The Art Of Mount Shasta

January 16 - May 2, 2010

 



 

Art object labels from the exhibition

 

Artists unknown
Assorted postcards from the Mount Shasta region, 1890-1940s
Mount Shasta Collection, College of the Siskiyous, Weed, California
__________
 
Many people learned of Mount Shasta's appearance from postcards sent by intrepid friends and family who braved what was often a long journey to visit the mountain.
 
 
 
Artist unknown
California for the Tourist: The Charm of the Land of Sunshine, by Summit, Sea, and Shore, 1910
Offset lithograph
Mount Shasta Collection, College of the Siskiyous, Weed, California
__________
 
Because the image of Mount Shasta had become so widely known by the late nineteenth century, it was commonly used to promote tourism within the entire state.
 
 
 
Artist unknown
Book cover for Mary Austin's California: Land of the Sun, 1914
Mount Shasta Collection, College of the Siskiyous, Weed, California
__________
 
On this beautifully designed book cover, Mount Shasta symbolizes the northern part of the state while an orange tree evokes the southern portion.
 
 
Artist unknown
Picus Williamsonii, Williamson's Woodpecker, Williamson-Abbot survey report, volume 6, plate XXXIV, 1857
Hand-colored lithograph on paper
Private collection
__________
 
Collecting scientific data was a key function of the expeditions of the mid-nineteenth century. This Shasta area bird was new to science when collected near Klamath Lake in 1855. It was named for expedition leader Robert Williamson. Today its common name is Williamson's sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus).
 
The image is part of the final report on the Williamson-Abbot railroad survey, which laid the groundwork for construction of a railroad line from Redding to Roseburg.
 
 
 
Artist unknown
Sacramento Valley, special brochure published by Sunset Magazine, 1911
Offset lithograph on paper
Private collection
__________
 
This serene composition blends images of dramatic wilderness (Shasta) with suggestions of agricultural plenty. Implicitly, the viewer takes in an impression of both material and spiritual sustenance.
 
 
 
Alfred Thomas Agate (1812-1846, born in New York state)
Shasty Peak, 1841
Ink wash on paper
Navy Art Collection, Naval Historical Center, Washington, DC
__________
 
How did the Navy come to be at Mount Shasta in 1841? This picture is the oldest known original artwork of Mount Shasta. It is part of the nearly forgotten story of America's greatest around-the-world explorers -- the Wilkes Expedition. After one of their six ships ran aground, a group of officers journeyed overland from the Columbia River past Mount Shasta to Sutter's Fort. Although they were scientific explorers, they also had a mandate to determine political conditions in anticipation of a coming war with Mexico.
 
The need to store the collections stemming from four years of scientific inquiry by the dedicated scientists and artists of the 1838-1842 "U.S. Exploring Expedition" was a major factor leading to the founding of the Smithsonian Institution.
 
 
 
Alfred Thomas Agate (1812-1846, born in New York state)
Shaste Peak, 1845
Steel engraving on paper
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Agate's original ink wash drawing was faithfully copied and reproduced as a steel engraving. The engraving became famous, while the original drawing was housed with the Wilkes Expedition's scientific records and specimens.
 
The 1844 first edition of this engraving has the caption, "Shasty Peak," and is the earliest known published image of Mount Shasta. Editions from 1845 and later label the picture as "Shaste Peak."
 
 
 
Thomas Ayres (1816-1858, born in New Jersey)
Mount Shasta at the Head Waters of the Sacramento Valley, 1858
Wood engraving on paper
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
The vantage point for this image is Cottonwood Creek near Redding. Ayres's chief claim to fame was that in 1855 he became the first artist working in the European tradition to depict Yosemite Valley.
 
 
 
Harry Cassie Best (1863-1936, born in Canada)
Mount Shasta from the West, ca. 1890s
Oil on canvas
Collection of the Behrens Eaton Museum, Redding, California
__________
 
Harry Cassie Best, whose studio in Yosemite was later used by his son-in-law Ansel Adams, was a prolific painter whose work was admired by Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt wrote in 1908, "I appreciate very much your painting, the Afterglow on Mount Shasta, and shall give it the place of honor in my home. I consider the evening twilight on Mt. Shasta one of the grandest sights I have ever witnessed."
 
 
 
Carl Oscar Borg (1879-1947, born in Sweden)
Mount Shasta, 1909
Oil on canvas
Collection of the Hearst Corporation
__________
 
In 1909, Phoebe Apperson Hearst (mother of William Randolph Hearst) wrote to artist Carl Oscar Borg as follows, beginning a lifelong friendship between the two of them:
 
"I am writing to ask you if you will come to my mountain home near Shasta and stay
until Sept. 12th. There are many lovely places where I think you will enjoy sketching.
After the 12th of September I should be glad to have you make a visit of two weeks
at my Hacienda not far from San Francisco. You will find there a few scenes to
please you. I am requesting my business manager to send you a check for fifty
dollars to cover the expenses of your trip here. As you are, I hope, to be my guest, it
is my privilege to send the amount to meet all expenses. Enclosed find directions for
the route from S.F. to McCloud. Please send a telegram to let me know if you can
come and when we may expect you. Yours sincerely, P.A. Hearst."
 
 
 
Henri Joseph Breuer (1860-1932, born in England)
Snowy Mountain, after 1903
Oil on canvas
Collection of Claudia and Marvin Vickers
__________
Breuer relates, "I board a train to some station somewhere near Mount Shasta, and thus into the woods the days were grand before that high, white altar, Shasta. I shall feel for all my life that I was a true pilgrim, and for the sake of days like that, I am happy to be what I am, a landscape painter I can assure you it is nine-tenths hard work and physical endurance. In my choice of subjects I am unfortunately so fortunate as to choose the grand and big and strong, therefore I have often to travel far and endure much, but the game is worth the effort, and a trophy brought in by my brush is worth more to me than a 'big kill' of mountain sheep or antlered elk."
 
Adolphus Busch, co-founder of Anheuser Busch Company, acquired several of Breuer's paintings.
 
 
 
Alphonso Herman Broad (1851-1930, born in Maine)
Mt. Shasta, early twentieth-century
Oil on board
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Broad, a noted architect of schools and homes in Berkeley, California, was a friend of many of the 1870s artists, including William Keith.
 
Broad's work may often be identified by his preference for an apple-green color, as seen in this painting.
 
 
 
Samuel Marsden Brookes (1816-1892, born in England)
Dolly Varden Trout on the Banks of the McCloud River, 1876
Oil on canvas
Private collection
__________
 
In 1876 the Smithsonian Institution hired San Francisco artist Brookes to travel to the McCloud River to make accurate color portraits of river fish. The upper McCloud was the only river in California to have the Dolly Varden trout, which required cold, clear glacial water for survival. Note the icy blue water in the painting as well as river plants and rocks characteristic of the McCloud.
 
The Dolly Varden was named around 1872 by young Elda McCloud Masson of Dunsmuir for the trout's defining solid red spots, which reminded her of the red pattern found on Dolly Varden dresses then in fashion. The name originally came from a flirtatious character in a Charles Dickens novel. The Dolly Varden trout (today called the bull trout) is now extirpated from the McCloud and is no longer found in California.
 
 
 
Frederick Butman (1820-1871, born in Maine)
Mount Shasta and Shastina Lake, not dated
Oil on canvas
Collection of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
__________
 
Butman shares with Albert Bierstadt the distinction of being one of the first high-ranking artists to paint Mount Shasta. Paintings exist from 1863 and 1864. The delicacy of his style sets him apart from his contemporaries.
 
Acquiring landscape paintings to hang in one's home was just beginning to be popular at this time in California's history. Butman was one of the first in California to make a living as a landscape painter.
 
 
 
Philip K. Carnine (1884-1976, born in South Dakota)
Mt. Shasta, not dated
Oil on board
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Carnine worked as a sign painter and typesetter in Mount Shasta City. He wrote Diamond Spike: The Autobiography of an All-American Racketeer, a book about several of the characters in the small communities in the Mount Shasta area. Carnine created many paintings of Mount Shasta and was one of the first artists to live in the Mount Shasta area rather than just visit.
 
 
 
A. Cedro (active circa 1910, possibly born in Russia)
Mount Shasta, ca. 1909
Oil on canvas
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Very little is known about this folk artist who lived in Siskiyou County at the turn of the twentieth century. Dozens of his farm, wildlife, still-life, and landscapes scenes, including several Arctic paintings, are known. Many works are still found in northern California and southern Oregon taverns and clubs, however, suggesting one sort of place that captured his attention. The story persists that after his wife left him he used her likeness in many of his signed bar room nudes.
 
In this painting Cedro relies on a compositional formula made famous in the U.S. by Albert Bierstadt in such epic paintings as his Among the Sierra Nevada, California (1868). In the foreground, wildlife is at home on the edge of a tranquil lake emerging into the scene from the left. Rocky outcroppings or stretches of dense forest occupy the middle ground. Finally, in the background a mountain of stunning proportions soars.
 
 
 
[Panel image 1: Get Bierstadt image from this site.
www.americanart.si.edu/images/1977/1977.107.1_1a.jpg]
Albert Bierstadt, Among the Sierra Nevada, California, 1868, oil on canvas, 72 x
120-1/8 inches, Smithsonian American Art Museum (1977.107.1)
 
 
 
Attributed to Frederick Edwin Church (1826-1900, born in Connecticut)
Sacramento River Looking East to Mt. Shasta on the Left, Lesser Peak on the Right, not dated
Watercolor on paper
Collection of the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
__________
 
This fine watercolor ascribed to Frederic Church and identified as a view of Shasta actually resembles sites farther north. The view matches closely a perspective east of the mountains, facing west, with Mount Jefferson to the left, Mount Hood to the right, and the Columbia River in the foreground. However, as Church never traveled to the West, it cannot be an on-the-spot work from his hand.
 
This work reveals that Mount Shasta had become so familiar that its name was ascribed early on-and inaccurately-to views of lesser known peaks.
 
 
 
Mary J. Coulter (1880-1966, born in Kentucky)
Mt. Shasta Above the Pines, not dated
Drypoint on paper
Collection of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California
 
 
 
James Dwight Dana (1813-1895, born in New York state)
The Shasty Peak, 1849
Steel engraving on paper after 1841 sketch
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Dana, one of America's greatest scientists, created a system of mineralogy still used today around the world. He sketched Mount Shasta in his notebook as part of his duties on the Wilkes Expedition in 1841. Thus Dana shares with Alfred Agate the distinction of being one of the first two people known to have made sketches of Mount Shasta.
 
Dana recognized in 1841 the possibility of gold in the northern California mountains, and published this sketch in 1849 as part of an article answering all the questions about California he was being asked as the Gold Rush began.
 
 
 
Arthur B. Davies (1863-1928, born in New York state)
Mt. Shasta, ca. 1906
Oil on board
Private collection
__________
 
Davies is best known for being one of The Eight (also known as the Ashcan School), a group of east coast American painters. They painted scenes of daily life, often raw and "un-pretty."
 
This painting is unusual in that it shows just the Shastina cone of Mount Shasta, perhaps done in an attempt to avoid the conventional portrayal of the mountain. A few years after he made this ethereal sketch of Mount Shasta, Davies became one of the chief organizers of the renowned Armory Show of 1913, which introduced European Modernism to the American public.
 
 
 
Albert Thomas DeRome (1885-1959, born in California)
Mt. Shasta, Abrams Lake or Lake Elaine, 1913
Watercolor
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
DeRome was one of the few artists in California to paint the landscape north of Mount Shasta. He was particularly drawn to the Upper Klamath River. He traveled widely; one commentator has said that between 1918 and 1931 he may have traveled more than any other artist in California.
 
DeRome was paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair after a tragic college fraternity hazing incident. His insurance settlement required that he never sell a painting for money, so for the rest of his life he gave his paintings away.
 
 
 
John Doty (1870-1959)
Mount Shasta, ca. 1943
Oil on board
Collection of Richard C. Frey
__________
 
The self-taught Doty moved to Mount Shasta City in 1894, when the town was still named Sisson. He was the earliest known resident artist in the Mount Shasta region.
 
 
 
Frederick W. Egloffstein (1824-1898, born in Germany)
Madelin Pass, 1854
Wood or steel engraving on paper
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
 
Baron von Egloffstein was one of the most highly praised of the railroad survey artists. He was also one of many artist-explorers who put themselves through extraordinary deprivation to obtain the views they required.
 
The 1846 war with Mexico and the 1849 Gold Rush both quickly helped to establish northern California as a part of the U. S. It became clear that the country needed a railroad to the West. Many routes for a transcontinental railroad were proposed. Several surveys, two of which passed near Mount Shasta, were conducted between 1853 and 1855. Each survey party included surveyors, civil engineers, geologists, botanists, zoologists, artists, physicians, and topographers, plus necessary assistants and military escort.
 
 
 
Joseph John Englehart (1867 - 1915, born in Illinois)
Trail and Indians with Mount Shasta, ca. 1890
Oil on canvas
Private collection
__________
 
Englehart painted about a dozen of these scenes of Mount Shasta, in a range of sizes. Over the years he had studios in San Francisco, Tacoma, Portland, and Oakland. His work is typical of artists of the era who are not among the country's finest artists, but managed to make a good living painting formulaic scenes of the West.
 
 
 
 
Harry Fenn (1845-1911, born in England)
Mount Shasta, California, Harper's Weekly, 1887
Wood or steel engraving on newsprint
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Harry Fenn, a founder of the American Watercolor Society, was a leading illustrator for American magazines and newspapers. He contributed as well to the books Picturesque America in 1872 and Picturesque California in 1887.
 
 
 
Frank Morley Fletcher (1866-1949, born in England)
California 2, Mount Shasta, ca. 1922
Color woodcut on laid Japanese paper
Private collection
__________
 
Fletcher rode the wave of interest in Japanese woodblock prints that swept through artistic circles in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The stylization demanded by the woodblock medium imparts a strong sense of symbolic importance and monumentality to what is in fact an image of quite small scale.
 
In the 1920s Fletcher left his position as director of the Edinburgh College of Art to come to the U. S. to be the first director of the newly formed Santa Barbara School of the Arts. Already fifty-seven years old, he brought expertise in the long English tradition of woodblock printing. In 1916 he encapsulated his experience in a successful book entitled Woodblock Printing.
 
 
 
Robert Swain Gifford (1840-1905, born in Massachusetts)
Mount Shasta, 1869
Oil on canvas
Collection of the Strong National Museum of Play ®, Rochester, New York
__________
 
Gifford was one of many "eminent American artists" to illustrate the massive, two-volume Picturesque America, originally published in 1872. This grand publication was designed to bring American nature, by means of American art, into the American home. Gifford's oil sketches had to be transformed into high quality steel and wood engravings in order to be published.
 
 
 
Robert Swain Gifford (1840-1905, born in Massachusetts)
Mount Shasta, ca. 1873
Steel engraving on paper
Private collection
 
 
 
After Thomas Hill (1829-1908, born in England)
The Game Regions of Mount Shasta­Mountain Grouse, from abridged 1894 edition of Picturesque California
Photogravure
Private collection
__________
 
This print is an example of the way in which many painters' work was photographically reproduced in books beginning in the late nineteenth century. Note the snowy ridge in the background-probably Sargent's Ridge bordering Shasta's "Old Ski Bowl." The grouse are still there today Hill has captured a seemingly timeless winter scene.
 
 
 
Thomas Hill (1829-1908, born in England)
Justin Hinckley Sisson, ca. 1884
Oil on canvas
Sisson Museum, Mount Shasta City, California, long term loan from Dorothy Park
__________
 
Sisson's fame as a hospitable innkeeper ensured that he became known to most of the artists who ventured toward Mount Shasta. College educated and a mountain climber, he was described by author Fitz Hugh Ludlow in 1863: "Sisson was, without exception, the best rifle-shot I ever saw. I have seen him bring down a hawk soaring as high as I could see it. Before a target, at any distance usual for such experiments, his aim was practically unerring. He possessed, in addition, two other prime qualities of a first class woodsman, keen sight for game in covert, and soft-footedness in stealing on it, to a degree so unequalled in my acquaintance that I feel justified in calling him, not only the best shot, but the best hunter I ever knew."
 
 
 
Thomas Hill (1829-1908, born in England)
Mount Shasta from Castle Lake, ca. 1888
Oil on board
Collection of the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
__________
 
From left to right, you see Mount McLoughlin (in the left distance), Black Butte, and Mount Shasta.
 
 
 
Thomas Hill (1829-1908, born in England)
Squaw Valley near Now-ow-wa (Old Grizzly's Den Invaded), ca. 1888
Oil on board
Collection of the Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Oklahoma
__________
 
This is the original painting reproduced in the monumental two-volume 1887-1888 Picturesque California. According to Joaquin Miller's Mount Shasta Indian elk-hunting story in that book, "the sweet little Now-ow-wa valley" was later called Squaw Valley by the white hunters who sought game there.
 
"Squaw Valley" probably refers to the entire course of Squaw Valley Creek, which runs from Squaw Valley Meadows at timberline on Mount Shasta south through the town of McCloud and on southward. The Squaw Valley Creek trail south of McCloud is today a highly regarded day hike.
 
 
 
Carlos Hittell (1861-1938, born in California)
Shasta Butte from the Sacramento River Canyon, 1895
Oil on canvas
Collection of the California State Parks, Shasta State Historic Park
__________
 
This is one of the most realistic and at the same time subtly colorful images ever made of the mountain. Hittell spent several years at the Académie Julien in Paris, later becoming a successful artist and illustrator. He gained considerable notoriety by wearing full cowboy gear, hat, chaps, and spurs, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. His father, T. H. Hittell, and his uncle, J. S. Hittell (a Shasta County pioneer), were famous California historians.
 
 
 
Ransom Gillette Holdredge (1836-1899, born in England)
Mt. Shasta, ca. 1870s
Oil on canvas
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
This image may represent Mount Rainier rather than Mount Shasta; from certain angles the profiles of the two mountains appear quite similar. The variety of possible perspectives can create difficulties in identifying a specific Cascade volcano.
 
Holdredge was an early member of the Bohemian Club and a well known personality in San Francisco. He was successful and admired, but turned to drinking heavily. Eventually he ended his days on the streets, penniless and hungry.
 
 
 
William Keith (1838-1911, born in Scotland)
Canyon View - Shasta, 1878
Oil on canvas
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Observer George Wharton James once said of Keith, "I have watched William Keith, hair white as snow, eye dimmed with years, yet the fire of youth in his soul, paint with a fervor that seemed almost feverish, so keen was his desire to catch the visions inspired by his beloved California trees and mountains."
 
Keith, who traveled far and wide, was a great painter. He has been called "California's Old Master." Keith painted Mount Shasta dozens of times, in small and large paintings. In 1878 he spent the entire month of August in the Shasta area.
 
[Panel image] William Keith, Sketch of Mount Shasta from Canyon, August 1878,
graphite on paper, 10 x 14 inches (25 x 35 cm), from a sketchbook in the collection of the Oakland Museum of California, bequest of Elizabeth Keith Pond (55.14.124). This may be a preparatory sketch for the finished painting now in the collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park and on display here.
 
 
 
William Keith (1838-1911, born in Scotland)
Mt. McLoughlin as Seen from Pelican Bay on Klamath Lake, Co. Oregon, inscribed "Pelican Bay for 'Will'," ca. 1907
Oil on canvas
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
"Will" refers to Will Colby. Colby Pass in the Sierra Nevada is named for Will Colby, a mountaineer and lawyer who helped establish Castle Crags State Park and was longtime president of the Sierra Club. Keith and his good friend John Muir spent time as the guests of railroad baron Edward Henry Harriman at Harriman's Pelican Bay retreat.
 
[Panel image] Photograph of Keith in his studio with Mt. Shasta painting on the floor.
 
 
 
William Keith (1838-1911, born in Scotland)
Mount Shasta and Spirit Lake, 1879
Oil on canvas
Collection of the Jonathan Club, Los Angeles, California
__________
 
Before movies, public display of huge paintings by Keith and such contemporaries as Albert Bierstadt, Frederick Church, and Thomas Moran were major -- and exciting -- events. These epic-sized paintings, often including dense detail and large "casts" of figures and animals, toured the country to eager paying audiences. They were often framed dramatically by stage-like curtains.
 
Notable about this painting, apart from its epic size, is the portrayal of the true character of the mountain forests immediately west of Mount Shasta. The painting needs to be read in sections: the trees, the watercourse, the travelers, the lake, and the mountain, a composite picture of the region. Notice in particular the orange-red glow of the manzanita bark in the foreground, so characteristic of region's chaparral. Few artists captured the colorful effect of manzanita so well -- it is as much the subject of the painting as the mountain itself. Keith finished at least two other six-by-ten-foot Sierra Nevada paintings around 1879-a very ambitious period.
 
 
 
William Keith (1838-1911, born in Scotland)
Mount Shasta from Strawberry Valley, mid-1890s
Oil on canvas
Collection of the Hearst Art Gallery, St. Mary's College of California, gift of Allan Green in memory of Charles E. Green
__________
 
Above a drawing of Mount Shasta in an early sketchbook, Keith noted "clothed in white-mystic-wonderful." Keith returned to Mount Shasta many times, often in the company of his friend John Muir.
 
 
 
Edward Kern (1823-1863, born in Philadelphia)
Forest Camp. Shastl Peak, 1846, published 1886
Steel engraving on paper
Private collection
__________
 
Artist Edward Kern accompanied John Charles Frémont to California in 1845-1846. Frémont named the Kern River after him (and Kern County by extension). Kern was left in charge of Sutter's Fort during the war with Mexico, keeping Sutter himself under house arrest. It was also during that period that Kern went out to meet the infamous survivors of the Donner Party.
 
 
 
Kevin Lahey
Scott Camp Creek, 1987
Color photograph
Courtesy of the artist
__________
 
This photograph stunningly depicts a watershed of the Castle Lake area. Snow is a central theme of life in the mountains, but capturing its essence requires venturing out into it time and time again, to places far from the road and civilization.
 
 
 
Earl Lamb (1889-1984)
Timber Wolves at Mt. Shasta, 1962
Oil on board
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
As much as the artist views the mountain, so too there is an unseen world of animals that looks back at the artist. Few artists have captured that reality in the Shasta area. Earl Lamb, a local resident and semi-professional artist, painted prolifically in the 1960s and 1970s. He was noted for his interpretations of animals.
 
 
 
Frank LaPena (born 1937 in California)
Mt. Shasta, The World Is a Gift portfolio, 1987
Wood block prints on paper
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
The World Is a Gift is an illustrated art book and accompanying portfolio about the Wintu Indian traditions of the Mount Shasta region. The book's title refers to the way one learns to appreciate life through the traditional Indian teachings passed on from generation to generation. Frank LaPena, a Nomtipom Wintu, often came to Mount Shasta while a young man to visit his grandmother and uncle. The World Is a Gift tells in words and pictures the lessons he learned from these elders.
 
 
 
Frank LaPena (born 1937 in California)
We Are All Sacred, 2001
Lithograph
Collection of the artist
__________
 
"This mountain is sacred to the Wintu but we would never think to claim it for our own-we have the right to use it just as others do who know and respect it."
-- Frank LaPena, 1995
 
 
 
From a painting by Maurice Logan (1886-1977, born in California)
Shasta Route, ca. 1930s
Cover of Southern Pacific Railroad souvenir magazine
Location of original painting unknown
Mount Shasta Collection, College of the Siskiyous, Weed, California
__________
 
Maurice Logan was one of the Bay Area's Society of Six, a group of early twentieth-century painters who espoused the European Fauvist principles of intense and expressive use of color.
 
As a commercial artist Logan created at least a hundred advertising paintings for Sunset Magazine, Southern Pacific, Ghirardelli Chocolate, Dole Pineapple, and Standard Oil.
 
 
 
Thomas Moran (1837-1926, born in England)
Mount Shasta and Mud Creek Canyon from the East, Scribner's Monthly Magazine, volume 6, number 4 (August 1873)
Engraving
Private collection
__________
 
This engraving is signed with the monogram of Thomas Moran, whose job it was at the time to work up the photographs and sketches of others as engravings. It is unlikely that Moran visited Mount Shasta in 1872 or 1873, the date of this engraving, though he was in California in 1872.
 
 
 
John Muir, editor (1838-1914, born in Scotland)
Picturesque California: The Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Slope, 1888
Private collection
__________
 
Edited by John Muir, and often considered his first book, Picturesque California is one of the great achievements of the early California art era. It contains over 120 full-page plates and 800 drawings of California and the West, by more than sixty artists, among them Keith, Hill, Moran, and Remington. Fifteen writers wrote the text, and the Mount Shasta chapters were written by Muir himself, with several illustrations by Thomas Hill. Never reprinted in its entirety, an abridged version was printed in 1894 and reprinted in 1976.
 
 
 
Gilbert Munger (1837-1903, born in Connecticut)
Mount Shasta, 1867
Oil on canvas
Private collection
__________
 
Munger chose for this painting the southeast view, which artists painted far less often than the southwest view. A contemporary reporter commenting on Munger's intention to paint the mountain makes humorous reference to the scope of activity in stating, "He has an immense job on hand and will use a vast amount of paint before it is completed."
 
Gilbert Munger was hired by famed geologist Clarence King to be part of the 40th Parallel Survey in 1870. The King party camped near and surveyed Mount Shasta. Thaddeus Welch, another artist visiting Mount Shasta that summer, wrote, "Gilbert Munger, the artist, and Watkins, the photographer were also of the party. H. R. Bloomer was at Sisson's on the West side, so there wasn't much danger of Shasta getting away."
 
 
 
Henry Nappenbach (1862-1931, born in Germany)
Shasta, the Grand Old Mountain, Changes the Schedule on the Oregon Line, 1890
Hand-colored chromolithograph
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
In 1890 a severe snowstorm in the Shasta region brought the railroad to a halt. This lithograph noting the event was printed by the Schmidt Lithograph Company for the February 9, 1890, issue of the WASP, a weekly San Francisco magazine of news and satire.
 
The comic qualities of the Mount Shasta scene include railroad magnate Charles F. Crocker's hat being blown off as he reads a copy of Beautiful Snow, and the rest of the railroad men biding their time under a grinning mountain; this was typical satire for the WASP. With writers like Ambrose Bierce, who also became its editor, the magazine often took a critical look at the pretensions of San Francisco's powerful.
 
 
 
News Publishing Company, Sacramento
This Is California, agricultural promotional pamphlet, 1928
Mount Shasta Collection, College of the Siskiyous, Weed, California
__________
 
This is one of a myriad of promotional publications that reveal how Shasta had become an icon of California.
 
 
 
William Samuel Parrott (1843-1916, born in Missouri)
Mt. Shasta, not dated
Oil on board
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Parrott opened a studio in Portland, Oregon, in 1867 and became well known as an artist and art teacher. Pinkish tones and motionless atmospheres were his hallmarks. About a dozen of his Mount Shasta paintings are known.
 
 
 
Alice M. Reading (1859-1939, born in California)
Mt. Lassen (from Rancho Buena Ventura), not dated
Oil on canvas
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Alice M. Reading, daughter of the most important early pioneer of Shasta County, California, grew up on the 27,000-acre Rancho Buena Ventura established in 1844 by her father, Pierson B. Reading. The rancho would later become the site of the townships of Redding, Anderson, and Cottonwood.
 
She trained to become a professional artist at two of the better art schools in the country, the Art Students League in New York City and the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. She returned to Shasta County in 1920 and was instrumental in creating the Shasta Historical Society.
 
 
 
William Seltzer Rice (1873-1963, born in Pennsylvania)
Mt. Shasta by Night, ca. 1915
Etching on paper
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
William Seltzer Rice began his art career as a watercolorist and by 1914 was a member of the prestigious National Academy. At the Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915 in San Francisco, Rice became interested in the art of Japanese prints. From that time on he worked almost exclusively with woodblocks.
 
 
 
Julian Walbridge Rix (1850-1903, born in Vermont)
Trinity Peaks, 1888
Etching in paper, originally published in Picturesque California
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Rix was a major San Francisco artist of the 1870s and 1880s. His paintings of the Sacramento River, the Trinity Alps, Clear Lake, Mount Shasta, and similar sites, though not many in number, are nonetheless some of the finest works from that time period. He was a member of the San Francisco Art Association and the Bohemian Club and created many illustrations-like this one-for John Muir's Picturesque California.
 
 
 
Cleveland Rockwell (1837-1907, born in Ohio)
Mount Shasta from the Strawberry Valley, 1879
Oil on canvas
Collection of the Frye Art Museum, Seattle, Washington
__________
 
In 1856, Rockwell was appointed to the U. S. Coast Survey, which was responsible for scientific research on and mapping of the country's coastlines. Working as a surveyor for thirty-five years, he produced a comprehensive body of views of the waterways of the Pacific Northwest, with particular emphasis on scenes along the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Since it was his professional responsibility to be clear and descriptive, his work is crisp, carefully structured, and reveals great attention to detail. Rockwell believed that the scientific and the aesthetic should harmonize in painting.
 
Rockwell painted for pleasure all his life, producing about 500 oils, watercolors, and drawings. In a letter to the Chief of the Coast Survey, Rockwell wrote, "I send you a painting of the mountain, which I beg you to accept as a token of respect & esteem. The painting is a very faithful view from 'Strawberry Valley' from sketches which I made in June 1873, while resting at Sisson's on my journey to the Columbia River."
 
 
 
Attributed to Frederick Schafer (1839-1927, born in Germany)
Mt. Shasta, ca. 1890
Oil on board
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Schafer immigrated to California from Germany in 1876 and rose to become one of San Francisco's most prolific artists. He traveled all over the West Coast, and at times produced very fine paintings. He painted Mount Shasta often-fifty-three paintings are known. He used classical landscape composition rules, saturated colors, and a palette of harmonizing shades of green and brown, all typical of German art training.
 
 
 
Frederick Schafer (1839-1927, born in Germany)
Horse and Rider in Panoramic River Landscape, Mount Shasta in Distance, ca. 1890
Oil on paperboard
Private collection
__________
 
An unusual feature of each of Schafer's paintings of Mount Shasta is the almost invariable appearance of a portion of Castle Crags. This particular painting is thought to be the prototype for several similar scenes Schafer painted on much larger canvases.
 
 
 
William Simpson (1823-1899, born in England)
Captain Jack's Cave in the Lava Beds, Lake Tule, April 1873
Watercolor and graphite on paper
Collection of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley
__________
 
William Simpson was a war artist-correspondent for England's major newspapers. He had the good fortune, journalistically speaking, to be in San Francisco at the beginning of the Modoc Wars. To cover that event, he had to travel to the lava beds via Fort Reading (Redding), Sisson's, and Yreka, sketching along the way.
 
Simpson's best known image was his 1850s illustration, Charge of the Light Brigade, drawn on location during the Crimean War. On seeing it, Victorian poet Alfred Lord Tennyson found patriotic inspiration and composed his famous poem of the same title.
 
 
 
 
William Simpson (1823-1899, born in England)
The Modoc War: Captain Jack's Cave in the Lava Beds, 1873
Wood or steel engraving on paper
Private collection
__________
 
Simpson was the most celebrated of the British special war correspondents. His arrival at the scene of the Modoc Wars in Northern California was favorably anticipated by the U. S. Army leaders. They thought that this most honored of journalists would publicly vindicate them, as their thousand men and artillery struggled to defeat the small band of Modoc Indians.
 
Unfortunately, Simpson made no such concessions. His commentaries describe a miserable tragedy. He concluded that, "The sense of justice in human nature must declare that these tribes have been cruelly wronged."
 
 
 
James David Smillie (1833-1909, born in New York City)
Mount Shasta, 1873
Steel engraving on paper
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Smillie provides a view of Mount Shasta from the east side of the mountain. Note that two teepees, a group of adults, and horses appear in the foreground. Despite appearances, the scene is not necessarily a view of local Indians. Teepees would be unusual for Mount Shasta area Native Americans, though they were used for time by some local Indians, as were horses.
 
It is more likely an expedition scene. Some U.S. government expeditions, the Frémont expeditions in particular, made use of small teepees for sleeping. The print is from the hugely successful 1872 book Picturesque America, wherein it was the editor's intent to show that "it is certain that no country has within its borders so many beautiful spots altogether unfamiliar to its own people."
 
 
 
Ray Strong (1905-2006, born in Oregon)
Lassen Fire, 1934
Oil on canvas
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
During the early 1930s, Strong worked as a WPA muralist and as a Forest Service fire fighter in the Mount Lassen area. A student of the noted artist Maynard Dixon, Strong created several paintings of the Lassen region that demonstrate the "immensity" that is characteristic of his teacher's work. This painting, done at the time of a major fire in the hills around Mount Lassen, shows the vivid and dramatic power of natural forces. The immensity of the fiery sky all but dwarfs the human-sized perspective of both the foreground road and the artist's Forest Service pick-up truck.
 
Strong later became a founder of the "Oak Group" of Santa Barbara artists, living out the last of his 101 years there. He is best known as a coastal artist, and his work is strongly influenced by the American Scene painters who idealized and celebrated "typical" American landscape views.
 
 
 
James Everett Stuart (1852-1941, born in Maine)
Mt. Shasta from Strawberry, Cal., 5 May 1885
Oil on canvas laid on board
Private collection
__________
 
James Everett Stuart painted over 5,000 pictures during his long art career. He painted Mount Shasta over a hundred times from the mid-1870s to the mid-1930s-a span of nearly 60 years.
 
One of his best known paintings, reproduced many times in literary biographies, is a portrait of the California poet, playwright, and novelist Joaquin Miller, a portrait that now hangs in the California State Library in Sacramento.
 
 
 
Edward Stuhl (1887-1984, born in Hungary)
Shasta Blue Bell, Campanula Wilkinsiana, plate 8, not dated
Watercolor on paper
California State University, Chico, Meriam Library, Special Collections
__________
 
The Shasta Blue Bell became a new species to science after being first discovered on Mount Shasta in 1898 by Lewanna Wilkins as part of a U. S. Biological Survey (later renamed U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) exploration of Mount Shasta. Horse Camp cabin caretaker/artist/naturalist Edward Stuhl, who lived on and about Mount Shasta for nearly sixty years, included this watercolor of the rare plant in his monumental 1981 art and history book, The Wildflowers of Mount Shasta.
 
 
 
Edward Stuhl (1887-1984, born in Hungary)
Shasta Lily, Lilium Washingtonianum, no. 90, not dated
Watercolor on paper
California State University, Chico, Meriam Library, Special Collections
__________
 
Stuhl was Mount Shasta's best-known resident artist. He lived a long and vital life as caretaker, ranger, and naturalist for many private and public concerns in Siskiyou County and northern California.
 
Stuhl's life's work was his decades-long project of painting watercolors of all the flowers of Mount Shasta. The notion of a naturalist-artist following the centuries-old tradition of producing watercolor "botanicals"-plant illustrations-might seem odd in modern times, but Stuhl pursued his self-appointed task diligently. Stuhl and his wife continued into old age to climb mountains, paint, and live without telephones. His profound familiarity with Mount Shasta made him an ardent conservationist.
 
 
 
Edward Stuhl (1887-1984, born in Hungary)
Shastina Crater from Shasta Summit, not dated
Watercolor on paper
Sisson Museum, Mount Shasta City, California
__________
 
In addition to his Mount Shasta wildflower project, Stuhl painted graceful scenes of the mountain, which he both sold and gave as gifts. It was Edward Stuhl who, in 1924, when guiding McCloud property owner Helen Wheeler up the mountain, gave the name of Lake Helen to the small body of water halfway up Mount Shasta's Avalanche Gulch.
 
 
 
Grant Tau-hin-dauli (1873-1963, born California)
Mt. Shasta, 1908
Oil on canvas
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Tau-hin-dauli was the last chief of the Trinity River Wintu tribe and a renowned mountain guide whose friendship with San Francisco painter Edward Wilson Currier likely sparked his desire to paint. Tau-hin-dauli, who worked at the Upper Soda Springs resort on the Sacramento River, would also have encountered William Keith and other artists who frequented the mountain.
 
As an Indian chief and the medicine person of his tribe (shaman), he is perhaps an unlikely a person to adopt a European style of painting. He was by all accounts an extraordinary person, one who was respected by fellow Indians and white friends alike, not only for his Indian knowledge and storytelling abilities, but for his reasoned attempts to understand the gap between the two cultures he inhabited.
 
 
 
Eleanor Lee Reading Templeman (1906-1990)
Castle Crags, 1933
Tempera on paperboard
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Granddaughter of Pierson Barton Reading, Eleanor Templeman lived in Redding until 1928. She was a professional commercial artist and eventually worked with the U.S. Geological Survey as a Principal Scientific Illustrator. She won a number of prizes for tempera paintings and freelanced for the National Geographic.
 
 
 
Eleanor Lee Reading Templeman (1906-1990, born in California)
Castle Crags, 1933
Silkscreen on paper
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
The Reading family has been in the Shasta County area since 1843. Eleanor's grandfather, Pierson Barton Reading, acquired a Mexican Land Grant, the Rancho Buena Ventura, in 1844. The ranch encompassed the current areas of Redding, Anderson, and Cottonwood.
 
The city name Reading was later replaced by the Redding spelling in 1880 in honor of railroad land agent Benjamin B. Redding.
 
 
 
Juan B. Wandesforde (1817-1902, born Scotland)
Mt. Shasta, 1863
Watercolor on paper
Collection of Turtle Bay Exploration Park
__________
 
Wandesforde arrived in California around 1860. He was one of the most respected landscape painters in California and a co-founder and first president of the San Francisco Art Association. His earliest watercolor of Mount Shasta was done in 1863; he produced at least five more views of the mountain in watercolors and oils. Wandesforde also made views of Castle Crags, the Trinity Alps, and other Siskiyou County scenes.
 
In 1862 Josiah Dwight Whitney, head of the California Geological Survey and namesake of Mt. Whitney, presented a paper proposing Mount Shasta to be the highest mountain in the continental U. S. This factual error perhaps influenced public perception of the height of Mount Shasta, as reflected in this watercolor.
 
 
 
Carleton Watkins (1829-1916, born in New York state)
Commencement of the Whitney Glacier, Summit of Mt. Shasta, 1870
Albumen silver print on paper
Collection of the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
__________
 
Watkins has a towering and much deserved reputation as one of the country's finest early photographers. His work has an unvarnished clarity and directness that heavily influenced the direction of twentieth-century photography.
 
This photo of the Whitney glacier is one of a celebrated series of Watkins's photographs of Mount Shasta taken systematically around and on the mountain during Clarence King's 40th Parallel Survey in 1870. For this particular photograph Watkins had to carry a heavy load of equipment high onto Mount Shasta. King had insisted on using Watkins for the expedition: "....$3,000 dollars for the summer's work. This is very high in price but he is by far the most skillful operator in America."
 
 
 
Thaddeus Welch (1844-1919, born in Indiana)
Golden Hour, 1915
Oil on canvas
Collection of the California State Parks, Shasta State Historic Park
__________
 
Young Thad Welch was an impoverished artist in 1870, but within a few years' time his talent was recognized by friends and art patrons, and he was sent to Europe to study at the art centers of Paris and Munich. When he returned to California, he became so successful a painter of landscapes that forgeries bearing his name were found even during his lifetime.
 
 
 
Thaddeus Welch (1844-1919, born in Indiana)
Mount Shasta from Sheep Camp, 1874
Oil on canvas
Private collection
__________
 
Welch noted wryly in 1870, "Where I was, there was nothing but sand and sagebrush, rocks and rattlesnakes. I saw I must give Shasta a rest while I took a walk to Yreka to see how the printing business was flourishing. But there was no show for a stranger and the prospect commenced to look pretty blue... Wandering around without a nickel among strangers, I had about come to the conclusion that an artist's life is not what it is cracked up to be."
 
 
 
John J. Young (1830-1879, born in New York state)
Lassen's Butte from Vicinity of Camp 18, original sketch drawn in 1855, lithographic reproduction published in 1857
Private collection
__________
 
Young was the official survey artist for the 1855 Williamson-Abbott Railroad Survey. He created many full-page color lithographs of the Cascade peaks as well as full-page lithographs of many of the unusual trees encountered on the route. The Survey reports are often called the nation's first environmental impact statements, each route report full of details of geology, paleontology, botany, ornithology, meteorology, zoology, anthropology, and topography.
 
As one of the eleven different U.S. Railroad Surveys of 1853-1855, this particular survey was responsible for ascertaining the practicality of a railroad route north from the Sacramento Valley through the Siskiyous and Cascades into Oregon. The survey began in July of 1855 at Fort Reading and went northward to the Columbia River. They returned back to Fort Reading in mid-November of the same year.
 


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