Lifestyle and Culture: Natural History

Ansel Adams (Expanded Edition)

The National Park Service Photographs

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A selection of Ansel Adams' breathtaking images, remastered to celebrate over 100 years of The National Park Service.

Ansel Adams was hired by the United States Department of the Interior to photograph America's national parks, producing this group of breathtaking images.

In 1941, Ansel Adams photographed America's national parks for a series of murals that would celebrate the country's natural heritage. Because of the escalation of World War II, the project was suspended after less than a year, but not before Adams had produced these images, which illustrate both his early innovations and the shape of his later, legendary career as America's foremost landscape photographer.

The invitation to photograph the nation's parklands was the perfect assignment for Adams, as it allowed him to express his deepest convictions as artist, conservationist, and citizen. These stunning photographs of the natural geysers and terraces in Yellowstone, the rocks and ravines in the Grand Canyon, the winding rivers and majestic mountains in Glacier and Grand Teton national parks, the mysterious Carlsbad Caverns, the architecture of ancient Indian villages, and many other evocative views of the American West demonstrate the genius of Adams' technical and aesthetic inventiveness.

In these glorious, seminal images we see the inspired reverence for the wilderness that has made Ansel Adams' work an enduring influence on environmentalism as well as art.

Ansel Adams (1902–1984) was one of the most prolific and highly acclaimed photographers of the twentieth century, and the author of dozens of publications. He helped establish the department of photography at New York’s Museum of Modern Art and founded the Friends of Photography in Carmel, California, and the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona in Tucson. A member of the board of directors of the Sierra Club for thirty-seven years, Adams was instrumental in the growth of the American conservationist movement.

Alice Gray is a writer and editor based in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work has appeared in such publications as Art & Auction and Art News.

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The Trees of North America

Michaux and Redouté's American Masterpiece

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A remarkable selection of American forest trees surveyed by François-André Michaux and Thomas Nuttall from The North American Sylva, held in the LuEsther T. Mertz Library of The New York Botanical Garden, featuring illustrations by celebrated botanical artists such as Pierre-Joseph Redouté and Pancrace Bessa, with an afterword by natural history artist David Allen Sibley

François-André Michaux (1770–1855) was a French botanist whose work on the trees of North America gave the world’s first illustrated account of American trees east of the Mississippi. From 1841 to 1849 Thomas Nuttall (1786–1859), an English botanist and one of the greatest plant explorers of North America, prepared supplementary volumes to Michaux’s landmark work, The North American Sylva.

Full-color reproductions of all of the more than 270 plates are now included in a single volume for the first time. Mirroring Abbeville’s best-selling National Audubon Society Birds of America, the book includes capsule summaries of every tree species featured, written by New York Botanical Garden staff, along with reference illustrations by David Allen Sibley.

Garden President Gregory Long looks at the book in the context of the New York Botanical Garden; NYBG Library Director Susan M. Fraser examines this landmark of American botanical history; award-winning garden writer Marta McDowell recounts the two botanist-explorers uncovering the continent’s arboreal riches; and best-selling ornithologist and natural history artist David Allen Sibley offers an aesthetic appreciation.

Beautifully illustrated and extensively researched, The Trees of North America will entice gardeners, art connoisseurs, and nature lovers alike.

 

The New York Botanical Garden hosts more than one million annual visitors to its 250-acre National Historic Landmark site, which features over one million living specimens, as well as one of the world’s preeminent plant research and conservation programs. Founded in 1899, the Garden’s Mertz Library is one of the largest, most comprehensive botanical libraries in the world.

David Allen Sibley is one of the world’s best-known natural history illustrators and the author of acclaimed field guides, including The Sibley Guide to Trees, which have sold more than one million copies.

Gregory Long is Chief Executive Officer and The William C. Steere Sr. President of The New York Botanical Garden.

Susan M. Fraser is Vice President and Director of the LuEsther T. Mertz Library at The New York Botanical Garden.

Marta McDowell is a gardener, lecturer, and horticultural writer. Her books include All the Presidents’ Gardens (2016) and Beatrix Potter’s Gardening Life (2013), winner of the Gold Award from the Garden Writers Association.

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Southern Light

Images from Antarctica

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A beautifully printed photographic journey, in both color and black-and-white, through the awe-inspiring landscapes of the frozen continent.

Between 1990 and 2009, veteran wilderness photographer David Neilson made six journeys to Antarctica and the subantarctic, in a quest to capture the exquisite light of these southernmost lands. This oversized volume presents the spectacular results of his efforts; its 130 color and 100 duotone plates portray the dramatic topography of the Antarctic Peninsula; the icebound expanses of East Antarctica; the Ross Sea region, which witnessed the heroic age of Antarctic exploration; and the subantarctic islands of South Georgia and Macquarie, with their profusion of wildlife.

Many of the landscape photographs were taken with a large-format view camera for maximum detail and tonal subtlety, and several are reproduced as panoramic gatefolds, showing the true vastness of this great southern realm. The images of wildlife, many of them remarkable close-ups, include emperor, king, Adélie, gentoo, chinstrap, royal, and macaroni penguins; wandering, royal, and grey-headed albatross; and crabeater and fur seals. Accompanying the photographs are a narrative of Neilson’s Antarctic journeys, essays on conservation and climate change, and five full-page maps.

Southern Light is an excellent gift for anyone who has visited Antarctica personally, as well as for those who prefer to admire its frozen beauty from a more temperate clime.

Distributed for Snowgum Press

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The Weeping Goldsmith

Discoveries in the Secret Land of Myanmar

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A distinguished Curator and Research Scientist at the Smithsonian Institution, W. John Kress, recounts his natural history exploration over the course of nine years in the wild lands of Myanmar in search of rare, beautiful, and scientifically unknown plants.

In the great tradition of Darwin’s Voyage of the Beagle, this book is a first-person narrative of daunting travel and scientific discovery in the little-known country of Myanmar. Dr. Kress explored many areas in this enigmatic country, surveying its teak forests, bamboo thickets, timber plantations, rivers, and mangroves to document its incredible botanical diversity. Myanmar is one of the great biodiversity “hot spots” in Asia, but because of its social isolation and reputation for political repression it has been closed to—or avoided by—many scientists. Nevertheless, Dr. Kress was determined to search for and record plants that had not been studied since they were first discovered by Western botanists over a century ago. Among the rarities he came upon was a new species of plant called “the weeping goldsmith,” a ginger flower whose Burmese name was derived from the legend that the local goldsmiths were reduced to tears because none of their own creations could rival its exquisiteness.

Dr. Kress also relates how he came to appreciate the people and culture of Myanmar through an understanding of their flora, natural habitats, and human-dominated environments. Included are fascinating excerpts from his field journals that serve as counterpoints to the accounts of earlier plant explorers. Illustrating the text are some 200 of Dr. Kress’s own color photographs of the incredible plants, people, landscapes, and temples he witnessed in his travels as well as 30 archival images of Burma taken by past explorers. The back matter features an illustrated portfolio of representative native plants.

This lively armchair exploration should appeal to a general readership as well as to botanists, conservationists, and environmentalists.

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Walking the World's Natural Wonders

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A lively tour of the most spectacular walking routes on earth, accompanied by detailed maps and stunning photography.

On every continent, in every age, people have marveled at the wonders of the natural world. Unlike vehicular transportation, walking allows the traveler to experience these wonders on a vivid sensuous level, enjoying all the sights, sounds, and smells of a beautiful landscape. In Walking the World’s Natural Wonders, traveler Jon Sparks takes readers on a guided tour across 34 such landscapes, profiling the world’s most magnificent walking routes from the mountains of Hawaii to England’s Jurassic Coast.

Accompanied by stunning photography from around the globe, Sparks’s vibrant text will appeal to anyone with a sense of adventure. Each of the 34 profiles also contains a regional map and a facts and figures box detailing route distance and altitude, optimal travel season, accommodation options, and more. Covering six continents and some of the world’s most gorgeous scenery, Walking the World’s Natural Wonders is the perfect inspiration for your next walking adventure.

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Wonders of the Indian Wilderness

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A spectacular celebration of the flora and fauna of the Indian wilderness, one of the most beautiful, diverse, and endangered ecosystems in the world.

The veneration of nature has always been an integral part of Indian culture, but the country’s wilderness is rapidly disappearing and only small fragments of it now remain. In the face of this ecological threat, Wonders of the Indian Wilderness provides a lavish celebration of India’s unique natural treasure and a call to preserve it in the years to come. Over 800 pages in scope, the book devotes its first half to exploring “The Nature of Biodiversity in India,” illustrating the incredible natural abundance of one of the twelve acknowledged mega-diversity nations of the world. Author Erach Bharucha describes the varied species and ecosystems of India, confronting the urgent need to conserve the country’s biodiversity—a vital resource with immense economic potential—in the process.

Among the hundreds of illustrations are a dazzling foldout review of Earth’s geological and evolutionary history and an eight-page extravaganza on India’s rich floral heritage. The second half of the volume focuses on “National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of India,” recounting the distinctive plants, animals, and habitats the author has encountered in his travels through more than eighty of these areas—as well as the sobering changes he has witnessed in them over the years. Featuring more than 2,000 stunning full-color images, Wonders of the Indian Wilderness is not only an indispensable guide for environmentalists, educators, and eco-tourists but also an outstanding visual feast for the connoisseur. It is the most comprehensive overview available of the richness and sheer beauty of life in the Indian wilderness.

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Minerals and Gems From The American Museum of Natural History

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This sparkling and practical Tiny Folio will be appreciated by anyone who is fascinated by the natural world.

One of the world's fabulous collections of minerals and gems resides at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, and this jewel of a book includes more than 300 of the Museum's spectacular specimens. This book is also a concise guide to minerals and gems, explaining what they are, how they develop, the symmetrical perfection of their crystals, and the qualities that make them outstanding or unique. The beautiful full-color illustrations present an enticing introduction to the world of mineralogy and gemology as well as a window into some of the museum's many treasures.

This book presents a broad array of minerals - from the native elements (diamonds, copper, gold, silver, and sulfur) through sulfideds, tellurides, halides, oxides, hydroxides, carbonates, sulfates, phosphates, arsenates, vanadates, molybdates, and tugstates, to the silicates.. The gem section includes ornaments by such master craftsmen as Tiffany, Cartier, and Faberge, and features such wonders as a 100-carat orange sapphire and the Star of India, the world's largest gem-quality blue star sapphire. 

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Tuscany

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The incomparable region of Tuscany and beyond, where the beauty of nature rivals the wealth of art, by the photographers of the much heralded Provence.

For three decades these photographers have been drawn to Tuscany and its surrounding areas endeavoring to capture the special light, the sculpted countryside, the heralded cities and hilltowns, and the celebrated art and architecture. Their photographic themes include timeless views of ocher landscapes where farmers arrange their haystacks like artists; castles overlooking acres of irises and vineyards; shadowy cypress trees defining the land; explosions of color in springtime; incandescent views of Florence, Siena, and Pisa; faces on sculptures; faded frescoes in silent cloisters and other details of art and architecture; humorous vignettes of the daily round; and sparkling Mediterranean seascapes. This photographic album of Tuscany is truly unlike any other.

In her fascinating text, Marie-Ange Guillaume provides a verbal portrait of the scores of artists and writers, as well as infamous people, who lived or worked in Tuscany, including Michelangelo, Leonardo, Stendhal, Savonarola, the Brownings, Henry James, Modigliani, Fellini, and James Ivory. The anecdotal text, liberally flavored with quotes from the letters and diaries of these well-known individuals, provides insights about Tuscany today and in centuries past.

This book is certain to be a treasured gift for travelers, photographers, students of art and literature, and anyone intrigued by Tuscany and beyond.

Sonja Bullaty and Angelo Lomeo are a husband-and-wife team who live in New York City. Their work has appeared in leading magazines and books, including the highly acclaimed Provence and Venice and the Veneto. Among the museums and galleries exhibiting their work are The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art in Sao Paolo.

Journalist Marie-Ange Guillaume lives in Paris and has written several biographies and works of non-fiction, including Provence.

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Everglades National Park

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This little book provides a compact view of an unsurpassed wetlands area visited by 1.1 million people each year.

Everglades National Park, one of America's great natural treasures, is a sanctuary for an incredible variety of birds, mammals, reptiles, orchids, and other living things. This handy little book presents the park's amazing diversity of wildlife and plants as well as views of its unique landscape. Illustrated with scenics and maps, the first section offers five suggested tours of the Everglades and of the adjacent Big Cypress National Preserve.

The rest of the book features vivid color photographs of scores of the area's remarkable species including water birds, panthers, alligators, manatees, tree snails, butterfly orchids, and gumbo limbo trees. The text provides a lively account of the park's natural history, an overview of its wildlife, and advice for exploring the area.

This compact guide is both helpful for planning trips and a wonderful memento of an incomparable place.

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Audubon's Birds of America

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Abbeville's magnificent volume on John James Audubon's world famous ornithological engravings.

This marvelous edition of Audubon's Birds of America displays all 435 of Audubon's brilliant handcolored engravings in exquisite reproductions taken from the original plates of the Audubon Society's archival copy of the rare Double Elephant Folio. Although many attempts have been made to re-create the magnificent illustrations in Audubon's masterpiece, nothing equals the level of fidelity or scale achieved in this high-quality edition.

Organized and annotated by Roger Tory Peterson, America’s best-known ornithologist, and issued with the full endorsement and cooperation of the Audubon Society, this magnificent volume is as thorough in scientific classification as it is beautiful. Peterson's fascinating introduction places Audubon in the context of the history of American ornithological art and also reproduces a wide sampling of the work of Audubon's notable predecessors and disciples, including Peterson's own justly famous paintings.

This new systematic arrangement of the prints, complete with informative commentaries about each bird, made it possible to correct many of the problems or errors in Audubon's original edition revealed by later scholarship. The colorful captions in the back provide fascinating commentaries on each featured bird.

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