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Franšois Matthes and the Marks of Time: Yosemite and the High Sierra by Franšois E. Matthes (1962)


END PAPER

The end paper is a portion of a map of Yosemite Valley. The topography is by Franšois Matthes and stands as one of the most beautiful topographic maps ever published. Matthes urged for many years that the United States Geological Survey should publish shaded topographic maps and left his own version of shading with the Survey upon his retirement. The portion herewith is an approximation of what he had hoped for and is reproduced in one color from the U.S.G.S. sheet, which is in five colors.

Source: U.S. Geological Survey, Map of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California, surveyed in 1905–1906 in co÷peration with the State of California and partly revised in 1934 and 1946. The shading was added in 1946, and the source sheet is one that was reprinted in 1949 with corrections. The scale is 1:24,000 (1 inch equals 2,000 feet) and North is up.

The end paper is a portion of a map of Yosemite Valley. The topography is by Franšois Matthes and stands as one of the most beautiful topographic maps ever published. Matthes urged for many years that the United States Geological Survey should publish shaded topographic maps and left his own version of shading with the Survey upon his retirement. The portion herewith is an approximation of what he had hoped for and is reproduced in one color from the U.S.G.S. sheet, which is in five colors.
[click to enlarge]

Dust Jacket

Franšois Matthes and the Marks of Time, dust jacket
[click to enlarge]
Dust jacket

Franšois Matthes “interpreted the beauty
of the Western American landscape to the mind
as well as eyes of all who love mountains.”
Robert Gordon Sproul

Franšois Matthes and the Marks of Time:
Yosemite and the High Sierra
Edited by Fritiof Fryxell

“As an interpreter of the western scene,” Professor Fryxell writes, “Matthes was without peer among contemporary American geologists.” And his work fascinated nongeologists, too. One wrote, of a friend and himself, “We have both carried Professional Paper 160 [about Yosemite] in our knapsacks when every ounce of weight was precious.”

Matthes first came to Yosemite in 1903. The first of his “Little Studies in the Sierra” appeared in the Sierra Club Bulletin in 1910, his last, in 1948. Others were drawn upon for his books; still others are first published here.

It is appropriate that Professor Fryxell, who has completed three of Matthes’ books on the Sierra Nevada posthumously, and who also traveled with Matthes on some of his explorations, should complete the present work and preface it with a beautifully and sympathetically presented biography of a very special kind of scientist.

It was the unique gift of Franšois Matthes to make geology a living subject. A detective of the high-mountain wilderness and an artist in the way he presents his story, he gives nothing away prematurely, but asks the reader and himself questions: Could the range have formed because the mountain lifted or because the valley dropped? If the valley dropped, then should we not find two or three kinds of evidence? Lets go out and look.

After a certain amount of suspense, we find the evidence, and he lets us discover it for ourselves—again and again on field trips through these pages with Matthes. The man who is not a geologist to begin with ends the trip with the makings of a geologist in him—and he will love the transformation and his new appreciation of the old mountains he thought he knew.

Illustrated with many photographs by Ansel Adams and including photographs, sketches, diagrams, and topography by Franšois Matthes. Designed by Mark Robertson.



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