Land of the Fragile Giants: Landscapes, Environments, and Peoples of the Loess Hills

Overview

Not since the early nineteenth century, when George Catlin and Karl Bodmer thoroughly sketched the area, have the rough-textured Loess Hills of western Iowa been artistically interpreted with any intensity. Now, inspired by this rugged landscape of steep-sided ridges and bluffs, Land of the Fragile Giants offers a collaboration of contemporary artists, scientists, and humanists all creating their interpretations of today's Hills. Looking at the natural and the human features of the renowned Hills, personal essays...

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Overview

Not since the early nineteenth century, when George Catlin and Karl Bodmer thoroughly sketched the area, have the rough-textured Loess Hills of western Iowa been artistically interpreted with any intensity. Now, inspired by this rugged landscape of steep-sided ridges and bluffs, Land of the Fragile Giants offers a collaboration of contemporary artists, scientists, and humanists all creating their interpretations of today's Hills. Looking at the natural and the human features of the renowned Hills, personal essays blend with works of art to create a verbal and visual panorama of the Loess Hills and a multidimensional view of a region that makes a deep impression on each visitor.

Working closely with Iowa State University's Brunnier Art Museum, twenty-seven professional artists from Iowa and the Midwest visited the Loess Hills at various times throughout 1993 to gather insight for their projects. The result: a dramatic exhibition of paintings, sculpture, prints, and photographs that beautifully complement this volume's literary works. The twelve essayists also have strong ties to the Loess Hills. Each author has spent a significant portion of her or his life in the Hills. The scientists reinterpret their research within the framework of their experience; the humanists provide background and context for the scientists; the artists illuminate the whole.

The art and essays in Land of Fragile Giants bring a meeting of broadly diverse minds and talents to an appreciation of the multitude beauties of Iowa's premier natural area. This striking and colorful volume will appeal to all those captivated by the Loess Hills and all general readers with interdisciplinary interests.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780877454779
  • Publisher: University of Iowa Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1994
  • Series: Bur Oak Original Series
  • Pages: 168
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
The Fabric of the Hills
Explorations and Interpretations: Artistic Views of the Hills
Markings on the Land 1
Aerial View 5
Ice, Wind, and Water: A Geological Portrait of the Hills 10
Early Peoples of the Hills 17
Prehistoric Native Americans in the Hills 21
Reflections on Gullies 30
Settling in the Hills 35
A New People Come to the Hills 39
The Reese Homestead 48
Responses to the Land 53
Farming, the Hills, and Chief Waubonsie 57
Making Friends with Giants 64
Plants and Survival in the Hills 71
Time, Cycles, and the Prairie Moonwort 75
Lichens: Partnership in Survival 80
Visions of the Hills 85
Grassland Legacy of the Hills 89
Apology for the Prairies 98
About the Artists 106
Photographic Credits 117
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