"The establishment of the National Park Service is justified by considerations of good administration, of the value of natural beauty as a National asset, and of the effectiveness of outdoor life and recreation in the production of good citizenship.” -Theodore Roosevelt, February 3, 1912
Teddy Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States and an avid nature enthusiast, said it best. The National Parks are essential. Since Yellowstone National Park was signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1872, our country has dedicated itself to setting aside millions of acres of wilderness. The U.S. has designated such land as protected land, wilderness lands that will never be developed or altered by the hands of man.
Since 1872, several generations of Americans have enjoyed the National Parks. When people visit the parks, they learn about the land that such parks protect, the history of that land, the flora and fauna that live there, and the importance of preserving that land for future generations to enjoy.
At Anderson Design Group, we’ve always reserved a special place in our hearts for the National Parks. Starting in 2007, we began creating vintage travel poster art of the parks, styling the illustrations after the iconic, WPA-commissioned artwork of the early-1900s. Our posters tell the story of the parks, and what a story it is!
Facts About America’s Greatest Treasures
The United States is proud to have set aside vast tracts of land, designating some of our country’s most magnificent features as National Parks. In fact, if you were to add up all of the National Parks, you’d have a space about 52.2 million acres in size. That’s about 81,562 square miles! To put that into perspective, if all of the U.S. National Parks were compiled onto one piece of land, it would be about the same size as states like Kansas, Idaho, Washington State, Utah, or Michigan.
The largest national park is by far Wrangell-St. Elias National Park in Alaska, measuring in at 13.2 million acres. This park by itself comprises a little more than one-fourth of the total area of all of the National Parks! And to put that into perspective, Wrangell-St. Elias is about the size of New Hampshire and Maryland combined.
Given how much there is to explore, how much land there is to cover, it’s good news that the National Parks are becoming more popular. That's because the more people who know about the National Parks, the more people who care about them, the easier it is to protect and conserve these precious lands. According to the National Park Service, the year 2017 set a new record for National Park visitation, with 330,882,751 recorded park visits that year.
Speaking of the parks seeing more visitors each year, the single most visited National Park in the United States is without a doubt our very own Great Smoky Mountains National Park, right here in Tennessee. According to the National Park Service, just last year 11,421,200 people visited this gem of the southern wilderness. We love this park, and our artists here at Anderson Design Group have created over 40 vintage National Park posters of the park.
We feel quite strongly that the best way to conserve and protect our nation’s invaluable lands is to raise awareness for them, to get more people “in the know” about the parks, willing to protect and conserve them. That’s a big part of the reason why we launched the Anderson Design Group 61 National Parks Collection.
Honoring the National Parks with Vintage Poster Art
About twelve years ago, Joel Anderson set out to create an art collection that would include vintage artwork of each American National Park. He recruited artists and family members, and he collaborated with experts on the parks to create an award-winning collection that does the parks justice.
The 61 American National Parks Posters Collection embodies the magic and mystery of our nation’s most valuable lands. Each poster takes us back in time, immersing us in the nostalgia of turn-of-the-century vintage travel art. The artwork creates a sense of longing and remembrance in all of us. And each illustration is drawn, lettered, and colored by hand, creating a unique perspective of unbridled nature.
At the time of this writing, our 61 American National Parks Collection has over 230 individual, unique National Park posters in it, from the rocky coastlines of Acadia National Park on the East Coast to the forests of Redwood National Park on the West Coast. But don't forget, we add new artwork to this collection every month!
Each year we travel to at least one National Park. We take reference photos and garner new inspiration and new ideas for more poster art. And as a bonus, we recently announced a new collaboration project with talented artist Kenneth Crane. Kenneth and Joel will be working together to create an entirely new series of travel posters to convey the beauty and mystery of the National Parks.
What the National Parks Mean to Us
We created the National Parks Collection, not just because we love the parks, but because we wanted to share that love and that joy with the rest of the world. So whether you are looking to decorate with canvases, metal signs, or National Park prints, if you’re interested in decorating your home or office with National park art, Anderson Design Group is sure to have poster art to fit your design style and tastes. We also sell National Park puzzles, postcards, playing cards, coffee tins, and stickers!
We believe in generosity. Every time you buy a piece of art or a National Parks art-decorated product (like a puzzle, a deck of playing cards, a National Parks Hardcover Coffee Table Book, etc.), we take a portion of the profits from that sale and donate them to the National Parks.
And we do that because the parks are more than just tracts of land. They are the very history of the United States, the land upon which this great nation was born. It’s important to preserve that history, to protect the ecosystems of the parks, and to safeguard the plants and animals that live there.
Human beings are the custodians of this planet. It's on us to share the Earth with all life. And supporting the National Parks is a great way to do just that.
Until next time,
Anderson Design Group Writing Staff