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Bierstadt, Albert (1830-1902)
The Oregon TrailDate: 1869
Movement: Hudson River School
Technique: Oil on canvas
Museum: Butler Institute of American Art
Location: Youngstown, OH, USA
Dimensions: 78.7 x 124.5 cm
Under a dramatic orange-red sky the emigrants trek into the western sun, which tinges the high cliffs as it sets beyond a grove of ancient trees. They pass animal bones and a broken stove which testify to previous unlucky travelers. Native American tepees in the distance are reminders of a constant menace. No matter that by sundown camp should have been made, accuracy of fact is no more a goal here than in any other historical allegory of America's westward migration. This subject first appeared soon after the end of the Civil War when America, with heightened interest in the West, turned its attention to peaceful rather than military matters. (from the museum's homepage)
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