The Big Bend National Park Artist Proof is an original work created, numbered, signed and dated by the artist. The original photograph was taken by Robert Decker from the middle of the Rio Grande at Santa Elena Canyon. On the left is Mexico, and on the right, the United States. The poster is created in the style of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), when the Federal Government — in the 1930s and 1940s — commissioned hundreds of artists to create thousands of poster designs for public exhibits, community activities, theatrical productions, health, safety and educational programs, nature and travel. By the end of the WPA era, only 26 National Parks had been established and only 14 parks had posters created for them.
Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National ParkBig Bend National Park is located in a remote part of Southern Texas and borders Mexico along the Rio Grande. It has national significance as the largest protected area of Chihuahuan Desert topography and ecology in the United States. It contains more than 1,200 species of plants, more than 450 species of birds, 56 species of reptiles, and 75 species of mammals. The Rio Grande corridor is also a migration highway for many species passing through the desert. Elevation contrast create varied microclimates that further enhance the diversity of plant and animal life.
The national park covers 801,163 acres and is home to an abundant variety of Cretaceous and Cenozoic fossil organisms, and the park has artifacts estimated to be 9,000 years old. Historic buildings and landscapes offer graphic illustration of life along the international border in the 19th century.
For more than 1,000 miles, the Rio Grande/Río Bravo forms the boundary between Mexico and the United States, and Big Bend National Park administers approximately 118 miles along that boundary. The park was named after a large bend in the river and Texas—Mexico border. One of the park’s best known features is Santa Elena Canyon. Split by the Rio Grande, on one side, the United States; the other, Mexico.
Because the Rio Grande serves as an international boundary, the park faces unusual constraints while administering and enforcing park rules, regulations, and policies. In accordance with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the park’s territory extends only to the center of the deepest river channel as the river flowed in 1848. The rest of the land south of that channel, and the river, lies within Mexican territory. The park is bordered by the protected areas of Parque Nacional Cañon de Santa Elena and Maderas del Carmen in Mexico.
Photographer and graphic artist, Rob Decker, studied photography with Ansel Adams in the summer of 1979 in Yosemite National Park, an experience that solidified his love of photography and our National Parks. Now he is on a journey to photograph and create iconic WPA-style posters of all 59 major national parks in time for the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016.
The sole copyright of the original image is retained by the Artist, Robert B. Decker. Any unauthorized reproduction is a violation of international copyright law.
Robert B. Decker – Limited Edition National Park Posters – www.National-Park-Posters.com