Return to Mount Shasta as a Visual Resource page - Clarence King lies in the foreground smoking his pipe. Munger is at work on a Shasta painting. Frederick Clark checks out his transit. Watkins' studio wagon with camera perched on top is at the left behind the fence

Mount Shasta as a Visual Resource


Return to Mount Shasta home page - Mount Shasta Companion Logo

From Southern Pacific Railroad.  The Road of a Thousand Wonders. The past five years have seen a tremendous resurgence of interest in the early art of California. Two new magazines on early California Art, twenty or more new books on early California artists, a meteoric rise in prices of antique California paintings, standing room only at Butterfield's 19th and Early 20th Century California Paintings auctions, nationwide coverage of the phenomenon in the most prestigious of art and antique magazines, all lead one to believe that the early art of California is important to the history of American art.

This present study attempts to put Mount Shasta within this context of the rediscovery of California's profound history of art and artists. As it turns out, Mount Shasta was almost in a class by itself as an early California image. Its beauty and awesome size were unmatched by any other mountain in California. From 1841 on, literally scores of major and minor American and California artists visited the mountain and produced images of Mount Shasta for readers and art patrons throughout the state and country. During the 19th century Mount Shasta became a nationwide symbol of the majestic wild places still left untouched in an already industrialized America.

Today, it is not only a nostalgia, but a realization that these wild places really do exist, and that they are right here in California, that makes people so interested in the early art of California. As one writer for a recent art magazine put it, "California is in the process of discovering itself". Hopefully this present study will give those who know the Mount Shasta region a chance to see it as others before them have seen it.

William C. Miesse
Mount Shasta, California
March 8, 1989

Geology ~ Environment ~ Native Americans ~ Folklore ~ History ~ Art ~ Literature
Recreation ~ Maps ~ Mount Shasta Collection ~ Bibliography ~ Lesson Plans ~ About Project