National Champion Blackjack Oak, Georgia, 1999

Media - 2008.2.5 - SAAM-2008.2.5_1 - 67818
Copied Barbara Bosworth, National Champion Blackjack Oak, Georgia, 1999, 1999, gelatin silver print, 9 5823 18 in. (24.458.7 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Haluk and Elisa Soykan, 2008.2.5, © 1999, Barbara Bosworth

Artwork Details

National Champion Blackjack Oak, Georgia, 1999
Not on view
9 5823 18 in. (24.458.7 cm)
© 1999, Barbara Bosworth
Credit Line
Gift of Haluk and Elisa Soykan
Mediums Description
gelatin silver print
  • Architecture Exterior — religious — church
  • Landscape — tree — oak tree
Object Number

Artwork Description

The National Register of Big Trees records the size and location of the largest individuals of over seven hundred species found in the United States. Although Bosworth has tracked more than one hundred of these trees across the continent, she is as concerned with capturing the feeling of the surrounding landscape as describing the particular details of each tree. We are shown only the base of the coast redwood's trunk; a figure nearly hidden in the undergrowth offers the only indication of its height, which reaches over three hundred feet above the forest floor. Redwoods and giant sequoias have long been highlights for summer tourists, but the champion western redcedar is perhaps a more telling example of the fate of many of these natural landmarks. It was discovered within a stand of old-growth forest that was being clear-cut, and now remains as a lone sentinel guarding a deserted landscape. While some of these champions are protected within national or state parks and forests, Bosworth has been more frequently drawn to the commonplace locations where the majority are found: backyards, rural crossroads, parking lots, and housing developments.

Earth and Sky: Photographs by Barbara Bosworth exhibition label