Northwest Art: 19th-21st Century


19th-21st Century American Pacific Coast Painting: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington




This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Northwest Art: 19th-21st Century." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to these articles and essays. The date at the end of each title is the Resource Library publication date.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays is the heading "TFAO references." The count of pages in the TFAO website citing relevant keywords is an indicator of our breadth of coverage for this topic. We recommend that readers search within the TFAO website to find detailed information for any topic. Please see our page How to research topics not listed for more information.

After "TFAO references" are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches.

Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.


Also see from TFAO:

Alaska Art History

California Art History

Hawaii Art History

Oregon Art History

Washington Art History


(above: James Everett Stuart, Crater Lake, Looking West from the Surface of the Water, 1882, oil on canvas, 14 x 22 inches, Spanierman Gallery.  Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)


Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:

Where Eagles Fly: Artists of the Pacific Northwest; article by Maria Sharylen (3/23/09)

Gaylen Hansen: Three Decades of Paintings (6/24/08)

Sherry Markovitz: Shimmer, Paintings and Sculptures 1979 - 2007 (5/5/08)

Amanda Snyder: Structures; essay by Roger Hull (11/23/07)

Amanda Snyder: Structures (11/17/07)

William Cumming: The Image of Consequence (8/30/05)


Click here for more articles and essays on this subject published in:






From other websites:

Forgotten Stories: Northwest Public Art in the 1930s is a 2020 exhibit at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, Willamette University which says: "During the economic hard times of the 1930s, U.S. government art projects under the WPA (Works Progress Administration) and other agencies created a wealth of public art and supported art communities across the country. These projects had an enormous impact on American art and artists, but much of that history, particularly in the Northwest, where hundreds of artists were employed and thousands of artworks were created, has been unexplored. Organized by the Tacoma Art Museum, Forgotten Stories: Northwest Public Art of the 1930s offers an extensive overview of the bounty of work created in our region and brings forgotten treasures back to view."  Accessed 4/21

Modern Alaska: Art of the midnight Sun, 1930-1970 is a 2018 exhibit at the Cascadia Art Museum which says: "In this first of its kind exhibition, we will present works created by Northwest artists who traveled to Alaska in the mid-20th century." Accessed 5/18

Robert McCauley: American Fiction   is a 2018 exhibit at the Museum of Northwest Art  which says: "...McCauley's main themes revolve around worlds in collision, addressing topics of cultural displacement and destruction, as well as our relationships with nature and the environment. He speaks to global issues, yet his art has a distinctive Northwest feeling with iconic and familiar subjects such as bears, mountains, and long-lost fishing holes....McCauley draws from various themes and periods in Western art history and literature. He employs a Luminist style in his romantic yet somber paintings, and easily jumps to the surreal with juxtapositions of the natural world and humankind. He belies the casual viewer through his quirky senses of endearment and humor, but he will lead the more curious and willing into deeper layers of meaning. The artist challenges past beliefs which resulted in mandates such as 'Manifest Destiny' and 'Westward Ho.'" Also see content from Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and 10/24/17 article in Seattle Times. Accessed 5/18

A Spirit Unbound: The Art of Peggy Strong was a 2016-17 exhibit at Cascadia Art Museum which says: "Born in Tacoma, Washington, Peggy Strong (1912-1956)  was one of the leading regional artists of the mid 20th century." See "Peggy Strong - Remembered by Her Sister Jean Walkinshaw" a 22 min. YouTube video from Seattle Colleges Cable Television. Accessed 10/16



Artists of the Pacific Northwest: A Biographical Dictionary, 1600s-1970, By Maria Sharylen. Published 1993 by McFarland. Artists/ Northwest, Pacific / Biography / Dictionaries. 252 pages. ISBN:0899507972. Original from the University of California. Digitized Nov 28, 2006.


DVD/VHS videos:

Chihuly In Charlotte is a 2000 video directed by Stuart Grasberg and produced by WTVI, Charlotte Public Television..

Chihuly Over Venice is a 1998 PBS Home Video released by Home Vision Entertainment. The planning and realization of an ambitious project by renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly is documented in this absorbing PBS presentation. Chihuly collaborated with master glassblowers from four countries to achieve his collection of spectacular chandeliers for public display over the canals of Venice. From Finland to Ireland to Mexico to Italy, Chlhuly and the participatlng artisans join together for a creative 90 minute odyssey.

Plein Air: Painting the American Landscape episodes take the viewer on a journey, from Cape Cod, where the Atlantic meets the land, to the peak of Denali, the "Great One," North America's tallest mountain. Other episodes feature the Tongass Rain Forest; Seward, Alaska; Taos, New Mexico; Trinidad, Colorado; and central Michigan.

Plein air artists featured in the series include Matt Smith of Scottsdale, Arizona; Kenn Backhaus of Robesonia, Pennsylvania; Jean LeGassick of Silver City, Nevada; Connecticut artist Charles Sovek; Utah artist Ron Rencher; and Frank LaLumia of Trinidad, Colorado. Episodes features one or two of the contemporary plein air painters and examine their technique plus history of the plein air genre. Plein Air: Painting the American Landscape appeals to art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike and helps viewers to understand America's own naturalist art form.

For more than a century, a unique group of American artists ventured out of their studios to capture the essence of the American landscape. Some learned their craft from the French Impressionists, others through trial and error. What unites them is their dedication to the interplay of land, water and sky, and the study of how light, shadow and color form the varied and rich masks of the natural world.

This six-part series premiered in August 2007 on PBS and was presented in high definition. Underwriters for the series are Rasmuson Foundation and Joan Irvine Smith & Athalie R. Clarke Foundation. The producer is Greg Bombeck of Bombeck Productions and the PBS presenter is KTOO Juneau. DVDs are available through Bombeck Productions, LLC, 18016 Kamkoff Ave., P.O. Box 770302, Eagle River, AK 99577.


Return to Topics in American Representational Art


TFAO catalogues:

American Representational Art links to dozens of topics in American Representational Art

Audio Online a catalogue of online streaming audio recordings

Collections of Historic American Art notable private collections

Distinguished Artists a national registry of historic artists

Geographic Tour of American Representational Art History a catalogue of articles and essays that describe the evolution of American art from the inception of the United States to WWII.

Illustrated Audio Online streaming online narrated slide shows

Articles and Essays Online substantive texts published outside of Resource Library

Videos Online a comprehensive catalogue of online full motion videos streamed free to viewers

Videos an authoritative guide to videos in VHS and DVD format

Books general reference books published on paper

Interactive media media in CD-ROM format

Magazines paper-published magazines and journals

Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.

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