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  • Quest for the West Artist Adam Smith

    by Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art | Aug 10, 2015
    Scenes from the old West will come to life in paintings and sculptures that will fill the galleries of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, with the opening of the 10th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. In one gallery, the only gallery like it in the state of Indiana, visitors can see and be the first to bid on millions of dollars in artwork from 50 coveted Western artists.  Meet Quest for the West artist Adam Smith.
    A Smith 2015
    Born 1984, in Medina, Minnesota; lives in Bozeman, Montana

    BORN IN MEDINA, MINNESOTA and raised in Bozeman, Montana, Smith has spent twenty seven years surrounded by the incredible wonders of western wildlife and has worked to master the art of its accurate rendering. Smith studies nature with the acute eyes of a scientist, yet gingerly recreates it with the hands of a painter. He is no stranger to fine art as he is the son of prominent wildlife artist and fellow Quest for the West artist, Daniel Smith. Make no mistake, this young artist sets himself apart from the competition and has already garnered much success in the art world. An avid traveler and cross-country explorer, Smith finds inspiration from trips he and his father have taken to Africa, Alaska, Utah, and dozens of national parks in between.

    Gallery Representation: Trailside Galleries, Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Scottsdale, Arizona

    A_Smith_Spring_Runoff-smaller
    Spring Runoff
    2015, acrylic, 18 x 36 inches

    Spring time in Montana is always a welcome sight. Warmer temperatures and additional moisture bring life back to the mountains. The spring runoff was in full effect and this black bear took full advantage of it. Experiences like this are what fuel my passion to paint. 

    WANT TO REGISTER FOR QUEST OPENING WEEKEND (SEPT. 11- 13)?

    Celebrate the best of the West and meet 50 of the nation's top Western-theme artists during the 10th anniversary opening weekend festivities for the Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Friday, Sept. 11 through Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis, IN.

    Only registered guests may participate in opening weekend activities. Register now to join in the fun, make new friends, socialize with artists and seasoned and fledging art collectors, enjoy fine food and purchase art for your new or established art collection. For your convenience, four Marriott Place hotels are located directly across the street from the museum.

    Register to participate in opening weekend festivities by purchasing a weekend individual or couples package.  If you are unable to attend but wish to buy art, you may purchase an absentee buyer registration to participate in the sale. Absentee buyers must submit purchase instructions and a credit card number to the Eiteljorg Museum by Thursday, September 3, 2015.  Please check the Absentee Buyer box.

    •  WEEKEND INDIVIDUAL PACKAGE:
      $250 Member; $300 Non-member
    Package includes one Quest catalog and one bid book per registrant, plus participation for one in all Quest events.

    •  WEEKEND COUPLE PACKAGE:
    $450 Member; $500 Non-member
    Package includes one Quest catalog and one bid book per couple, plus participation for two in all Quest events.

    •  ABSENTEE BUYER OR PURCHASE OF ADDITIONAL BID BOOKS: $150/bid book
    Are you unable to attend the sale, but interested in purchasing art? Absentee buyers may participate in the sale by purchasing a bid book and catalog for $150. Additional bid books are available for $150 each. Limit three bid books per registrant. Absentee Buyer Instructions (Click to download)

    TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR SALE (Click to download)

    For registration-related questions, or for credit card registration by phone, please contact Kay Hinds at (317) 275-1341 or e-mail khinds@eiteljorg.com. Your Quest catalog and bid books will be distributed when you check in at the registration desk on opening weekend. 

    Quest for the West is presented by the Western Art Society.
     

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  • Treasure of the SS Islander

    by Johanna Blume, Eiteljorg assistant curator of Western Art | Aug 03, 2015
    The SS Islander was a steamship owned and operated by the Canadian-Pacific Navigation Company during the Yukon-Klondike gold rush. It offered luxurious accommodations for bankers, tycoons, wealthy business owners, and others. The steamer weighed 1,519 tons, measured 240 feet in length, and was made of steel. It frequently made the trip along the inside passage to Alaska, serving the needs of those headed for the Klondike gold fields. The ship left Skagway, Alaska, on August 14, 1901, carrying 168 people and a reported $6 million in gold. The next day, south of Juneau, it struck an iceberg, took on water, and sank. The treasure and forty lives were lost. Salvage efforts soon began, continuing off and on until recent years. 

    The most successful recovery of treasure from the SS Islander took place in the last five years, with more than 1,000 ounces of gold being recovered. You can see gold and three full gold pokes – the small leather bags used to hold and transport loose gold flakes and nuggets – that were recovered from the shipwreck in Gold! Riches and Ruin. This is the first time these artifacts have been publicly exhibited, and pieces of their original seals are still intact.
    c1d215b8-6162-409a-ba5a-585beb09dc2d-A08769
    Canadian Pacific Navigation Company Ship
    S.S. Islander, ca. 1900
    Photographer: Major James Skitt Matthews
    Image courtesy of City of Vancouver Archives
    AM54-S4-: Bo N215

    asl_p277_001_166 - smaller last blog
     15 Days’ Clean Up by the Gold Run (Klondyke) Mining Co., 1886–1913
    Image courtesy of the Alaska State Library, Wickersham State Historic Site Photos, 1882–1930s; ASL-P277-001-166

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  • Hard Rock, Hard Luck

    by Johanna Blume, Eiteljorg assistant curator of Western Art | Jul 05, 2015

    Come to camp with our Spirits way down dont [sic] like the looks of the country. [A]nd I dont [sic] like the looks of the men dont [sic] believe there is a claim on the creek that will pay wages. —Jerry Bryan, 1876 

    The general character of my mining has been to get the ore out, reduce it to bullion, and sell it . . . [I]n other words, we were engaged in what is called legitimate mining . . . On the whole, I think that mining is about the best business of all. —George Hearst, in his 1890 memoir

    In 1876 approximately 10,000 fortune seekers poured into Deadwood Gulch with dreams of easily gotten gold. For most, these dreams were quickly shattered when reality hit. The canyon terrain was extremely rough and difficult to navigate. The most profitable claims were scattered haphazardly throughout the Hills, isolated from one another. The richest deposits of gold were veins running through hard rock, which necessitated the use of heavy machinery like stamp mills to extract the gold.

    None of these conditions were conducive to success for individual miners or small mining companies, and it didn’t take long for larger companies to squeeze out the competition. In the latter part of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth centuries, gold mining in the Black Hills underwent rapid industrialization, with the Homestake Mining Company dominating the field.

    The Homestake claim was first filed in April 1876 by brothers Fred and Moses Manuel, but soon after was purchased from them by George Hearst. A veteran of the California gold rush who had made his fortune running a general merchandise store and investing in mines, Hearst rapidly expanded the mine’s operations. The city of Lead (pronounced “leed”) developed with the mine and was a company town. It was the largest and deepest gold mine in North America, and until it closed January 2002, one of the most productive. The mine has since been converted into a deep underground science and engineering laboratory, renamed the Sanford Underground Research Facility, and is used by physicists to study neutrinos and dark matter.

    0070.220.001
    Between Pluma and Lead in 1890, 1890
    Image courtesy of Historic Deadwood, Inc., Adams Museum Collection; 0070.220.001

     61-16
    Homestake Workings, ca. 1920
    Image courtesy of Deadwood History, Inc., Homestake Mining Company Collection; 61-16

     25-1
    Carpenter Crew, ca. 1900
    Image courtesy of Deadwood History, Inc., Homestake Mining Company Collection; 25-1

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  • The 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

    by Lyndsey Blair, Curatororial Intern | Jun 03, 2015

    AYP Gold_bricks from Scandinavian American Bank,_A-Y-P,_1909
    Gold Bricks from Scandinavian American Bank inside A-Y-P’s Alaska Building

     In 1907, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush, Seattle’s civic leaders decided to organize a world’s fair.  World’s fairs (or international expositions) played a prominent role in American and European society from the late nineteenth century until World War I.  These events provided fairgoers the chance to experience the latest cultural, educational, and technological trends from around the world.  Expos also offered host cities the opportunity to demonstrate their importance within the international community.  Seattle’s civic leaders used theirs to promote the city as a gateway to the resources of Alaska, the Yukon, and Asia. 

    AYP Aerial_view_of_the_Alaska-Yukon-Pacific_Exposition_-_1909
    Aerial View of A-Y-P Expo

    Seattle’s world’s fair, officially known as the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (A-Y-P), opened on June 1, 1909.  Organizers rescheduled to avoid conflicting with the 1907 Jamestown Exposition in Norfolk, Virginia.   This decision proved advantageous as it gave developers two extra years to plan the expo, which was held on the University of Washington’s campus.

    A-Y-P was not only a celebration of Seattle’s recent growth but the development of the larger Pacific Northwest.  Several counties, territories, and states from this region had their own exhibits and/or buildings to educate three million fairgoers about their resources.  For example, the Alaska Building had information about the territory’s timber, whaling, and petroleum industries.  It also featured several gold displays, including a heavily fortified case with more than one million dollars in gold bricks, nuggets, and dust.

    AYP Official_guide_to_the_Alaska-Yukon-Pacific_Exposition_-_Seattle,_Washington,_June_1_to_October_16,_1909_-_Cover
    Official A-Y-P Guide Book with Logo

    AYP Klondyke_Dance_Hall_and_saloon on Pay Streak,_A-Y-P,_1909
    “Klondyke Dance Hall” on A-Y-P’s Pay Streak

    Gold played an important role throughout the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.  For example, A-Y-P’s official logo featured a goddess holding gold nuggets.  Meanwhile, AYP Souvenir_Taft_Day_official_program_-_Front_cover
    the fair’s midway (or entertainment zone) was called “The Pay Streak.”  This term is a mining reference to the location in a stream where gold has deposited.  Even President Taft got into the spirit (Pictured: “Taft Day Official Program” from A-Y-P Expo). During his two-day expo visit, the president mined for gold in the Alaska Building and also received an honorary Arctic Brotherhood degree.  The Arctic Brotherhood, a fraternal organization of Klondike gold- stampeders formed in 1899, played a large role in organizing the fair.  

    A-Y-P officially ended on October 16, 1909.  While most of the expo’s buildings have since been demolished, the fair’s memory lives on. 

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  • No Place For A Lady? Think Again

    by Johanna M. Blume, Eiteljorg assistant curator of Western Art | Jun 01, 2015

    While men may have outnumbered women in gold camps throughout the West, women were very much a part of the fabric of community life. Some came to the gold regions with their husbands, fathers, sons, or brothers; some struck out on their own; some made their livings by doing tasks traditionally done by women at the time, such as cooking and laundry; others ran hotels or prospected for gold. Prostitutes plied their trade from the brothels and dancehalls that proliferated in gold rush towns. Middle- to upper-class women were often at the forefront of efforts to elevate the moral character of their communities, spearheading campaigns to build libraries, schools, and hospitals and to provide relief to those who had fallen on hard times. Women’s experiences in the gold rushes were nothing if not diverse.

    2009.0
    Barge on Yukon River, Klondike Gold Rush
    , 1898
    Image courtesy of the Washington State Historical Society; 2009.0.1900

    woman's outfit
    Woman’s Ensemble, ca. 1885
    Silk, lace
    Loan courtesy of Deadwood History, Inc., Days of ’76 Collection

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