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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Mount Rainier, Bay of Tacoma - Puget Sound

Photo: Paul Macapia

Mount Rainier, Bay of Tacoma - Puget Sound


Sanford Robinson Gifford

born Greenfield, New York, 1823; died New York City, New York, 1880

In the summer of 1874, Gifford set out by himself for Oregon and Alaska. Returning from the far north, Gifford traveled the length of Puget Sound and was able to see the great domes of the Cascades. The appearance of the ethereal-seeming, majestic Mount Rainier on an August afternoon clearly enchanted him. He thrilled to the particular spirit of this place of grand volcanic peaks and ancient peoples, where, at times, when the skies clear and Rainier emerges out of the mist, we are granted the privilege of glimpsing what seems the heavenly home of the gods.

Oil on canvas
21 x 40 1/2 in. (53.34 x 102.87 cm)
Gift of Ann and Tom Barwick and gift, by exchange, of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Brechemin; Max R. Schweitzer; Hickman Price, Jr., in memory of Hickman Price; Eugene Fuller Memorial Collection; Mr. and Mrs. Norman Hirschl; and the Estate of Louise Raymond Owens
Provenance: Sold to "Mr. Fowler, London," probably after February, 1875; Daniel B. Hatch (b. 1837), New York, after 1881; to his son, Richard D. Hatch (b. 1873), to 1970; sold to [Vose Galleries of Boston, Inc.] December 1970-1971; sold to Mr. and Mrs. George D. Hart, San Francisco, California, 1971-1990
Photo: Paul Macapia
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistoryNew York, New york, Century Association, Feb. 1875. Checklist no. 22 [as Mount Renier (sic), Bay of Tacoma-Pugents (sic) Sound].

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Views and Visions in the Pacific Northwest, June 7 - Sept. 2, 1990. No catalogue.

Tacoma, Washington, Tacoma Museum of Art, Landscape in America 1850-1890,
Sept. 27, 1997 - Jan. 4, 1998. No catalogue.

New York, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hudson River School Visions: The Landscapes of Sanford R. Gifford, Oct. 8, 2003 - Feb. 8, 2004. (Fort Worth, Texas, Amon Carter Museum, Mar. 6 - May 16, 2004; Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, June 27 - Sept. 26, 2004). Text by Kevin Avery, Franklin Kelly, et al. Cat. no. 57, pp. 68, 213-215, reproduced pl. 57.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Beauty and Bounty: American Art in an Age of Exploration, June 28 - Sept.11, 2011.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, American Art: The Stories We Carry, Oct. 20, 2022 - ongoing.
Published References"City Intelligencer. Art at the Century." New York Evening Post, February 8, 1875.

Weir, John Ferguson. "A Visit to the Studio of Mr. Sanford R. Gifford." New York Evening Post, March 18, 1875: p. 1.

A Memorial Catalogue of the Paintings of Sanford Robinson Gifford, N.A. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1881; facsimile reprint New York: Olana Gallery, 1974. Cat. no. 636, p. 42.

Weiss, Ila Joyce Solomon. "Sanford Robinson Gifford (1823-1880)." Ph.D. dissertation, Columbia University, 1968; part IX G, p. 340.

Weiss, Ila. Poetic Landscape: The Art and Experience of Sanford R. Gifford. Newark, Del.: University of Delaware Press, 1987; p. 41.

The Seattle Times, July 29, 1990: p. L2, reproduced [untitled announcement of new acquisition].

Selected Works: Seattle Art Museum. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 1991; p. 111, reproduced.

Harom. Kitty, ed. The Pacific Northwest Landscape: A Painted History. Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 2001; p. 134.

Haertel, Laura. “’Proper Paintings’ of the American Landscape,” California Literary Review online, July 2, 2001; reproduced (

Raban, Jonathan. "Battleground of the Eye." Here/There/Nowhere. Portland, Oregon: Nobius Projects, 2007; p. 8.

Junker, Patricia. “A Sense of Place: American Art and the Seattle Art Museum.” The Magazine Antiques (November 2008): p. 113, reproduced fig. 8.

Cartwright, Derrick. “Introduction.” In Albert Bierstadt, Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast: A Superb Vision of Dreamland, in association with Beauty and Bounty: American Art in the Age of Exploration. Seattle, Washington: Seattle Art Museum in association with University of Washington Press, 2011; pp. 8-9, reproduced.

Ybarra, Michael. “Manifest Destiny, in Art.” Los Angeles Times, Sunday, August 21, 2011: p. E10, reproduced.

Hushka, Rock and Matthew Kangas. Creating the New Northwest: Selections from the Herb and Lucy Pruzan Collection. Exh. cat. Tacoma, Washington: Tacoma Art Museum, 2013; p. 18.

Kangas, Matthew. "Cast a Long Shadow: The Art of Paul Havas," in Paul Havas. Exh. cat. LaConner, Washington: Museum of Northwest Art, 2017, p. 14, reproduced fig. 10, p. 13.

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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