Philip Hyde: Mountains and Deserts

Philip Hyde: Mountains and Deserts

Harvey Milk Terminal 1

February 2015 - April 2015

I am interested primarily in what Emerson called the integrity of natural objects. Natural places too have their integrity. They express wholeness and individuality, and it is this sense of place that is the foundation of my work.

— Philip Hyde

Philip Hyde: Mountains and Deserts

As a champion of the western American wilderness, San Francisco-born and raised photographer Philip Hyde (1921–2006) campaigned with the National Audubon Society, The Wilderness Society, Sierra Club, and other environmental organizations for more than sixty years. Many of his images were used to highlight efforts to protect, expand, or establish many national parks and wilderness areas, including the Grand Canyon, Point Reyes, Dinosaur National Monument, Redwood National Park, Canyonlands, North Cascades, Oregon Cascades, Wind Rivers, Navajo tribal parks, Big Sur and Kings Canyon.

While backpacking in the Sierra Nevada at the age of seventeen, Hyde took his first photograph with a Kodak camera borrowed from his sister. During the early 1940s, he spent many summers hiking and photographing in Yosemite and other national parks. In 1942, Hyde volunteered for the Army Air Corps, serving three years during World War II.

In 1945, he became one of the early students to study photography at the California School of Fine Arts, now the San Francisco Art Institute. His instructors included Ansel Adams, Minor White, Imogen Cunningham, Lisette Model, Dorothea Lange, and other major figures in West Coast photography. Reflecting his fondness and appreciation for the mountains and wilderness, Hyde lived for fifty years in the house he built in the Sierra.

Philip Hyde exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, George Eastman House, Smithsonian Institute, International Center for Photography, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California Academy of Sciences, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and other major museums. His work appeared in Aperture, The New York Times, Life, National Geographic, Fortune,Newsweek, and over eighty books. He received the California Conservation Council's Merit Award in 1962 and the Albert Bender Grant in 1956. In 1996, the North American Nature Photography Association honored Hyde with a lifetime achievement award.

©2015 by the San Francisco Airport Commission. All rights reserved.