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Photo: Paul Macapia

Smoky Sunrise, Astoria Harbor


Cleveland Rockwell

Born Youngstown, Ohio, 1837; died Portland, Oregon, 1907

Rockwell came to the Pacific Northwest in 1868 to survey the coast and rivers, and he became a painter and a chronicler of the Columbia. Astoria Harbor was Rockwell's favorite subject for the variety of activity that was centered there-the coming and going of ocean clippers, river steamers, and the rafts and dinghies of salmon fishers and of loggers, which we see here. This painting was commissioned by Captain George Flavel, who for decades ran the principal tug service that towed ships upriver from Astoria to Portland.

Artist Cleveland Rockwell: "The north (or Washington Territory) side of the river is very bold, almost mountainous. Cliffs and precipices occur at almost every point. Above the remarkable neck of land called Tongue Point, where the river widens into a large sheet of water known as Cathlamet Bay, there are again large areas of tide lands, or swamps, intersected by numerous channels. Some of these channels are navigable, and are used by the small steamers plying between Astoria and Portland."

Oil on canvas, 20 x 34 in. (50.8 x 86.36 cm), stretcher bars 31 1/2 x 45 in. (80 x 114.3 cm), frame size, Gift of Len and Jo Braarud, Ann and Tom Barwick, Marshall and Helen Hatch; and gift, by exchange, of Lawrence Bogle, Mr. and Mrs. Taylor Collins, Eustace Ziegler, Mary E. Humphrey and Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection, 89.70,

Signed: Signed lower left: "Cleveland Rockwell"; signed, dated, and inscribed on reverse: "Smoky Sunrise, Astroia Harbor./Cleveland Rockwell/1882"

Inscribed: Verso of canvas: "Smoky Sunrise, Astoria Harbor / Cleveland Rockwell / 1882" handwritten in brownish-black paint, lower center. Verso of backing board: SAM mailing label with typewritten object information, top left. Gallery label: "Braarud Fine Art / P.O Box 747, La Conner, Wa. 98257 (206) 466-4416" printed in black with "Cleveland Rockwell (1837-1907) / 20 x 34 O/C / Smoky Sunrise, Astoria Harbor (1882) / 8767" typewritten in black italics, left center. Conservator's label: "WCCFA / Western Center for the Conservation of Fine Arts / 1225 Santa Fe Drive . Denver . Colorado . 80204 . (303) 573-1973" printed in blue with typewritten artist "Cleveland Rockwell," WCCFA File "87-214," Subject "Smoky Sunrise," Treatment Date "1/88," and conservation information, left bottom. Verso of frame: "1439/217" handwritten in black crayon, top center.

Provenance: Commissioned by Captain George Flavel (died 1893), Astoria, Oregon; descended in his family to his great grand-daughter, Patricia Flavel, Oakland, California; sold through [Butterfield and Butterfield, San Francisco]; sold to [Braarud Fine Art, La Conner, Washington]

Now on view at Seattle Art Museum