Sandra Phillips

Sep 29, 2021 | Events

Elk River Arts & Lectures presents Sandra Phillips, photography curator emerita at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. with a multimedia presentation of her books, American Geography: Photographs of Land Use from 1840 to the Present, and Crossing the Frontier: Photographs of the Developing West, 1840 to the Present, on Thursday, Oct. 7, 2021, at Elk River Books’ new location, 122 S. 2nd St., in Livingston, Montana.

The books are based on exhibits that Phillips curated at SFMOMA, with American Geography being something of a sequel to Crossing: “American Geography charts a visual history of land use in the United States. From the earliest photographic records of human habitation to the latest aerial and digital images, this compilation offers an increasingly nuanced perspective on human intervention in the American landscape by exploring how photography shaped conceptions of the land in the name of conservation, expansion, and exploitation.”

Both books include passages by august writers, many of whom write about land use in the rural West (including Barry Lopez, whose introductory text in American Geography is the last thing that he wrote).

During her stay in Park County, Phillips also will spend time with local high school students, talking with them about her work at the museum, and the subject matter of her books.

This event is being supported through a grant from the Park County Community Foundation. It will begin at 7 p.m., and will be followed by a book signing and reception.

Elk River Arts & Lectures is a nonprofit organization with the mission of cultivating and celebrating the literary arts in Park County. For more information, visit