Interior, Harold Ickes, who in 1941 had sufficient confidence in Ansel as a photo-muralist to invite him to contribute to the Mural Project for the Department of the Interior’s building, the theme to be nature as exemplified and protected in the U.S. National Parks. However, the project was halted by the onset of World War II and never resumed. The Kings River Canyon photographs were all taken in 1936 and were donated as part of the Mural Project; there are twenty-six in all.

PLATE 3 Paradise Valley Kings River Canyon National Park, California

A keen conservationist, Ansel Adams spent a good deal of time and energy campaigning for Kings River Canyon to be declared a national park. This was finally achieved on March 4, 1940. It was the beginning of his relationship with the head of the United States Department of the


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