Between 1935 and 1943 the WPA's Federal Art Project printed over two million posters in 35,000 different designs to stir the public's imagination for education, theater, health, safety, and travel. Due to their fragile nature only two thousand posters have survived to this day; less than one tenth of one percent! These rare images were rescued and restored from black and white photos beginning in 1993 by Ranger Doug.
Ranger Doug's Enterprises was established by me, Doug Leen, in 1993 after the discovery twenty years earlier of the only surviving WPA poster--Grand Teton National Park. Sensing the possibility of a larger collection, my research took me to remote West Virginia where, ten years later, I discovered the remnants of this art collection--13 black and white photos of this series printed between 1938 and 1941. I immediately embarked on a mission to bring these rare posters back into the public domain.
During the next ten years, several originals have turned up in addition to the one I found in 1973--Grand Canyon and Petrified Forest. Then five Mt. Rainier posters turned up in a garage in South Seattle--three "sandwiched" together in one frame! Later, Bandelier National Monument discovered more than a dozen--with complete documentation of their publication. In 2005 an anonymous collector called with two more original finds and returned to his source to acquire a nearly full set. The search continues...
We now republish all 14 original WPA National Park posters with two additional See America posters printed for the US Travel Bureau. We've also added several contemporary poster designs to this collection at the request of the parks: Devils Tower, Bryce Canyon, Denali, Olympic, Mesa Verde and Hawaii, with more coming.