Arkansas Landscapes: Lost and Imagined
In celebration Arkansas Heritage Month 2015, Special Collections presents an exhibit images, rare books, and documents showing Arkansas places that have disappeared, were never realized as they were planned, or have evolved in unexpected ways.
Arkansas has navigated between the shoals of celebrating of its natural beauty and leveraging the power and utility of its vast resources for economic growth. Entrepreneurs and crusaders, artists and environmentalists have all imagined ways to make Arkansas's clear streams, sheer bluffs, deep soils, and rolling forests more wondrous and rewarding, or devoted themselves to preserving small pieces of Arkansas's unique physical features for future generations. The landscapes of the “Natural State" replenish the dreams of all Arkansans and haunt the memories of those who have tried to keep--or make--it as they believe it ought to forever be.
Despite some great conservation successes such as the establishment of the Buffalo as the nation's first national river, many wild and beloved places have been lost.
This exhibit of "lost and imagined" landscapes of Arkansas shows the grand experiments of the past such as the Monte Ne resort on the White River; urban and rural places of Arkansas's earlier self that have changed forever such as Fayetteville's College Avenue and the fabled Cassatot valley; and visions for transforming and elevating Arkansas locales that were never realized such as Edward Durell Stone's "National Water Garden" at Greer's Ferry. The photographs, documents, and published volumes here span two centuries of Arkansas's continuing exploration of its changing landscapes.