Rich Clarkson's "American West" Book Wins Top Honors

May 8, 2013

DENVER, CO (May 8, 2013) – A book featuring the National Geographic's photographs of the American west produced by Rich Clarkson and Associates of Denver has won the top award from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.  

The award for outstanding photography book of the year was presented to Rich Clarkson and James C. McNutt, president of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole, for "Greatest Photographs Of The American West." 

The National Museum of Wildlife Art was the organizing museum of the accompany exhibit of the photographs that opened simultaneously in 10 museums last October. 

Clarkson was NPPA's president in 1976.

The 304-page book features the best photographs of the American west from the 125 years of the National Geographic Society. Edited by Clarkson, the book was published by National Geographic Society Books and it features photographs from the early days of William Henry Jackson, Carlton Watson, and Ansel Adams up through the contemporary photography of Geographic photographers William Albert Allard and Bruce Dale, among others. An essay by McNutt traces the history of photographs introducing the West to the eastern states and to Congress as the move westward began.

Clarkson, now owner of a Denver photographic company that produces books, exhibitions, and multimedia programs, was photography director of the National Geographic in the 1980s and was given access to the more than 100,000 images housed in the Geographic archives in Washington, DC.

The award was presented as part of the 52nd Anniversary Western Heritage Awards at a black tie dinner the museum in Oklahoma City in April. Accompanying Clarkson was McNutt was the book's designer, Kate Glassner Brainerd, and Chris Steppig, project director.  Others in Denver who were on the book staff included Jon Rizzi  and Kristen Wright. The book is now in its second printing.