Senca Ray Stoddard
Seneca Ray Stoddard: Transforming the Adirondack Wilderness in Text and Image
By Jeffrey L. Horrell
Seneca Ray Stoddard's photographic and literary work paralleled the era of exploration of New York State's Adirondack region as well as the early years of photography. It was during his lifetime (1843-1917)- as a result of the changing perceptions of the wilderness- that the area first attracted artists, tourists, and summer residents.
Jeffrey L. Horrell's book explores the nature of this Adirondack pioneer's work and examines how it influenced and was influenced by changing attitudes toward wilderness in the last half of the nineteenth century. It is the first volume to provide an in-depth study of Stoddard's writing and his photography as he moved from recording the wilderness landscape to defending it against the logging industry.
Stoddard was instrumental in creating the modern perception of the "forever wild" landscape of the Adirondacks. Although there had been a well-established tradition of guide-books for American tourist regions, Stoddard's practice of including illustrations based on photographs represented a departure.
Horrell shows how Stoddard's work reflected matters of class and power on the emerging tourist industry and its effect on popular literature of the day.