Arts History Update for mid November 2015

5 Nov

Arts History Update for mid November 2015 by David Cummins

Religion and the Origins of

American Landscape Art

…as pertaining to the work apparent in the TTU Museum exhibit “Ansel Adams: American Master. Selections from the David H. Arrington Collection”

A Presentation by

Mark Stoll

Professor of Environmental History

Texas Tech University

Dr. Stoll is the author of Inherit the Holy Mountain:Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism (Oxford University Press, 2015)

Saturday, November 7, 3:00-4:00 PM

Helen Devitt Jones Auditorium

Museum of Texas Tech University


In many ways the Royal Navy was more of a meritocracy then British Society. Captain George Vancouver was an example of this in that he joined the Royal Navy in 1772 at the age of 13 as an able seaman and was able to work his way up to become a Captain by 1792. After Cook, Vancouver was the greatest British explorer and cartographer to sail the Pacific. He learned many of his skills and gained much knowledge from his experience with Captain Cook in 1775 on the HMS Discovery. It was during this voyage that Vancouver was promoted to midshipman.

In 1780 Vancouver passes his Lieutenants exam and is sent to the Mediterranean where he sees a considerable amount of action against the French who were allied with the Americans. Vancouver’s rise in rank proceeds quickly during his service on the HMS Europa while serving in the Caribbean. He is promoted from 3rd Lieutenant to 2nd Lieutenant and then to 1st Lieutenant which put him second in command of the ship. It was during this period that he served with many of the men that he would later take with him to the Pacific Northwest such as Joseph Baker, (Mount Baker Named after him) Peter Puget, (Puget Sound named after him, Zachary Mudge, (Cape Mudge named after him) and Joseph Whidbey (Whidbey Island named after him)

In 1792 Vancouver was chosen as the Captain to lead an expedition to the Pacific Northwest. He was assigned 3 objectives by the admiralty and was expected to act as a diplomat as well as an explorer. He was to meet with the Spaniard Bodega y Quadra on the west coast of the Island that was to bear his name, Vancouver Island. The exact location for this meeting was  Nootka Sound where the Nootka Indians inhabited the shoreline and the Spanish had built a fort. By the terms of the Nootka Convention which both Spain and England had agreed to, England was to settle damage claims that the Spanish had claimed. Vancouver was also to chart the coastline in the Pacific Northwest from 30 degrees North to Cook’s Inlet in Alaska. This was not done in any detail with Cook because he was primarily looking for a passage to the Atlantic. The third objective was to look for that elusive passage which Cook had not found. The discovery of this passage would give the British a huge advantage in this area of the world with direct access via the arctic to the Northern Pacific.

Vancouver meet with the Spanish and he and Quadra became friends in the course of the negotiations. The Spanish recognized the primacy of the British in the area. Vancouver also completed the second task with charts that were so accurate they could be used today. He mapped the intricate, roughed coastline and met with many of the native groups along the coast. His third objective was a relatively impossible  due to the fact that the great Northwest passage that he and many others were looking for over the centuries was only open at the height of the summer around the Northern tip of Alaska and only during some summer seasons.

Vancouver returned to Britain in 1795 and in 1798 his journals “A Voyage of Discovery to the Pacific Ocean and Round the World in the Year 1790 – 1795: were published posthumously. Vancouver had died on May 12, 1798.

His voyages and the cross continent  journey by Alexander Mackenzie which brought him to the West Coast on July 20th, 1793, were the two actions which opened up the Northern Pacific for the British. Coincidentally, Mackenzie and Vancouver missed each other on the West Coast by just 6 weeks.


Aberdeen Scotland is known as Granite City because much of downtown was built using granite from nearby Rubislaw Quarry that closed in 1971 after three centuries use. The quarry lays neglected, filled with water, a man-made lake within the city limits. Occasionally there are schemes to turn the location into some money-making venture

Granite City Illinois is just across the river from St Louis Missouri, only six miles away The former quarry at St Cloud Minnesota is now a lake and park in the city


Dear Veterans and Active Military,

We would like to honor you at our upcoming concerts on Nov. 6-7 as we perform Gershwin and Beethoven.  We are proud to live in a country with freedoms you and others before you have fought for so bravely.

Tickets are $15 each, although we won’t turn anyone away for financial hardship.  Please call the office at 806-762-1688 and we will help you with your tickets!

Mary Jones Saathoff, Ph.D.
President and CEO
Lubbock Symphony Orchestra
601 Avenue K
Lubbock, TX  79401
806-762-1688  Office
806-239-1688  Cell


Texas Sate Historical Association occasionally puts on free webinars on Texas History. Here is one on Bernardo de Galvez 1746-1786 in whose honor Galveston Bay, Galveston Island, the city of Galveston and the large old hotel Hotel Galvez (1911) were named

In case you missed the webinar session, or in case you’d like to watch it again, here’s the link to the replay video:


Title: Texas Talks with Dr. Caroline Castillo Crimm
Description: Bernardo de Galvez and the Impact of the American Revolution on Texas

Host: TSHA presenter

Date: Monday, 2 November 2015
Time: 06:00 pm Central Time (US and Canada), GMT -6

Enjoy the replay!

The video is excellent. You can sign up for future webinars here

Here are my notes on the topic: Bernardo de Galvez 1746-1786 nephew of Jose de Galvez 1720-1787, a lawyer in the court of King Carlos III of Spain 1759-1788, was trained as a soldier. His uncle Jose, a lawyer for the crown, and he went from Florida to California across the continent in 1768-1769. Why, we might ask? Because after France lost the French & Indian War in 1763 the linked Bourbon monarchies in France and Spain passed the French lands in the south of North America to Spain so Spain controlled that southern strip from Florida to California, including Louisiana. In 1770 Bernardo was based in Chihuahua [northern New Spain] when he brought his men to the Pecos River in Texas on a quest for the raidiing Apache Indians, forced a crossing of the Pecos at Horsehead Crossing, and engaged and defeated the Apache. He brought captives back to Chihuahua, learned their language, and wrote an essay for the crown on How To Treat the Apache Indians. At age 29 in 1776 he was made governor of New Orleans and in support of the American Revolution against the hated British, he caused supplies to be sent north up the Mississippi River to George Rogers Clark to help take the fight to the British in the interior. Bernardo fought and won battles against the British at Bayou Manchac, at Baton Rouge, and at Natchez on the Mississippi River, and at Mobile and Pensacola on the Gulf of Mexico, and fully neutralized the British capacity to encircle the Americans. He became Viceroy of Mexico at Mexico City and was the highest rank general one could be and a count, except that he died one year later in 1786 in Mexico City.

During an exploratory voyage of the Gulf of Mexico Galveston Bay and Island were located and named for Bernardo de Galvez as Galveston and the first big hotel on the island was Hotel Galvez. It’s now Hotel Galvez & Spa, a Wyndham Grand Hotel. His portrait painting hangs in the national Capitol Building as a hero of the American Revolution. Jose Rodulfo Boeta, Bernardo de Galvez (Publicaciones Espanolas 1977) 144 pages in English Texas Tech Library 33 G182 R697


7:00 – 8:30 PM Wednesday, November 4, 2015
at the Helen DeVitt Jones Auditorium
West Entrance, Texas Tech University Museum


The Italian Renaissance in American visual culture, from the 1890s
to the present.

Luciano Cheles, University of Poitiers, France.

Cheles will discuss the influence of Renaissance artist Pierro della Francesca on American artists including Tom Lea, Peter Hurd, and others.  He is an Italian Renaissance scholar and professor of art history at the University of Poitiers, France.  He received a fellowship from the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.  to study Francesca’s influence on American artists, with special emphasis on Tom Lea.

The Future Belongs To Those Who Prepare For It”—The Peter Hurd Fresco 
Cameron Saffell, Texas Tech University

Saffell who will discuss the Peter Hurd –“The Future Belongs To Those Who Prepare For It”— the 16’ x 46’ curved fresco depicting a ranch scene was created in 1952 and, recently moved from Houston to Artesia, New Mexico, where Hurd once owned a studio.  Saffell is assistant director for museum operations at the Museum of Texas Tech.

Following the lecture’s there will be a discussion and tour of the Peter Rogers mural inside the Tech museum.

Saffell also will lead a discussion of Hurd’s 1,300-square-foot mural in the rotunda at Holden Hall on the Tech campus. Completed by Hurd in colorful, classic fresco, the mural was dedicated in 1954.

The event is open to the public and sponsored by the Hockley County Historical Commission and the Texas Tech University Museum.

Peter Hurd, The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare for It (1952) fresco mural on curved wall in lobby of Prudential Tower built by Prudential Insurance Co for a headquarters building in Houston Texas. Prudential Tower was eventually sold to M.D. Anderson Medical Center and slated for demolition. The Yates family in Artesia New Mexico stepped up in 2011 to purchase and remove the mural, restore it, and insert it into a newly constructed Artesia Public Library in Artesia New Mexico. It’s unique for many reasons, in part because it’s a fresco [paint on wet plaster technique similar to the Italian Renaissance style] on a curved wall and is quite large at 47 feet long and 14-1/2 feet high. Peter Hurd 1904-1984 at one time had an art studio in Artesia and lived at Sentinel Ranch in the Hondo River Valley in eastern New Mexico.

Here is a picture of the mural inside the new library and the library from the exterior Nearby places to visit include Ocotillo Performing Arts Center [once a movie theater] and Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center. Artesia is exceptionally vibrant for a city of 12,000 people.

Peter W. Rogers is a son in-law of Peter Hurd and Henriette Wyeth Hurd. When Texas Tech University Museum was being constructed President Grover Murray invited Peter Hurd to paint a mural in the lobby of the new building, since Hurd had painted the Pioneer Mural in the rotunda of Holden Hall in 1954 when that location was the university’s museum and that mural is iconic to Texas Tech. Hurd said thanks but he is too old to perform mural and scaffolding painting, and he suggested his son in-law Peter Rogers. Murray employed Rogers who did a gorgeous India ink mural in 1974 of a rural watercourse scene near San Patricio New Mexico. or It is now iconic to Texas Tech.

Tom Lea is, well ……….. Tom Lea 1907-2001 an El Pasoan whose murals and other art pieces and writings are part of the fabric of American and Southwest culture.


Can we talk about The Oregon Trail? It is said to have been established in 1840 but let’s look at earlier travels to Oregon Country as it was then known, after which it became Oregon Territory, and eventually carved into states or parts of states Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington.

First let’s get the geography settled. Start at Independence Missouri near present day Kansas City Missouri. Then to Topeka and Marysville Kansas, then Fairbury, Hebron, Hastings, Fort Kearny [Platte River] and Scott’s Bluff [North Platte River] Nebraska, then Fort Laramie, Casper, South Pass [7,550 feet over the Continental Divide and headwaters of the Sweetwater River that runs east into the North Platte River] and Kemmerer Wyoming, then Pocatello, Fort Hall, Burley, Twin Falls, Buhl and Glenns Ferry Idaho, then Ontario [leaving the Snake River at Farewell Bend outside Ontario], Baker City, Pendleton and Milton-Freewater Oregon, then Walla Walla Washington, then downriver from where the Snake River merges into the Columbia River to western Oregon, Fort Vancouver Washington [across the Columbia River from present day Portland Oregon at the confluence of the Willamette River into the Columbia].

Everything west of South Pass Wyoming was Oregon Country, later Oregon Territory, and ultimately broken up and allocated to one of four states. Just west of South Pass was what fur traders, trappers and Indians used as the Upper Green River Rendezvous and nearby is Father Pierre Jean de Smet S.J. [Society of Jesus or Jesuit] Monument commemorating the Sunday July 5, 1840 celebration of the Eucharist for the first time in the Rocky Mountains. Here is a picture Salish Indians in Montana had traveled to St Louis Missouri and asked for a “black robe” missionary to come to them. South of Kemmerer and west of Green River Wyoming is Fort Bridger Historic Site where Jim Bridger, trapper, fur trader and mountain man, set up Fort Bridger as a trading post on the Oregon Trail in 1842 This trading post became an offshoot of the Oregon Trail to cross the Wasatch Mountains into the Great Salt Lake Basin and became known as The Mormon Trail.

Wilson Price Hunt’s Astorians on behalf of the Pacific Fur Company founded by John Jacob Astor, traveled to and then some returned from Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River and headed for St. Louis Missouri from Oregon Country in 1811. They considered Union Pass but traversed South Pass. In 1824 William Ashley discovered South Pass and that year was the first of the annual rendezvous 1824-1840 by fur traders, trappers and Indians in the Upper Green River Valley. In 1835 a missionary to the annual rendezvous, Dr. Marcus Whitman, successfully removed a spearhead or arrowhead that had been lodged in Jim Bridger’s shoulder for the preceding three years. He and by extension other missionaries were thereafter much admired.

Fort Hall (1834) and Fort Vancouver (1824) were Hudson Bay Company trading posts as well as military posts and the factors at those posts would be instrumental in supplying settlers and identifying settlement lands. Fort Laramie [initially called Fort John] was an American Fur Company trading post as well as a military post. It is not the site of the present day city of Laramie Wyoming but is on the North Platte River into which the Laramie River flows, north of the city of Cheyenne and east of Casper Wyoming.

The California Trail was a variant of the Oregon Trail about 50 miles southwest of Fort Hall, where the route to California broke off and continued to the southwest into Great Basin Country [western Utah and Nevada] while the Oregon Trail continued west along the Snake River.

In 1836 Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa Whitman, and Henry
Spalding and his wife Eliza Spalding, passed over the Oregon Trail to a mission site six miles west of present day Walla Walla Washington. The mission was to the Cayuse Indians who later turned on and massacred the Whitmans in 1847, and the Spaldings went on east to settle a mission to the Nez Perce Indians on the Clearwater River near present day Lapwai Idaho. Narcissa and Eliza were the first two white women to appear in the Oregon Country. On March 14, 1837 Alice Clarissa Whitman was born to Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, said to be the first white child born in Oregon Country. She died age two.

In 1840 the Joel Walker expedition made an Oregon Trail trek with an American Fur Company brigade to South Pass and onward to western Oregon guided by mountain man Robert Newell. Later in 1840 the Joseph Meek expedition made an Oregon Trail trek also guided by Robert Newell from South Pass onward. Joseph Meek was a mountain man turned settler who signed on with the Rocky Mountain Fur Company in 1829 and spent the next eleven years trapping and trading. He became a farmer and civic leader in the Willamette River Valley of western Oregon.

Bob Drury & Tom Clavin, The Heart of Everything That Is: The Life and Times of Red Cloud, The Greatest Warrior Chief of the West (Simon & Schuster 2013) ABE Books good condition $5.16 incl s&h, new at $12, republished in England as Red Cloud: The Greatest Warrior Chief of the American West (The Robson Press 2013) reviewed at Ari Kelman, Lies and Steals, London Times Literary Supplement, February 13, 2015 at page 7 Lubbock Public Library BIO REDC. Texas Tech Library E99.O3 D78.

It is praised “The word ‘epic’ is overused these days. Not here. This is big, blazing history, writ large on the High Plains.” Samuel C. Gwynne, author of Empire of the Summer Moon, who continues “An absorbing and evocative examination of the endgame in the three-hundred-year war between Native Americans and settlers of European descent.”

Charles Frazier, National Book Award-winning author of Cold Mountain “Clavin and Drury spin us a ripping, though at times gruesome, tale full of adventure.”

It is just that, a tale told well by journalist authors similar to Gwynne, who are not historians and gathered sources but did not check them for verity, so some of the details are inaccurate but the overall story is readable and reliable.

Context is important. Westward expansion beyond the Mississippi River imperiled Southern planters who used slaves on plantation farms and they demanded that slavery be acceptable in those new territories and states. After the war with Mexico 1846-1847 there was both a northern trail for settlement, The Oregon Trail, and a southern trail, The Santa Fe Trail. Both crossed Indian controlled lands, and gold discoveries in California Colorado and Montana became a source of economic wealth to expand and settle the American west and fund the Washington DC government. During the Civil War the Confederacy sought to occupy and control New Mexico Territory and control the Santa Fe Trail.

March 26-28, 1862 the Battle of Glorieta Pass New Mexico Territory was the decisive Civil War event in the West. Colonel John P. Slough and Union troops marched south from Denver over Raton Pass to Fort Union and on to Glorieta Pass to engage and defeat the 2nd, 5th and 7th Texas Mounted Rifles Major John M. Chivington was promoted to colonel after the victory.

A camp of Arapaho and Cheyenne Indians was located on the edge of a reservation at Sand Creek [presently Big Sandy Creek] in southeast Colorado Territory near the Santa Fe Trail and the people had been told to stay put by a Bureau of Indian Affairs agent when, on the morning of November 29, 1864, Colonel Chivington led 700 soldiers into the camp, killed more than 150 Indians, mostly women children and elderly, and the soldiers disgraced themselves by combing the killing field for trophies such as scalps, fingers, genitalia and more. Later, in Denver, the trophies were displayed at a theater for the audience’s enjoyment. After an investigation in Washington DC the Army and Congress labeled it a massacre and deplored the event. Before he could be court-martialed Colonel Chivington resigned his commission and fled.

Sand Creek Massacre Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site, National Park Service

Ari Kelman, A Misplaced Massacre: Struggling Over the Memory of Sand Creek (Harvard University Press 2013) Lamar Colorado is the present day city near Big Sandy Creek and the Amtrak Railroad train passes through Lamar on the Old Santa Fe Trail route to La Junta, Trinidad, Raton Pass, Las Vegas New Mexico, Lamy [gateway shuttle to Santa Fe] and Albuquerque continuing on to Los Angeles California. Big Sandy Creek flows into the Arkansas River east of Lamar Colorado.

This event in 1864 began the Plains Indians War that ended with another massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890. Survivors of Sand Creek found common ground with other Cheyenne, Arapaho and Sioux tribes and commenced Red Cloud’s War 1865-1868 about which the book under discussion was written.

In 1865 federal agents sought to negotiate a treaty over the Powder River Country [north central Wyoming] with the Ogallala Lakota Sioux but Red Cloud rejected the offer saying “the white man lies and steals”. He chose battle.

On December 21, 1866 Red Cloud and his warriors attacked a wagon train that had passed Fort Phil Kearny near present day Banner Wyoming on the Bozeman Trail opened in 1863 [it left the Oregon Trail at the North Platte River near Fort Laramie and went northwest across Wyoming Territory to Bozeman and Virginia City Montana]. The fort commander sent Lieutenant Colonel William Fetterman commanding 80 troopers to drive off the Indians. He did so but as he was herding them away the trap was sprung and 1,000 Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho surrounded Fetterman and his men and all were killed in what was called The Fetterman Massacre. That decisive and well-executed victory over the Army let it know how Red Cloud’s War would ensue. The Bozeman Trail ran directly through Powder River Country, westerly sacred lands for the Ogallala Lakota Sioux Indians extending east to the Black Hills of Dakota Country. The United States government backed down and signed The Laramie Treaty in 1868 banning settlers from the Bozeman Trail and shutting down the forts on the Bozeman Trail. Red Cloud won the day.

Congress passed the Indian Appropriations Act in 1871 ending the status of tribes as sovereign nations.

A change of mind in Washington DC reopened the Plains Indians War in 1874 and George Armstrong Custer went to the Black Hills. Custer then went to the Big Horn in Powder River Country in 1876 and did not return. Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull fought and lost the Lakota War of 1876-1877. Red Cloud resided on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Dakota Country until his death in 1909, a wise and elder statesman. In 1876 the Bozeman Trail was reopened to settlers under military protection

Dee Brown, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West (Holt Rinehart & Winston 1971) Texas Tech Library E81.B75 Lubbock Public Library 970.5 BROW Adult Non-fiction (reissued 2007 paperback $11.86, 2009 hardcover $39, 2012 e-book $8.54) ABE Books good condition paperback $3.48

Francis Parkman, The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life (1847) was for long the definitive work read by the public concerning the Oregon Trail, although it only dealt with the first third of the journey. It is still in print today after many editions.

Rinker Buck, The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey (Simon & Schuster 2015) this is non-fiction, a story of brothers who chose to presently re-enact the emigrant experience with a Conestoga wagon and mules. The Oregon Trail was rarely used after 1910 because railroad access to western lands was by then extensive. A significant period in American history ended. Re-enacting occurred within a few years but is very difficult to do today over any but short stretches because of private ownership and obstructions on the land. Lubbock Public Library 3 copies 978 BUCK.


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