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James Dabbert publishes new book on the Indiana Dunes

Indiana Dunes RevistedIndiana University Press recently published James Dabbert’s book, The Indiana Dunes Revisited: Frank V. Dudley and the 1917 Dunes Pageant, the title for the 215-page catalogue and current exhibition, closing December 10, at Valparasio University's Brauer Museum of Art in Valparaiso, Ind. Both the catalogue and exhibition celebrate the centenary of the 1917 Dunes Pageant, the effort of a diverse activist community to establish a national Dunes Park.

Dabbert traces the connection between the artist Frank Dudley and his brother Clarence with Henry Chandler Cowles, a University of Chicago botanist who established the nascent science of ecology in the Indiana Dunes of Northwest Indiana, the cross-hair of ecological succession of North America. The Indiana Dunes Revealed Jens Jensen, who led the struggle between environmentalists and industry in saving the Indiana Dunes, first met the Dudley brothers in Chicago’s Union Park neighborhood in the 1890s. Jensen’s success in Union Park with his American Garden of native plants first attracted Clarence Dudley and soon the two men began tramping the Dunes with their cameras, later followed by Frank Dudley who devoted his art to promoting a timeless and moving but fragile landscape on Lake Michigan’s southern shoreline.   

The 2006 catalogue, The Indiana Dunes Revealed: The Art of Frank V. Dudley, edited by James Dabbert, with four essays by Dabbert, J. Ronald Engel and Joan Gibb Engel, Wendy Greenhouse, and William H. Gerdts, is still available from University of Illinois Press and is recommended by Midwest Book Review for supplemental reading lists in the areas of environmental studies and American Midwestern history.