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Luncheon kicks off Mountain High Exhibit at Timberline Lodge posted on 08/01/2019

Rick Schaffer, stepson and protege to famed photographer Ray Atkeson, noted that among the lessons he learned under Atkeson was organization. And that skill will come in handy as Schaffer whittles down a select number of photographs that will be part of the 22nd Mountain High Exhibit, opening this month and running through the end of the year at Timberline Lodge.

“You’re going to want a balance of imagery,” Shaffer said about the process. “Some that are obviously very well-known images, some not as well known.”

Schaffer will also offer a midday lecture from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 25 as part of a luncheon at the Lodge, featuring a catered lunch with wine and champagne. Proceeds from the event will support the Friends of Timberline (FOT), a volunteer-based nonprofit that supports preservation, conservation and community outreach programs at the Lodge, which is owned by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and operated by special use permittee RLK and Company. Schaffer’s remarks will focus on Atkeson's photography, his history and will highlight a few of the stunning vistas he captured in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

Schaffer inherited Atkeson’s archives, including approximately 40,000 sheets of black and white negative film, up to 20,000 prints (color and black and white) and 250,000 pieces of color film. In addition to the selected pieces on display, Schaffer plans on showing more images during his lecture.

The photos in the exhibit will likely include a range of images featuring Timberline Lodge, including construction images, some of the interior, snow photos and more. Schaffer noted that Atkeson, a commercial and freelance photographer who joined the Mazamas Club in 1929 and reached the summit of Mount Hood 16 times, was such a regular at the Lodge that he was described as a “barometer.”

“If they saw Ray’s car in the parking lot at sunrise, they knew it was going to be a good day,” Schaffer said.

The Mountain High Exhibit is held every other year and has celebrated other aspects of the Lodge’s art, including woodcarvings and metalwork.

FOT President Lynda O’Neill, who has taken part in the selection process of the photographs for the Atkeson exhibit, noted she has particularly enjoyed the ones of the Lodge being built, which offers a chance to compare how things have changed (or not) since then.

“It’s really interesting to see the lodge at that date and also how it’s been kept up,” she said. “It’s a living museum.”

“Ray was an icon at the mountain,” O’Neill added. “He is world-known for his images. Timberline is just one of the beautiful spots he would shoot, but being around the people, sports and the Lodge made it one of his favorites.”

Free Lodge tours will be given by USFS volunteers before and after the Aug. 25 luncheon at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Tickets for the luncheon are $75 and can be purchased online at https://atributetorayatkeson.eventbrite.com. For more information about FOT, visit www.friendsoftimberline.org.

By Garth Guibord/MT




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