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Location ID Help Requested

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Location ID Help Requested

Postby apetersen55 » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:00 am

Hello,
I'm a newbie here and I posted this in the Photography Forum too hope that's ok.
Although I've logged many miles in the high country my post isn't about hiking.
I'm conducting research and writing about the Swedish-American watercolor painter Gunnar Widforss who worked in the western national parks in the 1920s and 30s. He's best known for his work of Yosemite and Grand Canyon and if you've visited the Ahwahnee hotel you've seen his watercolors in the lobby there.
While living at Yosemite in the 1920s Gunnar did a couple of trips into the high country with his Park Service friends Ansel Hall and Elbert (E.C.) Solinsky. In fact, Gunnar tended the odometer and made notations on distances in a 1922 survey trip where they gathered geographical data to support the extension of the boundaries of Yosemite National Park to the east and south-east.
Any way - what I've attached here is a scan of a bad print of a bad photograph of a painting that Gunnar did in the Sierras.

My question - Can anyone identify the location where he painted this?
It looks vaguely familiar to me but...

The original is a watercolor 13 x 17 inches.(Ironically the painting is now located in the middle of Kansas).

Thank-you for your assistance.
Alan
Attachments
Widforss Gunnar High Sierras 13 x 17.jpg
High Sierra by Gunnar Widforss watercolor, 13 x 17 inches, c. 1922
Last edited by apetersen55 on Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:34 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Location ID Help Requested

Postby markskor » Fri Oct 05, 2012 7:16 am

Hard to say as this is a watercolor depiction and not a photograph...artistic license and all, but...

Could be Peeler out of Bridgeport/Twin Lakes.
http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=htt ... wAw&dur=99
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: Location ID Help Requested

Postby rlown » Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:15 pm

Alan,

Are you a dealer? It was all good up until you mentioned it was for sale and you might be kind of using us to ID where it was taken.

Let us know,

Russ
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Re: Location ID Help Requested

Postby apetersen55 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:33 am

Hi Russ,
No, not at all. I'm the curator of fine arts at the Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff. I mentioned that it's for sale only because I thought there might be members of the forum who might like it, that's all. I'll remove that.
I'm interested identifying the location because I'm compiling a catalogue raisonne of Widforss' works and I like to identify locations where he painted when I can. I currently have over 800 paintings listed in the catalogue. As I'm personally interested in the Sierras, and because he probably painted this on a trip with two important Park Service pioneers, it has special significance for the catalogue and myself.
I thought this was a natural place to try to find the expertise.

With respect to markskor's reference to artistic lisence - Widforss was an extremely talented draftsman. His depictions of landscapes are usually as accurate as we would consider a photograph to be. So you can consider the painting to be very faithful to what he was viewing.
I know that on one trip they departed from Tuolumne Meadows and visited Garnet Lake, Shadow Lake and then went over to the mouth of Long Canyon. My hunch is that he did this painting on that trip. I also have a photo of him painting at Shadow Lake.

Thanks for posting.
Alan
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Re: Location ID Help Requested

Postby QITNL » Sun Oct 07, 2012 2:26 pm

Hi Alan -

I'd love to know more about your project and would be happy to help in any way I can. I'd never heard of this fellow until a couple of weeks ago. A friend gave me a very nice package:

Widforss, Gunnar M. The Widforss Collection. Six Reproductions of Yosemite Paintings by Gunnar M. Widforss Made between 1922 and 1926. Portfolio of six color plates made from water colors of Gunnar Widforss with tissue guards plus one plate of text. 19-1/2x24, laid in lavender board portfolio with gilt cover title. Yosemite: Yosemite Park and Curry Company, 1987.

Really good stuff, I totally dig his style. I'm planning to scan them and then have them framed by the company that frames Ansel Adams. I don't think they are particularly valuable - I saw an expired listing for $200 on eBay - I just really like them. I don't have much wall space, so I might rotate them around with friends.

While researching, I noticed he had a penchant for painting features that are not particularly monumental, like the ridge in your photo above. That matches the way my eyes travel, but does make identification a little difficult. He certainly strayed off the beaten path. Retracing his steps might help there.

I'd be happy to give you a hand, have a couple questions of my own. Your post is quite timely as I was hoping to learn a little more about the guy myself. I'll drop you a PM with my email.

Thanks,
-Joe
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Re: Location ID Help Requested

Postby apetersen55 » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:35 am

Yes, he had a remarkable eye coupled with natural talent for a difficult medium, particularly considering that he did all of his work outdoors.
Here are a few more that I'd love to know the locations of.
If you might be interested I've reconstructed the first half of his 1922 trip with Ansel Hall. Here's a link to the map. [digg]<a href="http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1802531">Widforss 1922 trip</a><br><iframe src="http://www.everytrail.com/iframe2.php?trip_id=1802531&width=400&height=300" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="400" height="300"></iframe>[/digg] hmmm, not sure if that's working or not.
Somehow they wound up near Sadler Lake and perhaps returned to the Valley by way of Isberg Pass. I'm not sure about that, or maybe they went south to Granite Creek area.
Widforss Gunnar High Sierra 9 x 12,5 in 1921 bw.jpg
Mt. Clark from?

Widforss Gunnar High Sierra 13 x 17 1922 bw.jpg
Widforss Gunnar High Sierra 13 x 17 1922 bw.jpg (84.45 KiB) Viewed 276 times

Widforss Gunnar High Sierra Lake 18,5 x 12,75 1922 bw.jpg
Widforss Gunnar High Sierra Lake 18,5 x 12,75 1922 bw.jpg (107.98 KiB) Viewed 277 times

Widforss Gunnar In the High Sierra 1922 bw.jpg

Painted for the book Songs of Yosemite published by Ansel Hall
Widforss Gunnar Sierra Nevada Mountains 13 x 19 in bw.jpg

Someone told me that this might be Cirque Peak from the Owens Valley?

Alan
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Re: Location ID Help Requested

Postby QITNL » Mon Oct 08, 2012 1:28 pm

The second shot in your last series is Mt Conness from one of the Young Lakes, probably the Lower.

Here's a similar shot, pretty close to the same angle, though the foreground is a little different:
Image
That image seems to be cropped, a larger version is here:
http://www.qitnl.com/d/11949-5/yosemite081409-088.jpg
Last edited by ERIC on Tue Oct 09, 2012 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: changed [img] tags to [rimg] to avoid cropping
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Re: Location ID Help Requested

Postby apetersen55 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:50 am

Very nice, thanks Joe!
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Re: Location ID Help Requested

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:03 am

The 3rd one in that set is Ellery Lake.
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Re: Location ID Help Requested

Postby QITNL » Wed Oct 10, 2012 1:07 pm

Well spotted, Mr. Photonic. I believe you are correct, sir.

Here is that ridge from Tioga Point, his angle was from the road below.
Image
Larger:
http://www.qitnl.com/d/23819-3/yosemite092311-392.jpg
Last edited by ERIC on Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: use [rimg] tag instead of [img] so your pictures aren't cut off...
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Re: Location ID Help Requested

Postby apetersen55 » Wed Oct 10, 2012 2:16 pm

Ah! Beautiful -
Thank you. I knew that I came to the right place!
Alan
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Re: Location ID Help Requested

Postby RoguePhotonic » Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:21 pm

Image
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