Sketchbook: Overland Trip to Washington Territory
William Trost Richards
On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Imagining the New Nation’s Landscape, 1800–1880
In 1885 Richards made a two-month rail trip to the Tacoma Territory (present-day Washington State). Tacoma City was the terminal point for the Northern Pacific Railroad, whose directors may have sponsored the artist’s tour in the hope that his paintings would stimulate interest in the region. Richards also made studies en route back east, as this view of the Missouri River demonstrates. The panoramic image of the broad river plain stretching away to the horizon and the expanse of blank paper dramatize his wry observation in a letter home: “The great west is certainly very great, but there are not at present many people in it.”
Graphite on white paper
Gift of Edith Ballinger Price
Sketchbook of 32 pages of landscape sketches in graphite. Mostly scenes of shorelines and trees.
Inside cover: upside down manufacturers stamp in purple ink, "Janentsky & Weber, / ARTISTS' MATERIALS, / 1125 CHESTNUT ST. / Philadelphia"
p1, yellow paper. Mathematical calculations. Loose sketch unintelligible
p2 River and mountains. Inscribed lower right, "[illegible] Missouri / sept 5 '85"
p3 Shepherd with flock in field, trees and mountains in distance. Inscribed lower left, "patches of / gray sage grass" and at bottom center-right, "near [mandan?] / Dakota / Sept 5'"
p3 verso to p4 Loose sketch of river and hills, inscribed lower right "Missouri River at / Bismark Sept 5 / 85"
p5, Sketch of tree
p6 Body of water with mountain rising in background. Inscribed lower right "Mt Baker / Strait of fuca" [Juan de Fuca]
p7 Loose sketch of river with steamboat and smaller boat. Inscribed lower center, "Missippi [sic] River / Sept 6' 1885"
p8 Loose sketch of river and hills
p8 verso - p9 Loose sketch of clove between hills
p10 Loose sketch of water, with fallen tree branch laying on shore and hovering over water.
p11 Sketch of three trees within marked border/frame
p13 Creek (?) running through wooded area, grassy meadow, cow grazing
p15 Panoramic view of expanse of trees, viewed from high up
p16 Rocky coastline, turbulent waters
p17 Loose sketch of water with sun rising/setting
p18 Loose sketch of water/waves crashing
p19 Loose sketch of rocks
p20 Loose sketch of water, waves
p21 Grassy meadow, cows grazing, trees in distance
p22 Oriented vertically, grassy meadow on the border of wooded interior
p23 Oriented vertically, Sketch of trees
p24 Oriented vertically, Sketch of trees
p25 Oriented vertically, Sketch of trees
p26 Very loose sketch, coastline?
p27 Turbulent water, waves
p28 Rocky coast with waves
p29 Very loose sketch, Rock formation in upper right. Possibly the beginning of a rocky shore
p30 Rocky coastline with turbulent water
p32 Waves/turbulent water, stormy sky
William Trost Richards (American, 1833-1905). Sketchbook: Overland Trip to Washington Territory, September 1885. Graphite on white paper, 5 1/16 x 7 5/8 in. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Edith Ballinger Price, 1993.225.2 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1993.225.2.jpg)
overall, 1993.225.2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2004
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