Mount Hood from The DallesArtist(s)John StanleyObject Creation Date1871Medium & Supportoil on canvasDimensions
62 in x 96 ½ in (157.48 cm x 245.11 cm);62 in x 96 ½ in (157.48 cm x 245.11 cm)Credit LineGift of Mrs. Edith Stanley Bayles and the late Mrs. Jane C. StanleyLabel copy
John Mix Stanley, a painter and a trained photographer, accompanied several expeditions to the American frontier. He painted this view of Mount Hood in the Oregon territory from memory with the aid of sketches and photographs. Stanley viewed himself as an anthropologist recording threatened peoples and cultures and was best known for his representations of Indigenous people. Here he includes an encampment of Indigenous people in the painting’s middle ground, but his intentions in documenting Indigenous life were complicated. Stanley created traveling shows and “Indian” panoramas that perpetuated stereotypes and catered to an audience largely supportive of policies that caused the wholesale decimation of Indigenous communities. Whether it was intentional or not, Stanley’s work reinforced the idea that the United States was destined to “civilize” Indigenous people and justified westward expansion.
Painted from The Dalles, an area known as the end of the Oregon Trail along the Columbia River, this view of Mount Hood, the surrounding Oregon landscape, and a Native American encampment is a composite picture, painted from memory with the aid of sketches and daguerreotypes.
Stanley was a largely self-taught artist who developed his style, reminiscent of the Hudson River School of painters, as a staff artist for expeditions to the West in the 1840 and 50s.Physical Description
Landscape painting with white mountain peak in center background, body of water in foreground, and a Native American encampment to left.Primary Object Classification Painting Primary Object TypelandscapeCollection AreaWesternRights
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water (inorganic material)