Through the Eyes of Nancy-Carroll Draper: A Tribute to Vision
Featuring more than thirty images taken by Nancy-Carroll Draper (1922 – 2008), African Perspectives: Through the Eye of Nancy-Carroll Draper – A Tribute to Vision, was an interactive, digital experience presented on a 47-inch monitor. The exhibition allowed visitors to select and view images; see the details and further deepen their experience of the beauty and wildness of Africa.
Among her many achievements in life, Nancy-Carroll Draper was an approved American Kennel Club Judge of Great Danes. She judged all the major shows in the United States, and throughout the world. It was through these activities that she first visited Africa. She quickly became fascinated by the magnificent landscapes and wildlife of Africa, and recorded her impressions and her passion through photography and in a book titled On Safari: Dogs are the Excuse.
In these photographs, Nancy-Carroll Draper captured a sense of the vastness and intimacy, power and beauty that is the contradictory essence of Africa. She saw and embraced the same qualities in the Greater Yellowstone region, which she chose as her primary residence for last seventeen years of her life. Through her love of this place and her vision for its conservation, she helped guide and fund the creation of the Draper Natural History Museum “…to increase understanding and appreciation…for the Greater Yellowstone region.”
Nancy-Carroll Draper passed away in January 2008, at the age of 85. These photographs serve as a lasting tribute to her passion and vision that spanned continents.
“I had the feeling of being privileged, of being admitted to a place of special beauties. But not just to observe and enjoy but to go forth and tell, show, bring the message that these treasures can so easily vanish if man does not work to preserve this gift, this heritage.” —Nancy-Carroll Draper
Nancy-Carroll Draper was laid to rest near her ranch under towering, snow-capped peaks in her beloved South Fork River Valley of the Greater Yellowstone region. Her cousin, Louisa Blodgett, memorialized Nancy and her heart’s home with the following words:
I’ve come to the valley where the full moon is born.
Here, from the crevice between two mountain peaks, she emerges to begin her journey into the night, illuminating the cold, dark sky for all the world to behold.
This is the place.
Just follow the road along the river in a southwesterly direction, to the point where the pavement ends;
where the mountains loom before you and your psyche shrinks;
where the water from the creeks rushes off the hills to form the sparkling river;
where eagles soar above the clouds that rest beneath the mountaintops and
where the sky becomes the deepest of blue that reflects the world over.
This is the place of origin;
The place where Earth’s majesty is created, and where it returns to the reborn.
All the stars in the firmament gather here before traveling on to other skies and other nights. Here, they absorb their brilliance.
This is the valley of the Earth, the origin of all we admire and of all we might destroy.
Man comes here to till the fields, to raise livestock, to fish the rivers, but he can never own this valley.
It’s essence is far too large; its natural imperative too strong.
We simply pass through.
We are but a mere incidental achievement in the great world order, and we only exist as a reflection of that greatest achievement of all; the earth.
This is the lesson of the valley.
This is where Earth’s beauty begins.
This is where the full moon is born.
– Louisa Blodgett, 2008