“As the Governor of Colorado, I am fortunate enough to have had the pleasure of walking into my office every day and being greeted by a John Fielder original. This photograph is a constant reminder of the natural wonders found in our state, which generations of conservationists, lawmakers, and everyday people have fought to protect for the enjoyment of future generations," said Governor Jared Polis. “This collection, and the exhibitions that will come from it, are a chance for us to celebrate John and all he has accomplished, but more importantly, to honor the legacy he has created and the gift he is giving to the people of Colorado.”
The digitization, cataloging and upcoming exhibition development of John Fielder’s generous donation is made possible by a grant from the Telluray Foundation. This collection has been made available for personal and commercial use so it may serve as inspiration for future publications, exhibitions, and research around climate change.
“Our collection access team has put in long hours so we can follow through on John’s vision of allowing everyone to see Colorado as he did by preserving his work for future generations,” said Dawn DiPrince, executive director of History Colorado. “This is a profound opportunity for Coloradans to see the breathtaking vistas that define the Centennial State and evaluate if the relationship we have with the land will allow for our grandchildren to experience the same wonders captured by John.”
It has always been Fielder’s hope that this collection will foster a desire to be stewards of the environment which he holds dear, by providing a chance for Coloradans to follow in his footsteps of exploring the 28 mountain ranges, numerous rivers, and diverse ecosystems of Colorado.
“I have come to know that photographs can influence human action,” Fielder said. “Though I want people to be able to enjoy and savor the simple and manifest beauty inherent in my images, I also want the photos to influence how they act in their lives. I hope people who view them will understand the inextricable connectivity between all living things on the entire planet Earth, as well as the delicate connectivity between the environments, or ecosystems, in which life exists.”
Furthermore, History Colorado is moving forward with plans to open an exhibition dedicated to the art of John Fielder in late July at the History Colorado Center. This exhibition, entitled Revealed: John Fielder's Favorite Place, will take visitors behind the lens to see Colorado as Fielder did while also sharing tales of his treks across the Centennial State, and secrets of how he captures Colorado's natural wonders in his iconic images.
History Colorado will also create The John Fielder Mezzanine Gallery on the second floor of the History Colorado Center. Starting in January 2024, this gallery will be regularly updated to highlight Fielder’s incredible contribution to the visual record of Colorado, and explore the diverse natural and rural environments of the Centennial State.
About John Fielder
John Fielder, renowned nature photographer and publisher, has worked tirelessly to promote the protection of Colorado’s ranches, open space, and wildlands during his 40-year career. Over this time he has taken hundreds of thousands of photos, garnered awards, advocated tirelessly for Colorado’s public lands, and influenced the passage of laws to protect public lands in Colorado and beyond.
Amongst his accolades are: serving as a foundational advocate in the creation of Great Outdoors Colorado Trust Fund (GOCO) in 1992 as well as serving as an original board member; influencing the passage of Congress’s Colorado Wilderness Act of 1993; being the first individual given an achievement award by the Aldo Leopold Foundation in 2011; receiving an honorary degree in Sustainability Studies from Colorado Mountain College in 2017; and having his photography featured in over 50 books.
Fielder prides himself on having effectively been to each of Colorado’s 104,984 square miles over the past 40 years. During this time he has tried to capture the sublimeness of this corner of Earth that he has always felt was most beautiful. In the future John will continue to traverse the 28 mountain ranges, endless waterways, remote desert canyons, and vast plains of Colorado while contributing to the visual record of the Centennial state.
About History Colorado
History Colorado is a division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education and a 501(c)3 non-profit that has served more than 75,000 students and 500,000 people in Colorado each year. It is a 143-year-old institution that operates eleven museums and historic sites, a free public research center, the Office of Archaeology and Historic Preservation which provides technical assistance, educational opportunities, and other access to archaeology and historic preservation, and the History Colorado State Historical Fund (SHF), which is one of the nation’s largest state funded preservation programs of its kind. More than 70% of SHF grants are allocated in rural areas of the state. Additionally, the offices of the State Archaeologist and the State Historic Preservation Officer are part of History Colorado.
History Colorado’s mission is to create a better future for Colorado by inspiring wonder in our past. We serve as the state’s memory, preserving and sharing the places, stories, and material culture of Colorado through educational programs, historic preservation grants, collecting, outreach to Colorado communities, the History Colorado Center and Stephen H. Hart Research Center in Denver, and 10 other museums and historic attractions statewide. History Colorado is one of only six Smithsonian Affiliates in Colorado. Visit HistoryColorado.org, or call 303-HISTORY, for more information. #HistoryColorado