Museum features Paul Kane exhibition

Paul Kane (1810-1871), ‘Mount St. Helens with Smoke Cone,’ 1847, oil on paper, 8

The Stark Museum of Art features Paul Kane: Intrepid Artist and Adventurer, a special exhibition of an artist who overcame obstacles in his artistic quest. Paul Kane (1810-1871) wanted to record the landscape and the people of North America before they changed. From 1845-48, Kane camped and canoed across the continent, sketching in watercolor and oil paints along the way. The exhibition includes over 120 rarely seen works of art and manuscripts. It will be on view through June 2, 2018.

Kane made two trips, traveling from Toronto around the Great Lakes area and then to the Pacific coast and back, sketching notable natural features such as waterfalls, geologic formations, and earth mounds. The artist had to travel by canoe, horseback, snowshoes and sled. He encountered river rapids, freezing temperatures, and an ocean storm.

The exhibition is organized according to geographic regions of lakes, prairies, mountains and coast. Many of the sites the artist portrayed have changed or disappeared due to human activities such as settlement and dam building. Within the regions are portraits and scenes of life of the native peoples Kane came to document. Kane’s first-hand sketches give direct and fresh views of the historic past. He also kept a journal and a log of his sketches. Kane used these to produce a narrative about his journey. The exhibition includes Kane’s notebooks, manuscripts for his publication, and a first edition of his book Wanderings of an Artist.

The exhibition will have programming for additional interpretation. The Museum will show a film on Paul Kane and have a live video chat with film director John Bessai on Jan. 30, 2018. Curator Sarah E. Boehme will give an Insights Lecture titled Paul Kane: During and After His Wanderings on Feb. 17, 2018. The museum will have on view This Land Was Made for You and Me: 2018 Juried Student Art Exhibition, which will feature student artwork inspired by Paul Kane: Intrepid Artist and Adventurer. Art by students in kindergarten through grade 12 from Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana will be exhibited March 3 – June 2, 2018. A guest teaching artist will lead an Adult Studio Art Workshop: Watercolor Techniques on April 14, 2018. Details on these and other programs will be on the Museum’s Web site,

The works in the exhibition are from the permanent collection of the Stark Museum of Art. The Kane sketches and manuscripts came to the Museum as a bequest of H.J. Lutcher Stark. He acquired an extensive collection from the artist’s grandson.

Stark Museum of Art is at 712 Green Ave. in Orange, and is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, visit