In 2014, the Yosemite Museum hosted a special exhibit to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Yosemite Grant Act, which took place on June 30, 1864. The exhibit highlighted the importance of this landmark legislation to the history of conservation and the national parks, with materials from the Yosemite Museum and other collections, including the National Archives and the Center for Military History. 

Many of the more than 70 artifacts that were displayed date back to before the grant was signed, and the exhibit provided a unique opportunity for visitors to see pieces that otherwise would remain in storage. In addition to featuring early paintings, photographs, manuscripts and maps, the exhibit engaged visitors through video interviews, digital slide shows and an interactive audio presentation of quotations from famous figures, including Galen Clark, John Muir and Frederick Law Olmsted.

The exhibit, which ran from June through October, painted a visual and narrative history of Yosemite National Park and the beginning of the entire National Park Service for tens of thousands of park visitors.

Your support helped commemorate the sesquicentennial anniversary of President Lincoln signing the legislation that preserved Yosemite while connecting people with the park’s remarkable past.

Barbara Beroza

Exhibit Curator

Project Notes

The public has been able to see pieces from the collection that would otherwise remain in storage, and the exhibits enhance their Yosemite experience.