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Mount Hood from The Dalles

John Stanley

Artwork Details

Mount Hood from The Dalles
John Stanley
oil on canvas
62 in x 96 ½ in (157.48 cm x 245.11 cm)
Gift of Mrs. Edith Stanley Bayles and the late Mrs. Jane C. Stanley

On Display

Not currently on display


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.

Subject Matter:

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.

Usage Rights:

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