An Artist with the Corps of Discovery: One Hundred Paintings Illustrating the Journals of Lewis and Clark
Featuring the Artwork of Charles Fritz
“…the object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river, and such principal streams of it, as, by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado or any other river, may offer the most direct and practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce…” —Thomas Jefferson
Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark did not succeed in finding an easy water route across the North American continent as instructed by President Jefferson, however they did lead the Corps of Discovery on an adventure beyond their wildest expectations. The discovery of the geography, flora, and fauna, as well as encountering the Native peoples within the boundaries of the Louisiana Purchase was meticulously documented. What they lacked—and lamented—was the inclusion of a professional artist. Until now.
Artist Charles Fritz set off on the entire length of the Lewis and Clark Trail. Painting en plein-air, he visited the sites at the same time of year as the expedition to accurately capture the colors, light, weather, and other conditions that the group encountered in 1804 – 1806. With exacting research, each of the one hundred paintings in the exhibition An Artist with the Corps of Discovery referenced a journal entry and was accompanied by additional text embellishing the painting’s context in the collection.