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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst

 


Maker(s):Washburn, Bradford
Culture:American (1910-2007)
Title:Zoroaster's Throne, Grand Canyon, Arizona
Date Made:1972 (printed in 2000)
Type:Photograph
Materials:gelatin silver print
Measurements:Sheet: 16 in x 19 7/8 in; 40.6 cm x 50.5 cm; Image: 14 15/16 in x 18 7/8 in; 37.9 cm x 47.9 cm
Accession Number:  AC 2011.23
Credit Line:Gift of the Bradford and Barbara Washburn Estate, Courtesy Decaneas Archive
2011_23.jpg

Label Text:
Washburn, a pioneer of aerial photography, captured this view during one of 695 helicopter rides he and his team took while mapping the Grand Canyon in the 1970s. The canyon’s landscape pattern is caused by erosion on the differing horizontal layers in the sedimentary bedrock and on vertical expansion fractures that formed as the high plateau rose. These layers and fractures are visible in Zoroaster’s Throne—a pinnacle framed by vertical planes of weakness and preserved by the strength of the capping strata—and in the surrounding amphitheater, where Coconino Sandstone makes a light band of cliffs across the field of view, interrupted by shadowy alcoves in the canyon wall. Loose blocks around the base of the Throne reveal, in progress, the chipping away of cohesive rock slabs. The alcoves, amphitheater, and canyon itself are the results of this action on larger and larger scales.

Written by Tekla Harms, Professor of Geology, Amherst College

Tags:
parks; rocks; mountains; cliffs; clouds

Link to share this object record:
https://museums.fivecolleges.edu/detail.php?t=objects&type=ext&id_number=AC+2011.23

Research on objects in the collections, including provenance, is ongoing and may be incomplete. If you have additional information or would like to learn more about a particular object, please email fc-museums-web@fivecolleges.edu.

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