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Emmet Gowin

Crater and Magma, Mount St. Helens, Washington
gelatin silver print
9 3/4 x 9 7/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Transfer from the National Endowment for the Arts

On a routine assignment for the Seattle Arts Commission in May 1980, Gowin persuaded a bold pilot to fly him into the still dangerous “Red Zone” just after Mt. St. Helens’s devastating eruption. His planned documentary on man’s disruptions of nature became a series of dramatic portraits of nature’s own destructive forces.