The Essence of Place: Celebrating the Photography of David Halpern

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Renowned landscape photographer David Halpern has spent more than sixty years on a walkabout love affair with the wild lands of the United States. The Essence of Place: Celebrating the Photography of David Halpern showcases thirty-six black-and-white and eight color images from these sojourns into the southwestern states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah.

In addition to capturing the allure of these beautiful locales, Halpern sometimes revisits iconic scenes that were first mapped by photographers Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, and painted in epic landscapes by nineteenth-century painters Thomas Moran and Albert Bierstadt. Halpern’s particular interest in the rugged geography around Ghost Ranch, New Mexico, traces the perceptual landscapes of Georgia O’Keeffe and others.

For many, the works in The Essence of Place will evoke the sublime spirit inherent in landscapes Halpern has memorialized in his photography. The landscapes are instantly recognizable to those fortunate enough to have experienced them. If not yet visited, they will provoke an irresistible resolve to do so. Accompanying the exhibition are the insightful and often charming comments which contain vital observations about these places, the artist’s reactions to them, and the techniques he used to achieve the images.

Trained early as a commercial photographer, Halpern’s career took an important turn in 1984 when he was invited to serve as artist-in-residence at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Since then, he has done residencies at a number of National Parks and has developed programming for the residency program at Bandelier National Monument. From 1992 through 1998, Halpern’s exhibition of photographs commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of the National Park Service, By a Clearer Light, was produced by ExhibitsUSA and traveled to forty locations throughout the United States. In 1999, that exhibition became a permanent part of the National Park Service Collection.

Halpern’s love of nature and the American landscape have inspired the majority of his photographs the past sixty-five years. His favorite subjects are found in nature—landforms, water, rocks, trees, clouds—and the many variables that alter perceptions of them: light, wind, rain, snow, and fog. Halpern concedes that although “born too late to discover new and wild places in America, I have nonetheless found great satisfaction in developing my own interpretations of the wonders that surround us all.”

This exhibition is an adaptation of the original exhibition by the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Tour Schedule

The Essence of Place will tour November 2019 through October 2024. The dates below reflect seven-week exhibition periods. Dates are subject to change; please contact MoreArt@ or (800) 473-3872 x208/209 for current availability.

  • November 10, 2019–January 7, 2020 Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum
    Temple, TX
  • January 28–March 16, 2020 Be among the first to host and save 25%
  • April 6–May 25, 2020 Be among the first to host and save 25%
  • June 16–August 11, 2020 Be among the first to host and save 25%
  • September 1–October 20, 2020
  • November 10, 2020–January 7, 2021
  • January 28–March 16, 2021
  • April 6–May 25, 2021
  • June 16–August 11, 2021 Refurbishment
    Kansas City, MO
  • September 1–October 20, 2021
  • November 10, 2021–January 7, 2022
  • January 28–March 16, 2022
  • April 6–May 25, 2022
  • June 16–August 11, 2022
  • September 1–October 20, 2022
  • November 10, 2022–January 7, 2023
  • January 28–March 16, 2023
  • April 6–May 25, 2023
  • June 16–August 11, 2023
  • September 1–October 20, 2023 Texarkana Regional Arts & Humanites
    Texarkana, TX
  • November 10, 2023–January 7, 2024
  • January 28–March 16, 2024
  • April 6–May 25, 2024
  • June 16–August 11, 2024
  • September 1–October 20, 2024

Exhibition Details

forty-four photographs (thirty-six black and white, eight color)

  • Content

    Fee Includes:
    Press Kit
    Registrar’s Packet
    Programming Guide
    Gallery Guide
    Text Panels
    Narrative Labels
    Full Insurance
    Installation Instructions
    Custom-Designed and Built Crates

  • Curated By

    Mark Dolph, Associate Curator of History, Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK

  • Organized By

    Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, OK

  • Out-of-Region Rental Fee


  • In-Region Rental Fee


  • Duration

    7-week display

  • Shipping

    Van Line

  • Running Feet


  • Square Feet


  • Security

    Moderate B

  • Number of Crates/Total Weight

    4 crates estimated/TBD

  • Insurance

    The exhibition is fully insured by ExhibitsUSA at no additional expense to you, both while installed and during transit.