We just learned of the passing of Phillip Earl, former historian for the Nevada Historical Society and an expert on the Basque arborglyphs of the Great Basin. I had the great pleasure of working with Phillip and his wife Jean in 2015 to create a pair of films for a Nevada Arts Council/ Nevada Historical Society travelling exhibit. Our work together involved filming in Reno as well as high in Sierra Nevada aspen groves and their adjacent meadows to demonstrate the Earl’s unique technique for preserving a record of the arborglyphs using wax rubbing on muslin fabric.
The exhibit, Mountain Picassos: Arborglyphs of the Great Basin, continues its travels. The two films are still available to view on the NAC website, and Phillip and Jean’s wonderful book Basque Aspen Art of the Sierra Nevada, published in 2011 is also recommended.