I feel like I’ve just discovered something that everyone else has known for years. Tucked away in a corridor inSevierville, TN, there are wonderful pictures of our national parks by Stan Jorstad, a leader in panoramic photography.
Now notice that I didn’t say “hidden away” or that it’s a secret that I’ve just uncovered.
I don’t want to be like that joker who said that he just discovered the abandoned houses in Elkmont. And the mainstream media jumped on it.
No, anyone can admire these Jorstad photos for free, without being a national park insider. The exhibit is at the Great Smoky Mountains Association (GSMA) visitor center in Kodak, Tennessee on TN 66 (3099 Winfield Dunn Parkway, 1.25 miles from Interstate Exit 407). The GSMA visitor center and bookstore shares space with the Sevier County Visitor Center on one side of the building.
The twenty-four panoramic photographs are hung in the hallway between those two organizations. They were at the Sugarlands visitor center before that, but I didn’t pay attention, then.
Jorstad was friends with Ansel Adams and Elliot Porter. He was the first professional photographer to capture the breathtaking beauty of every one of our national parks. How lucky we are to have those, but I wonder how many people have seen them.
I love to discover something like this, tucked away and hiding in plain sight. I had been to all the GSMA visitor centers but I went to the one in Sevierville, years ago before I was on the board of directors and before I really paid attention to what was in these spaces.
So go to the GSMA visitor center. Buy a bear or a book and take the time to look at the Jorstad photographs. If you’ve seen the pictures, let me know.