Show tells visual tales of ‘trip’

     (PNAN-AZ) – It was during 1804-06 when the first overland expedition was undertaken by the United States to the Pacific coast and back. The expedition team was commanded by Army soldiers, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and assisted by George Drouillard (Drewyer) who was half Shawnee and half French.  The goal of the expedition was to acquire an accurate mapping of the resources being exchanged in the Louisiana Purchase, which became the cornerstone for the westward expansion of the United States. Now some 200 years later, the Tucson Museum of Art opens with “The Journey of Lewis and Clark” in three exhibitions recorded by past and current day artists on Saturday, October 23 and remaining on view through January 23, 2011.

"The Corps of Discovery in the Great Shute of the Columbia" Charles Fritz, oil on canvas, 2006

     The first, Charles Fritz: An Artist with the Corps of Discovery – One Hundred Paintings Illustrating the Journals of Lewis and Clark,” is by Montana artist Charles Fritz, who completed his first Lewis and Clark painting in 1998 and his last one in 2008. The 100 oils he created chronicle the explorers’ journals from their first sighting of the Great Falls of the Missouri to a buffalo hunt to the Pacific Ocean and back. His paintings take the viewer from the beginning of the journey to its triumphant end and all the hardships in between.

     “Michael Haynes – To the Western Ocean: Portraits of the Lewis and Clark Expedition” contain fourteen watercolor portraits that bring the people behind the Corps of Discovery to life. Lewis, Clark, York and Sacagawea are portrayed in individual portraits while the other thirty members are shown in group portraits including hunters, soldiers, blacksmiths, interpreters, cooks, and musicians. His “Uniform and Dress of the Corps of Discovery” paintings were selected as guides for the uniforms in the National Geographic’s Lewis and Clark IMAX production. For more on this artist, see

     The “Thomas Jefferson’s West: At the Confluence of Art and Exploration” are selections of paintings and drawings that illustrate Lewis and Clark’s Corp of Discovery expedition. He selected the works himself, paying close attention to the content of each piece to tell the story of their adventures in narrative form. This grouping includes works by William Ahrendt, James Ayers, Jim Carson, Todd Connor, Curt Delano, John Demott, Frank Hagel, Mort Kunstler, Ken Laager, Dan Meiduch, Clark Kelly Price, Don Spaulding and David Wright. Each artist has established a distinguished career as painters and illustrators in the romantic and historic depiction of a fascinating era in American history.

     For more information, see or call 520.624.2333.

Published by on October 2010. Filed under Archives, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide, At the Museums dept, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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