View from River Valley, "Canyon de Chelly" National Monument, Arizona (Vertical Orientation) by Ansel Adams


In 1941 the U.S. National Park Service commissioned noted photographer Ansel Adams (1902-84) to create a photographic mural for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The theme was to be nature as exemplified and protected in the national parks and national monuments of the United States. The project was halted because of World War II and never resumed. The holdings of the Still Picture Branch of the U.S. National Archives include 226 photographs taken for this project, most of them signed and captioned by Adams. Photographs of Kings Canyon National Park were taken in 1936, when establishment of the park was being proposed, and added by Adams to the mural project. The single photograph of Yosemite was a gift from Adams to the head of the National Park Service, Horace Albright, in 1933. Shown here is a view of Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Arizona, established in 1931 by President Herbert Hoover after approval by Congress and the Tribal Council of the Navajo Nation. Canyon de Chelly is located entirely on Navajo Tribal Trust Land and remains home to a Navajo community.

Last updated: September 18, 2015