In 1963 the Sierra Club, an environmental organization founded by John Muir, enlisted photographer Eliot Porter to document Glen Canyon, a stunning landscape slated to be submerged under the waters of the Colorado River with the construction of the Glen Canyon dam.
The Sierra Club published a book of the images called The Place No One Knew, in an attempt to halt the proposed dam. The effort failed, and Lake Powell was created, becoming a bustling recreation area atop the majestic canyonlands.
In their most recent project together, photographers Mark Klett and Byron Wolfe and historian Rebecca Solnit engaged with Porter’s published work to make a vital statement about climate change. Years of exploration of Lake Powell produced a body of work in which Solnit’s sparse and effective text is interwoven with Klett and Wolfe’s impressionistic images.
Drowned River: The Death and Rebirth of Glen Canyon on the Colorado, documents both the devastation of the dam project, as well as the unanticipated resilience of the Colorado River. The exhibition opens Friday, April 19 at the Maxwell Museum with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. The reception is free and open to all.
The Maxwell Museum of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico is located on the northwest part of the campus, near the intersection of University and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevards.