Celebrate 150 years of Yosemite

Did you know that the Yosemite Grant was passed by Congress and signed by President Abraham Lincoln at the height of the Civil War? Or that a photographer's portfolio was instrumental in gaining support for the legislation? These are just a few of the stories, beautifully illustrated, that you'll find in YOSEMITE: A STORIED LANDSCAPE. No other book gathers so many tales of the park's history in one place. FREE ON IBOOKS!


Wonderful new review in the San Francisco Chronicle!

Yosemite: A Storied Landscape Edited by Kerry Tremain, (California Historical Society; $9.99) 

Winner, 2015 Digital Book Award

Book critic Porter Shreve praised Susan Landauer's essay on artist Chiura Obata (above) and Rebecca Solnit's chapter on God and nature as standouts, "though all the essays have something to recommend them."

To mark the 150th anniversary of the Yosemite Grant, which established the first protected wilderness in the United States, the California Historical Society has released a multimedia e-book featuring art, photography and essays on an array of subjects: the military’s role in settling the park, Yosemite’s surprising place in the debate between creationism and evolution, the building of the Ahwahnee hotel, and the histories of mountaineering, zoology, Indian basket weaving, art and photography.

Though all the essays have something to recommend them, a couple stand out. Rebecca Solnit’s piece about the 19th century botanist Asa Gray and his battles with fellow Harvard professor Louis Agassiz over evolutionary theory and the relationship between God and nature is fascinating. With her usual combination of graceful prose and trenchant insight, Solnit places Yosemite on an epic stage.

Susan Landauer’s art history essay touches on Albert Bierstadt’s panoramas “filled with religious allegory” and Ansel Adams’ iconic photographs, but reserves her best analysis and highest praise for the watercolors and woodblock prints of Chiura Obata, whose “espousal of the Zen tradition … led him to imbue his landscapes with an intense, often calligraphic expressiveness.” This gorgeous, informative book is like having a museum exhibition at your fingertips.

–Reviewed by Porter Shreve, San Francisco Chronicle, December 31, 2014


NEWS FLASH! WE WON!! More soon...

We're very pleased to learn today that YOSEMITE: A STORIED LANDSCAPE has been chosen as one of five Digital Book Award finalists in its category. DBW is the largest and most prestigious award in digital book publishing. Winners will be announced in January. Yay!

DBW also announced that YOSEMITE: A STORIED LANDSCAPE has been awarded a QED accreditation for Quality, Excellence, and Design. Recipients must pass through a thorough, independent, 13-point quality assurance test across formats and devices.

Some of the great media coverage of Yosemite: A Storied Landscape

The San Francisco Chronicle gave the Yosemite: A Storied Landscape exhibition and ebook front-page coverage in their famed "pink section" Datebook. The included a video and a story about the discovery of the Grizzly Bear at Berkeley.

KQED television did a long segment on the exhibition and ebook with California Historical Society Executive Director Anthea Hartig. 


KCBS radio interviewed ebook creative director and exhibition co-curator Kerry Tremain.

UC Berkeley Newscenter featured Yosemite: A Storied Landscape on its homepage with a slideshow and story that emphasized Berkeley's many connections to Yosemite.

Kerry Tremain wrote an essay in the August issue of American Art Review about the art forms that Yosemite inspired, and that in turn inspired Americans, including as a healing symbol in the midst of Civil War.