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Into the Woods

Call Number: GEN MSS 1469

Description of Papers

Ten photographs of trees in Columbia County, New York, created by Karen Halverson in 2014-2015, and printed as color inkjet prints on Canson Platine Fibre Rag Paper, 20 x 24 inches (51 x 61 centimeters). In the photographs, she introduced tree flagging tape into the scenes with a range of colors. The prints are untitled with number sequences provided by Halverson to differentiate images. The collection comprises an edition numbered three of twelve.

In an artist's statement that accompanied the collection upon acquisition in 2016, Halverson describes the work:

It started with plastic tape I found attached to trees in South Carolina, strips of hot pink and blue punctuating the greens and browns of mighty oaks. Property markers, yes, but also adornment. Back home in New York State, I searched for colored tapes in the woods, but found very few. It was March, the landscape brown, the sky mostly gray. I craved color and the hardware store had it.

For the first time in many years of photographing landscape, I began introducing things into the field of view. I found that a single stroke of alien color would draw the eye into and around the photographic frame. I think of the tape or other material as a flourish, like a musical grace note, with the landscape retaining the upper hand. We humans have always made our marks on the land, one way or another. We claim territory, designate what's to be preserved or removed; we indicate the route, and we alter or add to what's there for the sake of visual pleasure. In these photographs, the introduced elements reference human intervention in the natural environment. But, of course, they are also a self-reference. I choose a location, experiment with my materials, and in time arrive at a photograph. Then, I gather my materials and leave things as they were. Would that all human interventions in the landscape were so benign.


  • 2014-2015


Language of Materials

In English

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Ownership & Copyright

The Karen Halverson, Into the Woods, are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Karen Halverson on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2016.


Arranged by the creator.


2.17 Linear Feet (1 box)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Ten photographs of trees in Columbia County, New York, created by Karen Halverson in 2014-2015. The photographer introduced tree flagging tape into the scenes with a range of colors.

Karen Halverson (born 1941)

Karen Halverson is a documentary landscape photographer. Born in Syracuse, New York, Halverson received a Bachelor of Arts from Stanford University and Masters of Arts from Brandeis University and Columbia University. In 1975, she made her first photographic project, which documented the Garment District in New York City. Much of her work documents the tension between the natural and cultural landscapes of the American West. She is the author of Downstream: Encounters with the Colorado River (University of California Press, 2008), which retraces the route of John Wesley Powell’s expeditions and explores what contemporary Americans have made of the waterway.

Processing Notes

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit. These materials have been arranged and described according to national and local standards. For more information, please refer to the Beinecke Manuscript Unit Processing Manual. Each folder in the collection contains a single inkjet print.

Guide to the Into the Woods
In Progress
Matthew Daniel Mason
May 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.