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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0102

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[photo] [Indian encampment near Mount Rainier]
Photo credit: William K. Dick, 1970
Medium: oil on canvas, lined with masonite
Size: 30 x 50 in (76 x 127 cm)
Inscription: l/r "F. Scháfer", partially underlined, in the artist's characteristic block-letter hand, acute accent probably intended to be an umlaut
Verso: n.v. (covered)
Provenance: With Chapellier Galleries, New York City, in 1973. In collection of Oscar Lemer, D.D.S., and Trudy Lemer, San Francisco, by 1974; by gift to The California Historical Society, 1983 (public).
Exhibited: Wortsman Stewart Galleries, Inc., San Francisco, California, in 1977. California Style, Art and Fashion of the California Historical Society, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, March 30 - May 28, 2007.
Reproductions: American Art Selections, 1973, figure 30 (color); Early California and Western Art Research/Schafer slide #39 (color, 1977); William K. Dick photo #103 (color, 1974); Chapellier Galleries photo, negative #10738, undated.
Citations: Inventory of American Paintings… record 61250428; California Historical Society accession #83-8-2FA.
Site: Mount Rainier, Washington, viewed across an unidentified part of Puget Sound near Seattle. The rock outcrop just behind the main peak on the left is Little Tahoma mountain, somewhat exaggerated in size.
Description: Dominating the background is a snow-covered mountain with a rounded peak; shadowed behind it on the left is a rugged secondary peak. In front of that is a desert-brown mountain brightened by the sun and a wide, bright, blue river with dark green forested banks. On the near bank, to the right, an Indian encampment with four tents visible, about fifteen figures sitting and standing. A figure with a walking stick follows a path along the bank toward the camp. Two large, ocean-going dugout canoes filled with figures (some holding paddles) are crossing the river, while four similar canoes are beached near the camp. The entire painting is roughly drawn, with a minimum number of brush strokes and little finish; the detail in the foreground and the forest are especially loosely drawn. (From the painting, 9 December 1998.)
Note: 1) It has been suggested that this is a view of Mount Baker from an island in the San Juan straits and that the rock outcrop is Mount Shuksan, but Mount Shuksan is not visible anywhere along the coast. 2) This painting is one of a series of Pacific northwest coast and Victoria, British Columbia, all of which depict the same tents and canoes.
Identification: Assigned, descriptive title. The painting has had several different titles, apparently because of uncertainty about the site. A 1973 note accompanying a photograph of the painting in the files of The Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society gives a Mount Shasta title. The Early California and Western Art Research index identifies the slide with the offering at the Wortsman Stewart Galleries, Inc. (which apparently used a title that offered an identification of the Indian tribe) and suggests that the mountain might be Mount Baker. A note on the back of the photo from William K. Dick mentions the collection of Oscar Lemer, D.D.S., and Trudy Lemer and also refers to the showing at Chapellier Galleries. Chapellier Galleries reports that a previous owner thought that the site is Mount Rainier. The files at The California Historical Society question the suggestion of Mount Hood.
Other title(s): Indian encampment (Chapellier Galleries catalog); Siwash encampment (Early California and Western Art Research index); Indian encampment near Mt. Shasta (The Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society files); Indian encampment, Mt Hood? (The California Historical Society files)
In index(es): Title list, Indian encampments as primary subjects, miscellaneous other well-known landmarks, Mount Rainier, Pacific northwest coast and Victoria, British Columbia, paintings currently held in museums and public collections

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