Don't Kill Our Wild Life: John Wagner, 1940 (Dept of Interior/National Park Service)
I remember as a child in Europe gloating over a map of North America that had "Appalachian Mountains" boldly running from Alabama up to New Brunswick, so that the whole region they spanned -- Tennessee, the Virginias, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine, appeared to my imagination as a gigantic Switzerland or even Tibet, all mountain, glorious diamond peak upon peak, giant conifers, le montagnard émigré in his bear skin glory, and Felis tigris goldsmithi, and Red Indians under the catalpas. That it all boiled down to a measly suburban lawn and a smoking garage incinerator, was appalling. Farewell, Appalachia! Leaving it, we crossed Ohio, the three states beginning with "I," and Nebraska -- ah, the first whiff of the West! We travelled very leisurely, more than a week to reach Wace, Continental Divide, where she passionately desired to see the Ceremonial Dances marking the season opening of Magic Cave, and at least three weeks to reach Elphinstone, gem of a western state were she yearned to climb Red Rock from which a mature screen star had recently jumped to her death after a drunken row with her gigolo.
Again we were welcomed to wary motels by means of inscriptions that read:
"We wish you to feel at home while here. All equipment was carefully checked upon your arrival. Your license number is on record here. We reserve the right to eject without notice any objectionable person. Do not throw waste material of any kind in the toilet bowl. Thank you. Call again. The management. P.S. We consider our guests the Finest People of the World."
Vladimir Nabokov: from Lolita, 1955
See America: Alexander Dux, c. 1936-1939 (WPA Federal Art Project)
The National Parks Preserve Wild Life: Bighorn Sheep: J. Hirt, 1939 (Dept. of Interior/National Park Service)
Spare Our Trees: Stanley Thomas Clough, 1938 (Federal Art Project, Ohio)
Grand Canyon: artist unknown, c. 1938 (Dept. of Interior/National Park Service)
Lassen Volcanic National Park: artist unknown, 1938 US (Dept. of Interior/National Park Service)
See America: Frank S. Nicholson, c. 1936-1938 (WPA Federal Art Project)
Chicago Brookfield Zoo: artist unknown, 1938 (WPA Federal Art Project, IIlinois)
Wild Life: The National Parks Preserve All Life: Frank S. Nicholson, 1940 (New York City Art Project/Work Projects Administration)
All posters from Works Projects Administration Poster Collection, Library of Congress