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Preserving Eden: Clyde Butcher’s Florida Photographs
September 3, 2016 @ 10:00 am – January 8, 2017 @ 5:00 pm
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“Wilderness, to me, is a spiritual necessity,” says legendary photographer Clyde Butcher. With a career spanning nearly 50 years, Butcher’s work is a celebration of the natural environment, from the mountains of the American West to the swamps of South Florida.
Preserving Eden: The Florida Photographs of Clyde Butcher, opening Saturday, September 3 at the Tampa Bay History Center, offers a retrospective of Butcher’s Florida photography, from Cayo Costa State Park to Big Cypress National Preserve and beyond.
Preserving Eden explores the breadth of Florida’s landscape, from wetlands to dunes, coastal hammocks to inland swamps. The exhibit depicts Florida’s rich natural beauty and geographic diversity while highlighting the state’s unique natural history. Butcher’s powerful compositions draw us into the depth of Florida’s River of Grass and transport us to the serenity of the Sunshine State’s tropical waters.
Preserving Eden also highlights Florida’s indigenous flora and fauna, and spotlights the state’s early naturalists such as Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
A revered landscape photographer, Clyde Butcher has photographed Florida’s Everglades since the early 1980s. After nearly 50 years of photographing the natural landscapes of North America, Butcher continues to employ traditional “analog” photography methods, using a variety of vintage large-format view cameras and a custom-built darkroom to produce his award-winning images.
Butcher’s landscapes draw viewers in, encouraging them to appreciate the natural beauty of the world around them. “My hope is to educate,” says Butcher, “to let people know our land is a special place, and to inspire others to work together to save nature’s places of spiritual sanctuary for future generations.”
Preserving Eden is on exhibit in the History Center’s Wayne Thomas Gallery through Sunday, Jan. 8.