Tag Archives: Columbia Gorge

Mount Hood, Oregon. Albert Bierstadt. Undated. Believed to be Bierstadt’s first rendering of four paintings of Mount Hood, Oregon. Chinookan people and canoes sail the Columbia River and wait on shore. Measuring 35 x 60 inches, the painting manifests Bierstadt’s ability to transfer his personal sense of wonderment to the viewer through his adept use of perspective, light, color and composition. Auctioned at Christie’s in May 2017.

An Artist’s Price for Manifest Destiny

Artists play an important role in both propaganda and the multitude of ways that history is recorded. Albert Bierstadt was a skilled painter, known to paint stunning detailed panoramas of the west meant to attract east coast Americans to find settlement out here. more >

“What had been merely a swiftly flowing river with a streak of silver riffles down the middle has changed to a tumble of cascades that gleamed in solid white from bank to bank like the churned snow of a freshly descended avalanche. There was no green water whatever; not even a streak that was tinged with green.“ Surprise Rapids photographed on behalf of L.R. Freeman in 1920.

A View of the Columbia in 1920 Part I

Imagine canoeing the length of a wild Columbia River before the dams. In 1920, one man did it. Daredevil travel writer Lewis Freeman documented what he saw and who be met, offering a glimpse of life before the hydroelectric system turned the Columbia River mostly into a series of lakes. more >