Yellowstone Poster Exhibition at UW’s Coe Library



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Aerial view illustration of Yellowstone National Park
“Yellowstone National Park,” a 1904 poster by Henry Wellge, is among works from the exhibition “Wonderland Illustrated” that will be on view at UW’s Coe Library through May 27. (UW Libraries Photo)

A first-of-its-kind exhibition that focuses on the history of Yellowstone National Park posters is on display at the University of Wyoming’s Coe Library through Friday, May 27.

“Wonderland Illustrated” presents posters and poster-style illustrations of the park spanning from the 1870s through 2022. The exhibition is located on Level 3 of Coe Library in the hall outside of UW Libraries’ Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections.

The exhibition coincides with this year’s 150th anniversary of the creation of Yellowstone National Park. The posters in the exhibition serve the purpose of both advertising and art.

“This exhibition spans the history of printing, art, photography and advertising over 16 decades,” said Tamsen Hert, head of UW Libraries’ Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections. “The images reproduced are found on travel brochures, postcards and maps — many of which are held in our collections.”

One poster — Henry Wellge’s “Yellowstone National Park” from 1904 — was recently purchased with endowment funds and is now part of UW Libraries’ Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections. Wellge, a prolific bird’s-eye-view artist, designed the piece for the Northern Pacific Railroad, which used it to advertise the park. This is a unique piece, as posters such as this one were printed on soft paper and very few have survived.

UW Libraries also is collaborating with Montana State University (MSU) Library to host “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” June 5-8 at MSU. The conference will focus on collecting, preserving and using materials that document the history of Yellowstone National Park. Learn more about the conference at www.collectingyellowstone.com.

For more information about the exhibition, contact Tamsen at (307) 766-6245 or thert@uwyo.edu.

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