The photographs of Elaine Shea Jones are a culmination of a lifetime devoted to art, beauty and nature. “Seeing the world through the long lens of a camera has given me a glimpse of the infinite beauty of this place we call home. My life has been enriched beyond measure.”
Elaine was one of the first photographers to discover the unique beauty of the tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills. She started coming to Matfield Green in the 1970s. Her prairie images were used in many books and film documentaries, such as “Return to PrairyErth” with William Least Heat-Moon, and Jacques Cousteau’s “Rivers of the World”. Her work includes series of portraits of the people of Chase County.
Her deep attraction to the prairie led to Elaine’s work as Executive Director of Save the Tallgrass Prairie and, later, as Director of The Grassland Heritage Foundation. Elaine used her images of the prairie to raise awareness of the ecological treasures of Kansas. She was awarded the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Quality Award, and was appointed as a member of the Kansas Advisory Commission on Environment.