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Yellowstone Collector to Give Talk at UW March 31

March 21, 2022
head photo of a man
Larry Lancaster

An avid collector of materials that document the history of America’s first national park will speak Thursday, March 31, at the University of Wyoming.

Larry Lancaster will present “The Four Eras of Wonderland Illustrations” at 2 p.m. in Room 506 of Coe Library. His presentation will focus on the evolution of how Yellowstone National Park -- nicknamed “Wonderland” -- was represented in art and advertisements through the last 16 decades.

The UW Libraries-sponsored talk, which is free and open to the public, will commemorate this year’s 150th anniversary of the creation of Yellowstone National Park. Light refreshments will be provided. Following the presentation, attendees are invited to visit Level 3 to view the “Wonderland Illustrated” exhibition and collections on display in the Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections Reading Room.

Lancaster developed a deep interest in Yellowstone while working as a manager for Yellowstone Park Service Stations. He is a public speaker on Yellowstone historical topics; a frequent contributor to the Yellowstone History Journal; and an author of two books: “Haynes Product Catalogs -- 1876 to 1967” and “Yellowstone Travel Posters -- the First 100 Years.”

Graphic depictions of the otherworldly features in Yellowstone National Park have been instrumental not only in the establishment of it as the first national park in 1872, but also in promoting travel to it in the decades following its creation. Images of the park’s iconic features -- particularly those depicted by renowned landscape painter Thomas Moran -- have served to interest potential visitors. Illustrations of Yellowstone can be found on railroad broadsides and brochures, postcards, luggage and automobile decals, and travel posters. These items are now considered highly collectible.

“Larry’s presentation complements the ‘Wonderland Illustrated’ exhibition that is currently on display on Level 3 of Coe Library,” says Tamsen Hert, head of UW Libraries’ Emmett D. Chisum Special Collections. “This exhibition is the result of years of collecting Yellowstone material by Jack and Susan Davis, and Larry and Thea Lancaster. Together, they collaborated to bring this exhibition to UW Libraries as part of the commemoration this year. Numerous illustrations that are not included in the exhibition will be shared in the presentation.”

UW Libraries also is collaborating with Montana State University (MSU) Library to host “Conversations on Collecting Yellowstone” June 5-8 at MSU. The conference will focus on collecting, preserving and using materials that document the history of Yellowstone National Park. For more information, go to www.collectingyellowstone.com.

For more information about Lancaster’s talk, call Hert at (307) 766-6245 or email thert@uwyo.edu.

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