The first book of its kind, Bison: Portrait of an Icon tells the story of this distinctly American species – its history, majesty, cultural significance, and comeback story – through the stunning, dramatic photography of Audrey Hall. Tying together these visually captivating photographs is an extended essay by author Chase Reynolds Ewald, who weaves through her narrative voices of ranchers, policy makers, artists, and Native American tribal herd managers throughout the Great Plains and Mountain West.
Having been saved from the brink of extinction, the bison today – with its rugged, primitive build, its remarkable speed and hardiness, its primeval wooly hide, and its sheer strength – is a distinctly American icon. With a foreword by prominent natural history presenter and filmmaker John Heminway and an essay by Montana Poet Laureate Henry Real Bird, Bison: Portrait of an Icon is a book of beauty, depth, and lasting significance.
Chase Reynolds Ewald has been writing about art, travel, design, food, people and western lifestyle for more than 25 years. She is a contributing editor to Western Art & Architecture Magazine, the design columnist for Big Sky Journal and the author of 14 books. A graduate of Yale and the Graduate School of Journalism at U.C. Berkeley, she lives in Northern California and wanders the West whenever possible.
" [...] two highly regarded Western storytellers have summoned their magical chemistry to produce a gorgeous new book [...] The powerfully moving book offers a deep meditation on the cultural and spiritual resonance, near extinction and hopeful resurgence of the American bison."
– Laura Beausire, Mountain Living
"What Chase and Audrey have done in word and photo is to show us so splendidly the who and the how that restoration [of the Bison] has been and is being accomplished."
– Anne W. Semmes, Greenwich Sentinel
"Hall's photos are as pleasing to the eye as the words of writer Chase Reynolds Ewald, filmmaker John Heminway and poet Henry Real Bird are to the ear as they tell the story of the bison's rise, fall and rebirth on the North American continent."
– Jennifer Theurer, High Plains Journal
"In this stunning and hefty volume, photographer Audrey Hall brilliantly captures the spirit of the American bison and the landscape of the American West. Woven among her images is a beautifully written essay by author Chase Reynolds Ewald, sharing the bison's history, cultural significance, and recovery from the brink of extinction, as well as insights from ranchers, wildlife managers, policy makers, and artists. [...] A magnificent tribute to this majestic creature."
– Melanie Dragger, The Literary West Review
"The true wealth of the book is in Hall's magnificent photos of bison in their habitat, walking single file through deep snow, a cow giving birth in a spring meadow, a herd grazing in front of a mountain backdrop, a close-up of winter fluff on a shedding flank, a winsome calf next to its massive mother, and iconic images of bison next to Yellowstone's thermal pools. Accompanied throughout by quotes from Native elders, politicians, scientists, and historians, Hall's photos sing."
– Nancy Bent, Booklist