Test your knowledge with a quiz
Minick, Woman with a Scarf
- Art played an important role in educating and encouraging the preservation of natural lands through the National Parks Service and have helped make places like Inspiration Point iconic landmarks. Roger Minick’s Woman with Scarf builds on a legacy of American photographs of majestic landscapes while also grounding this work in present-day tourism.
- With her back to the viewer, this woman is part of a tradition of landscape painting that encourages viewers to imagine themselves before a sublime vista. As we appreciate the beauty of Inspiration Point, however, we are also drawn to her souvenir scarf and are reminded of the commodification that comes with tourism.
- Minick believes that, even with modern conveniences and commercialization, the process of sightseeing remains meaningful and powerful. Watching people journey to famous landmarks, he reports a transformation that takes place as they arrive, not unlike a religious pilgrimage.
More to think about
Roger Minick’s quote about his photograph compares the sightseers at national parks to pilgrims, who experience a profound set of emotions, including a “universal sense of a shared past and present, and, with any luck, a shared future.” Have you visited a place that felt like a pilgrimage? Where did you go and why?
Today, more than ever, we document our lives with snapshots. Do you think that taking photographs helps people experience places and events, or does it keep them from being in the moment and experiencing the range of deeper emotions Minick refers to?