Then And Now Historical Photos Exhibited During October

The Arboretum's iconic Boojum Trees were planted during our founding years; now, 75 years later, the unusual desert plants tower over the Main Trail - and are among the tallest within the United States.
Check out
the views below, scenes of BTA back then - juxtaposed alongside their modern day equivalents. Studying and celebrating the Arboretum's history has been among Mark Siegwarth's goals over the past few years as Executive Director at BTA. He has taken a particular interest in rare archival images - more than once positioning himself to recreate the same viewpoint that a Depression-era photographer had chosen more than two generations ago.
Enlarged prints from the Arboretum's collection will be exhibited during October in the Visitor Center art gallery alongside their 2012 updates; many of the upated images were taken by longtime BTA annual member Philip Lowe. In this brief interview below, Executive Director Mark Siegwarth describes the exhibit.
Q. In brief, what's the history of these images?
A. "Most of the pictures are from 1924 - 1929. Colonel Thompson passed away in 1930. Kim Stone and Bill Feldman led the charge to digitize these images and Kim continued the project after Bill retired."
Q. What's special about this particular group of one dozen images? were these chosen specifically to illustrate growth of trees around the gardens, buildings, paths?
A. "Kim chose landscape and landmarks that would be easily recognizable. I requested two specific ones be added: one inside and one in front of the Smith Building looking at Picket Post House.
Q. You've taken a personal interest in these "then-and-now" illustrative juxtapositions, whats so compelling about them?
A. "When I first invited to share history lectures that included slideshows of the old images, viewers were interested in the comparisons - the way people dressed back then, the cars; our members who are most intimately familiar with the gardens and trails were also fascinated about how the land looked back the 1930s after it had been overgrazed. And seeing these before-and-after pictures brings a realization of what had and what can be accomplished at the Arboretum. One attention-getter is a view seen through the Smith Building front door -- in my slideshow I usually save this one for the last to prove they are before and after pictures; some people find it hard to believe both scenes depict the same place."

 
Boyce Thompson Arboretum is located at Highway 60 milepost #223, just three miles west of the town of Superior - a drive of about one hour east of Phoenix or two hours from Tucson (take Oracle Road North to Highway 79 past Florence to Highway 60, then East for another 12 miles).

During Fall and Winter months exhibits may be seen in the Visitor Center gallery daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Arboretum is an Arizona State Park and daily admission must be paid to enter the Visitor Center where the gallery is found. Admission is $9 for adults and $4.50 for ages 5-12. Annual memberships at the Arboretum begin at $45, and include a year's access, guest passes for your friends and family, along with many other benefits. A membership may be purchased in the gift shop on the day of your visit.

Review other recent gallery shows from...

Paul Landau June-September, 2012

Legumes of Arizona March - May, 2012

Michael Madsen February, 2012

Bud Heiss
November-December, 2011

Mesa Art League September-October, 2011

Kim Hosey July-August, 2011

Pima College & CAC
April, 2011

Jim Burns March, 2011

Kay Cummings
February, 2011

Paul Kinslow January, 2011

Mesa Arts League September, 2010

Rick Cameron April , 2010

Nan Lawrence March, 2010

Barbara Atkinson
February, 2010

Nancy Matus
January, 2010

Barbara Cox
December, 2009

Margaret Whittaker
November, 2009

Artists of the Superstitions
October, 2009

Marilyn Barton
September, 2009

Gila Community College August, 2009

Deborah A. Lee June, 2009

Margie Porter May, 2009

Timm Chapman January, 2009

Paul Kinslow December, 2008

Maggie Leef November 2008

Sharon Sieben October 2008

Nicole Royse September 2008

Judy Bottler Photography May 2008

Bob Estrin Photography April 2008

Mary Isham Watercolors March 2008

Susan Strom and Cathy Franklin Lightning Photography February, 2008

Arizona State Parks Plein Air Paintings January, 2008

Carolyn Gray & Connie Thomas December, 2007

Jean Sullivan November, 2007

Sue Cullumber October, 2007

Adriane Grimaldi September, 2007

Mesa Arts League June-July, 2007

Fred Charlton May, 2007

Paul Mudersbach March-April, 2007

Linda Kaiser February, 2007
Edith Kreueger-Nye December, 2006 - January, 2007
Cindy Carrillo October-November, 2006
Bob Rice September, 2006
Bud Heiss July-August, 2006
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2006
Sandy Tracey April-May, 2006
CJ Rider March, 2006
Jessica Green February, 2006
Steve Davidson January, 2006
Don & Carole Schupp December, 2005
Carolyn Gray November, 2005
Martha Burgess October, 2005
Boeing Photographers September, 2005
Lightning Lady Susan Strom July/August, 2005
Mesa Arts League June/July, 2005
Jeanette Bronson May, 2005
Tom Stanley April, 2005
Kathy McClure February-March, 2005
Pam Smyth January, 2005
Tina Faust December, 2004