From AMC’s founding in 1876, members placed a high value on art for both aesthetic and educational reasons. Charles E. Fay, who would go on to serve AMC in many capacities, was the club’s first Councilor of Art. (For more about Fay, see his story, “The Casualty on Mount Lefroy“). In the inaugural edition of Appalachia, he wrote that art “would win friends to the association”—and also that it could help topographers who were attempting to map mountains and create landscape profiles of summit views.
Photography also became a focus, with the Councilor of Art curating exhibits in AMC’s headquarters and also building the organization’s collection with submissions from members and images taken by famed mountaineers. Charles Sanderson, one of Fay’s early successors as Councilor of Art, imagined a day when, “If we cannot come to the mountains, the mountains may come to us.”