip Hyde In Northern California In 20 Years

Ken Brower And David Leland Hyde Speak About The Collaboration Between Their Fathers, David Brower And Philip Hyde, On Behalf Of Wilderness

“This Land Is Our Land: Philip Hyde And The American Wilderness,” will run through March 1, 2014

David Leland Hyde, Ed Cooper And Debby Cooper At The Opening of "This Land Is Our Land." Ed Cooper was another mainstay photographer for the Sierra Club, his work appearing in the famous Sierra Club calendars of the 1970s and 1980s that contained the who's who of landscape photography at the time. He is a well-known mountaineering large format photographer. His latest book, "Soul Of The Rockies" came out in 2008.

David Leland Hyde, Ed Cooper And Debby Cooper At The Opening of “This Land Is Our Land.” Ed Cooper was another mainstay photographer for the Sierra Club, his work appearing in the famous Sierra Club calendars of the 1970s and 1980s that contained the who’s who of landscape photography at the time. He is a well-known mountaineering large format photographer. His latest books are, “Soul Of The Rockies” (2008) and “Soul of Yosemite.” (2011)

Stefan Kirkeby, gallerist of Smith Andersen North Gallery, said over 250 people attended the Philip Hyde exhibition opening this last Saturday evening, January 25, 2014. Included in the crowd were Ken Brower–history making editor of Sierra Club Books and National Geographic writer and author of several books, Sierra Club Calendar and mountaineering photographer Ed Cooper, Golden Decade photographers Stan Zrnich, Gerald Ratto and David Johnson, who each have significant accomplishments of their own, Jack Fulton department head and associate professor of photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, Jeff Gunderson co-author of The Moment of Seeing: Minor White at the California School of Fine Arts, black and white architecture and landscape photographer Mark Citret, contemporary landscape photographer Gary Crabbe–protegé of Galen Rowell, a Sonoma County winery owner and other collectors, photographers and fans of photography.

“It was our largest show opening since the Golden Decade,” said Stefan Kirkeby.

The Golden Decade in West Coast photography refers to the first 10 years of Ansel Adam’s photography department at the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute when Minor White was lead instructor and other teachers included Edward Weston, Imogen Cunningham, Dorothea Lange and Lisette Model. The Golden Decade exhibit at Smith Andersen North drew over 500 people and exhibited the work of over 20 of Philip Hyde’s contemporaries.

“This Land Is Our Land: Philip Hyde And The American Wilderness” exhibition will run through March 1, 2014 and consists of vintage color dye transfer and Cibachrome prints, original vintage black and white silver gelatin prints, contemporary black and white darkroom prints from Philip Hyde’s original 2 ¼, 4×5, 5×7 and 8×10 negatives, and photographer authorized archival chromogenic lightjet and inkjet digital prints.

Stefan Kirkeby opened the evening’s talk by recognizing the commitment and dedication of Philip Hyde to preserving wilderness through conservation photography. He introduced David Leland Hyde, who first recognized Stefan Kirkeby’s dedication to art and artists. Then Hyde spoke about his father’s various campaigns and what it was like growing up with a father who was on the road 100 days out of every year for nearly 60 years. The young Hyde spoke of his good fortune to have traveled with his mother and father on many of their outdoor adventures. He told the story of traveling to a small wild island in the Caribbean as part of an assessment of whether or not to protect the island and it’s unique native species and endangered species in their home habitat, or to maintain the island as a US Navy bombing range.

David Leland Hyde described landing in a small plane in a grass field on Isla Mona, the island off Puerto Rico, driving through the jungle, staying in small beach bungalows, snorkeling in shallows filled with multi-colored fish that stretched for miles, backpacking across the hot desert interior of the 10-mile across island, hiking along the beach, camping near a Korean War era plane crash, befriending a four foot iguana, visiting a bat cave and getting up in the middle of the night with his parents and naturalist Frank Wadsworth to see the Southern Cross gleaming overhead in the clear milky way decorated night sky.

Ken Brower spoke next about the collaboration between his father, environmental leader David Brower, and his “go-to” photographer, Philip Hyde. Ken Brower told the story of David Brower and Philip Hyde having traveled to Hetch Hetchy Reservoir together in 1955 to photograph and motion picture film the low water that revealed the devastated dusty field of stumps as depicted in Philip Hyde’s famous photograph of the same title. Ken Brower also talked about other conservation campaigns and how art ultimately can make a big difference in the world.

The atmosphere in the gallery during the opening was festive and lively with plenty of refreshments including a selection of several types of white wine. You have never before seen gallery opening finger food cuisine like this: toothpick strawberries, kiwis, raspberries, grapes, cantaloupe, brie and three other types of cheese, four types of crackers, raspberries, cantaloupe, Shrimp Spring Rolls and sauce, both made on location, as were fresh Pico de Gallo with two types of chips and much more.

Besides being the first large photography exhibition of Philip Hyde’s work in nearly 20 years in the Bay Area, “This Land Is Our Land: Philip Hyde And The American Wilderness,” will run through March 1, 2014 and display the various regions in which Philip Hyde photographed and helped to protect wilderness.

For more on Philip Hyde’s career and “This Land Is Our Land” Exhibition, see the blog post, “Major Northern California Philip Hyde Exhibition.”

Smith Andersen North Gallery
20 Greenfield Ave
San Anselmo, California

Tuesday – Friday: 10AM – 6PM, Saturday: 12 – 5PM, and by appointment.



  1. pj says:

    Sounds like a pretty good turnout and an impressive lineup of speakers. Congrats, and I hope you see positive results. Your efforts to bring your dad’s work to a larger audience are a good thing. Best of luck.

  2. Hi PJ, It was the largest turnout for any opening for nearly four years, considering they have 6-10 shows a year, that says quite a bit. It also says quite a bit when I walk into a random bookstore in San Rafael, start talking to the lady behind the counter and she says she has Slickrock at home. She didn’t see the small blurb about the show in the Marin Independent Journal and the San Francisco Chronicle doesn’t publish much on art shows, unless they are something “cutting edge,” wildly eccentric or a new innovation of some kind. There are loads of Philip Hyde fans out there, but reaching them is the hard part. They certainly don’t seem to be on social media, at least I’ve never encountered any there. In Bishop during the Mountain Light show, just out doing the art walk I ran into some Philip Hyde fans. Seems I find more of them on foot than any other way, which almost kinda makes sense, knowing my parents did everything by walking. Thank you for the well-wishes.

  3. Richard Wong says:

    Awesome David. Glad you had such a great turn-out with such esteemed peers. Sorry I wasn’t able to make it for reasons previously mentioned.

  4. Hi Richard, Missed having you there, but let me know what you think of the show when you do go. Remember, it is a very different show than the Mountain Light show. Mountain Light was all chromogenic and digital prints, almost all 16×20, whereas this show contains contemporary darkroom silver prints, vintage black and white prints, dye transfer and Cibachrome prints, from 5×7 up to 11×14, with a few gigantic archival chromogenic and digital prints. The Mountain Light show was the archival remakes of Dad’s greatest hits, whereas this show contains many of his best black and white prints, which often are as good or better than his best color. Continuing what I was sharing with PJ regarding turnout, besides the standard channels that Stefan usually employs for art show publicity, I personally e-mailed and called quite a few people and have many more to call. The personal one-to-one touch still works better than social media or anything else with a computer between the humans communicating. I think that social media and online marketing is overrated, oversubscribed and way over sold by the pundits. Once someone becomes well-known through traditional channels, then social media is a good avenue. There are, of course, those who became famous on social media, but it’s funny that most of us who know photography have little respect for those stars and their photography as anything worth noticing. As far as the Hyde fans, they are mainly concentrated in the 60-80 age bracket, environmentally aware, if not active, and often into the outdoors. Not usually puttering around on the computer, until they need a specific item. Of course, part of the blessing of running a blog with thousands of fans in 67 countries is that we are now reaching new fans too.

  5. Richard Wong says:

    You have a point there, David. Social media can help people stay in touch in situations where it would be difficult to otherwise and get your name to a broader audience but it’s not a substitute for personal connection. Social media works well when you can blend the two together. At the end of the day though regardless of how many followers you have on social media, everyone still has their own small circle of connections in real life and I’d bet even the famous ones personal connections aren’t significantly bigger than the average joe. I say judge your influence by the quality of those who are genuinely interested in what you have to say. It doesn’t get much better than Ken Brower, Ed Cooper, Gary Crabbe, etc…

  6. Hi Richard, I appreciate getting these insights from someone who knows what he’s talking about.

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