Frank Gohlke, Mount St. Helens: 1981 to 1990 (HC)
Beginning in 1981, the photographer Frank Gohlke made regular visits to the devastated landscape around the Mount St. Helens volcano, in the forests of Washington State. In photographs of biblical grandeur taken between 1981 and 1990, Gohlke recorded both the ravaged terrain around Mount St. Helens in the early years after the 1980 eruption and the regrowth, slow but extraordinary, of the region's natural forest. Mount St. Helens: 1981 to 1990 contains all of these dramatic photographs; an essay on volcanology and the geology of the Pacific Northwest by Kerry Sieh and Simon LeVay; an introduction by Peter Galassi, Chief Curator of Photography at The Museum of Modern Art; and notes on the images by the photographer himself.
View more MoMA Publications
On the morning of May 18, 1980, the mountain had been hit by two enormous explosions. First, pressure that had built up in the interior of the volcano over the preceding months triggered a massive landslide, the largest in recorded history, removing the entire north face of the mountain; this avalanche was immediately followed by a violent eruption, ultimately expelling over a quarter-billion cubic yards of magma. The blast devastated roughly 250 square miles, leaving behind scoured rock, millions of fallen trees, and mud-choked river valleys-and yet the land returned, gradually restoring and regenerating itself. Includes 43 duotone plates.