Clyde Butcher shoots with large-format cameras. Photo by Woody Walters
Clyde Butcher shoots with large-format cameras. Photo by Woody Walters

Often tagged “the Ansel Adams of Florida,” photographer Clyde Butcher has made for himself a big reputation based on big black-and-white nature images taken with big cameras. The J.N. “Ding’ Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the “Ding” Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge will be hosting and mounting a special Clyde Butcher exhibition starting Nov. 13, as part of the refuge’s 75th anniversary celebration.

The award-winning artist captures the Florida Everglades, coastal islands, and other unspoiled areas with stunning majesty. “Wilderness, to me, is a spiritual necessity,” says Butcher.

As the refuge approaches its 75th anniversary on Dec. 1, 2020, staff and DDWS are gearing up to celebrate now through the milestone year.

Political cartoonist and conservationist Jay Norwood “Ding” Darling saw to the opening of the Sanibel National Wildlife Refuge in 1945.

Jay Darling would surely be proud of how far the refuge has come since its inception,” said Doris Hardy, chair of the 75th Anniversary Committee. “It has added significant acreage to the complex, built a Visitor & Education Center, consistently celebrated conservation art, educated hundreds of millions, and, most importantly, given wildlife a safe haven. We feel we have every right and responsibility to celebrate the occasion in a big way.”

The Clyde Butcher Photography 75th Anniversary Celebration will run through Feb. 5, 2020, and will include 35 of his renowned images from his Everglades collection, said Ann-Marie Wildman, exhibition coordinator.

The underlying message to this important exhibition is the value of preserving the fragile Everglades habitat and the quality of our waterways,” said DDWS executive director Birgie Miller. “We are seeking sponsors to help support the exhibition and its mission.”

To become an exhibition sponsor, contact Dot Voorhees at dot@dingdarlingsociety.org or 239-472-1100 ext. 239. For more information on the exhibition and 75th anniversary calendar of events, visit Ding75.org.