Art throughout the National Park Service
As part of its interpretive work, HFC often contracts with artists to create works to help visitors understand the many stories parks have to tell. A scene of the Revolutionary War in a visitor center film brings history closer. A painting in an exhibit gives context to the objects on display. Drawings of plants and animals in a brochure help visitors identify what they see in the park.
In HFC's media products, a single work may be used for several different projects for parks with related stories. Sometimes only a detail of an image --one person or an animal --is used to convey a specific idea. Paintings, drawings, and even computer-generated art add to the quality of people's experiences in parks. Where will you find art on your National Park Service visit?
The collection contains more than 11,000 pieces of art purchased by Harpers Ferry Center or produced by HFC staff for park brochures, exhibits, films, posters, publications, and other projects. Some of the artists represents include Leonard Baskin, Heinrich Berann, Alan E. Cober, Mark English, Louis S. Glanzman, Charley Harper, Jay Matternes, Jerry Pinkney, Keith Rocco, Richard Schlecht, Robert Hynes, and Don Troiani.
Most of the art collection is accessible to NPS staff through an online, searchable database. HFC often acquires one-time or limited use rights for pieces of artwork. Only material in the public domain is available for use by the public.
Frequently Asked Questions
If the art was produced through a contract that gives the government ownership of the copyright, digital images of the art can be provided to the public. Purchasing copyright outright from an artist can be expensive. In many cases the National Park Service has purchased unlimited use rights for NPS use only due to cost contstraints, but in some cases even use by the NPS can be limited. The NPS adheres to U.S. Copyright laws and will not provide copies of copyrighted materials without written consent of the copyright holder.
How do I determine the copyright status of a work of art?
In general, the searchable database is set up to ensure that the public only sees images that do not have copyright restrictions. If you have questions about the copyright status of any materials, or how to contact the copyright holder, contact the collection manager.
How do I request copies of HFC Commissioned Art Collection materials?
All requests for images of materials in the HFC Commissioned Art Collection must be submitted on the user request form, available here and submitted to the collection manager via email.
Is there a cost to get copies of the artwork?
At this time there is no cost for digital images of available artwork in the HFC Commissioned Art Collection. A cost recovery program is curently under development. This is information will be updates as the program is implemented.
Can I tour the HFC Commissioned Art Collection?
Museum collection storage areas are not open to the public. The HFC Commissioned Art Collection is available for research by appointment only.
When can researchers access the collection?
The HFC Commissioned Art Collection is generally available for research by appointment weekdays only from 9:00am-4:30pm. Staff tries to accomodate requested appointment days and times but alternative days or times may be necessary as staff and space are limited.
Who do I contact for more information?
Contact the collection manager for more information or to schedule a research visit.
Last updated: July 15, 2019