Period 4: Interlude back east - New York and St. Paul
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|1870 Nov 21||Arnold, Palmer, Munger & I off at 8 by train. From the number of a certain class of females on the train M judges that times are hard in S.F. Reach Sacramento at 2. King appears ..." [GS - Emmons]|
|1870 Nov 22||"ART ITEMS - ... Munger returned to the east on the 21st inst. After a successful sojourn of a year in California, during which he has made many faithful and interesting studies of Pacific mountain scenery, from the Wasatch Range in Utah, to the Yosemite in the Sierra, Mt. Tamalpais in the Coast range, and Mounts Shasta, Hood, and Adams in the Northern Cascade Range. On his recent trip, in company with Clarence King's geological party, he made the ascent of Mt. Shasta and spent six weeks in the valley at its base, making daily studies in color of the grand peak. Shasta, though 14,440 feet high, and about 12,000 feet above the plain at its base, is not a difficult mountain to climb. Parties can ride on mule or horseback to within little more than an hour's foot-climb to the summit. The trip is laborious and wearisome, but not dangerous, unless one insists in tramping over the glacier now known to exist on its flank. Watkins, the celebrated landscape photographer of San Francisco, accompanied King's party, had his instruments and appliances packed up the higher slopes on men's backs, and took a number of magnificent views of and from the crater and other prominent features, some of which, we presume, will in due time be published. Mr. Munger's studies in oil, showing the whole bulk of the peak, were made on usually large canvases for field sketches, so being a large as 22 by 44 inches, and they are as elaborate as to the mountain alone as finished pictures. He has been remarkably successful in getting the topography, the sculpture of the mountain, not showing it as a flat pyramid, but exhibiting its gorges, clefts and crags, its snow beds, its shadows and its wonderful variety of color. The ruddy glow that illumes the peak at morning, not evening he has caught with effecting truth. Mt. Hood he studies will (sic) almost equal thoroughness, although the climate and the season, being wetter and later, were less favorable to field painting. When clouds and mists did not obscure or completely hide the mountain, strong winds shook his canvass, or carried it bodily off. Hood, like Shasta and Rainier, has its local glacier, and its position is shown in Mr. Munger's largest sketch. A colder tone pervades the landscape surrounding the base of this peak than that about Shasta, though its lesser bulk is equally grand in perspective. No other artist has so thoroughly and faithfully sketched these noble peaks, and we anticipate that he will delight New York with the large pictures he intends to paint there from his numerous sketches, including many details of scenery, of trees, plants, rocks and living figures. One thing is certain - his paintings will be entirely true in detail as well as in grand general features, in local color and atmosphere, as well as in topography. They will not be compositions. This assurance is of great value in regard to the professed portraits of noted scenes. ..." [AH - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.3, c.5]|
|1870 Nov 28||"Find King & Munger at Salt Lake House - King is painting 'Off the Head.' Plenty of talking & joking." [Emmons]|
|1870 Nov 29||"King & Munger paint." [Emmons]|
|1870 Dec 3||Emmons, King, and Munger travel from Cheyenne to Denver on the train. "Munger decides not to stop over." [GS - Emmons]|
|1870 Dec 5||Emmons, King, and Munger are in St. Louis. [Emmons]|
|1870 Dec 7||"A HEAVY JOB OF PAINTING.- A bay paper, says the Sacramento Reporter, states that Munger has gone to Mount Shasta for the purpose of painting it. He has an immense job on hand and will use a vast amount of paint before it is completed." [Yreka (CA) Journal]|
|1871 Jan 14||King and Emmons go to National Academy to see Munger's work. [GS - Emmons] Emmons is in New York now.|
|1871 Jan 30||Emmons sees J. Bien then goes to Munger's rooms at 48 West 26th and brings him dinner. "Finish off the evening at Munger's room." [GS - Emmons]|
|1871 Feb 17||"Call on Munger who is out." [GS - Emmons]|
|1871 Mar 4||"Uptown to Munger's who is out." [GS - Emmons]|
|1871 Mar 4||Munger paintings shown at Century Association, New York: Lake Lao Antkai Mnts (this title seems to have been garbled); Lake Marion Humboldt Mountains. [Yarnell]|
|1871 Mar 4||"
WE WILL SELL ON TUESDAY MARCH 7, 1871 AT No. 803 Hyde st., Corner Sutter,
A fine collection of CHOICE PAINTINGS,
Including the two celebrated Paintings by GILBERT MUNGER Esq, of
'TAMALPAIS' AND 'BEYOND THE HEADS'
GEO. F. LAMSON, Auctioneer." [San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin]
|1871 Apr 4||Emmons returns to New York. "Immediately to Munger's studio. He dines with me at St. James Hotel." [GS - Emmons]|
|1871 Apr 11||"Gilbert Munger, since his return from the Pacific coast has taken a studio at No. 1,155 Broadway. Two of his recently finished works are View on the California Coast and the Utah Valley, with the Wasatch Mountains in the background. Both examples are carefully painted, and present the picturesque features of western scenery in a manner at once interesting and beautiful. The pictures will represent the artist in the coming exhibition of the National Academy of Design." [MM - New York Evening Post p.1, c.1]|
|1871 Apr 17||"FINE ARTS - Forty-sixth Annual Exhibition of the National
Academy of Design - The North Room - "Among the most noticeable here are ...
Lake Lal, Uintah Mountains, by Gilbert Munger, whose views of
Western scenery have the inestimable advantage of being, in every case, the
fruit of conscientious study on the spot. ...
The West Room - Here the visitor notices particularly ... A Glimpse of the Pacific, by Gilbert Munger ..." [AH - New York Herald, p.3, c.4]
|1871 Apr 20||"This house [Snow & Roos] lately sold Gilbert Munger's Falls of the Minnehaha at a good price." [AH - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.2, c.2]|
|1871 Apr 20||"Round to Munger's studio." [GS - Emmons]|
|1871 Apr 20||"ART ITEMS.
Two fine works by Charles Nahl are now on exhibition at the new gallery of Nahl Brothers, opposite the Lick House. ...
Albert Bierstadt is expected here during May. His celebrated picture of The Emerald Pool may be brought out about the same time. Snow & Roos have been negotiating for it, for exhibition in their gallery. This house lately sold Gilbert Munger's Falls of Minnehaha at a good price. The New York Post refers to this artist, who has returned to that city, as follows: 'Two of his recent finished works are, View on the California Coast and the Utah Valley, with the Wasatch Mountains in the background. Both examples are carefully painted, and present the picturesque features of western scenery in a manner at once interesting and beautiful. The pictures will represent the artist in the coming exhibition of the National Academy of Design." " [San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin]
|1871 Apr 30||"FINE ARTS - The Spring Exhibition of the National Academy of Design - West Room - ... A Glimpse of the Pacific, (No. 305.) by Gilbert Munger, seems only a little less hard than some of this artist's previous works. ..." [AH - New York Times, p.3, c.7]|
|1871 Apr||Munger shows three paintings at the Exhibition of the National Academy of Design in New York: Lake-Lal, Uintah Mts, listed as owned by Clarence King; Lake Marion, Humboldt Mountains, listed as owned by Clarence King; A Glimpse of the Pacific, listed as for sale. Munger's address is given as 1155 Broadway. [NAD Exhibition Catalog]|
|1871 May 4||"Talk in Munger's studio till noon - downtown to Biens." [GS - Emmons]|
|1871 May 5||"Munger's studio ... Munger and I go to Fisk's Theater." [GS - Emmons]|
|1871 May 7||"Start west. Munger comes down to see us off on 7 o'clock train to Chicago with King" [GS - Emmons]|
|1871 May 9||Munger painting at San Francisco Art Association: Wasatch Mountains. [AH - Alta California, p.1, c.3]|
|1871 May 21||"ART NOTES -
... Gilbert Munger is again to set his face towards the setting sun. His pictures have already indicated how rich a harvest is yet to be reaped by the artist, who will venture farther away than the Hudson and Lake George, and study the incomparable scenery which DeForest, in that truly American novel, 'Overland,' in the Galaxy, with its 'grand, gloomy and peculiar' views of the great canyon of the Colorado, and Clarence King, in his 'Mountaineering in the Sierra Nevada,' in the Atlantic Monthly, so vividly describes. Mr. Munger will this summer explore the great Snake river or Lewis Fork of the Columbia. ... " [AH - New York Herald, p.5, c.5] One wonders if Munger actually went west this summer. This and the 1871 Jun 3 article in Watson's Art Journal suggest he did and we have no specific evidence of him being elsewhere during this time.
|1871 Jun 1||"Landscapes in the National Academy - ... G. Munger has a Glimpse of the Pacific, which we prefer to several others of his works in the present exhibition. ..." [AH - The Independent (New York), p.4, c.6]|
|1871 Jun 1||"$65,000 PREMIUMS
To the Subscribers of the
St. Paul Pioneer;
Including the late residence of Captain
Wm. F. Davidson,
In St. Paul, Minn. Cost over $50,000. The
celebrated Oil Painting of Minnehaha Falls,
by Gilbert Munger. Forty-four Elgin
Watches, in Gold and silver cases --
the best watch manufactured.
(Shares in the) Oil Paintings, Farms, Timber Lands, Sewing Machines, Greenbacks, Gold, &c. will be distributed to the subscribers of the St. Paul Pioneer on the 6th day of September, 1871, at the Opera House in St. Paul by the following gentlemen, ... " [The Freeborn County Standard (MN), p.3] The St. Paul Opera House was managed by Gilbert's brother Russell.
|1871 Jun 3||"Mr. Munger, the landscape artist, who has already painted so many charming pictures of American scenery, will this summer explore the great Snake River, or Lewis Fork of the Columbia River, with the object of making some fine sketches from the wild and picturesque scenery with which this part of the country abounds." [AH - Watson's Art Journal, p.55, c.3]|
|1871 Jul 6||Munger paintings shown at Yale School of Fine Arts in New Haven: Lake Lal, Uintah Mts owned by Clarence King; Lake Marian, Humboldt Mts; A Glimpse of the Pacific, California. [Yarnell]|
|1871 Jul 7||"YALE SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS. Reception last Evening. The third annual exhibition of the Yale School of File Art was opened for a private view and reception last evening in the Street Art Building, New Haven. ... Gilbert Munger is represented by Lake Marian, Humboldt Mountains; ..." [The New York Evening Post, p.2, c.5]|
|1871 Jul 29||"THE ART GALLERY - Bierstadt's Emerald Pool - A few Notes on Other Pictures - The pleasant Art Gallery of Snow & Roos has been refitted and reopened to its annual subscribers and the public. There are altogether about 100 paintings on the walls, including a number not before exhibited. ... There are three little gems on the mantle: ... In the Cascade Mountains, by Munger, a very crisp, delicately painted bit of rock, tree and water. ..." [AH - San Francisco Bulletin, p.3, c.4]|
|1871 Aug||Snow & Roos catalog lists #124 In the Cascade Mountains by Gilbert Munger. [AH - Exhibition Catalog]|
|1871 Aug||Emmons hosts Henry Adams on a two week "stunner" of a trip in canyons of the Green River. [Wilkins, p.164]|
|1871 Sep 9||"... Mr. Carmany also loaned the (San Francisco Art) Association a Winter in California, by Munger, originally intended for reproduction in chromo as a title page for a holiday number of the Overland. The picture is a little gem. ..." [AH - San Francisco Chronicle, p.3, c.4]|
|1871 Sep 9||"Second Art Association Reception - ... B. P. Avery also loans a small sized view of the Wahsatch mountains, by Gilbert Munger, which pleases us better than more pretentious productions by the same artist. ..." [AH - San Francisco Call, p.3, c.2]|
|1871 Sep 9||"Second Art Association Reception - ... The Wasatch Mountains, near Salt lake, form the subject for a fine painting from the brush of Gilbert Munger, who is now in the East. It is very faithful in color, and is delicately handled. ..." [AH - San Francisco Bulletin, p.2, c.3]|
|1871 Dec 19||Emmons returns to New York. " ... so down to call on Munger. Go to National Academy with Munger's (illegible) to hear (illegible)." [GS - Emmons]|
|1871 Dec 21||"Back at 2 ... to Munger's." [GS - Emmons]|
|1871||Munger may have spent some time in Duluth in 1871, for there is a panoramic view of the harbor and a new ship canal of that date.|
|1872 Jan 10||"Gilbert Munger is painting a large picture, View of Mount Hood, Oregon. The view is taken from an elevation about twenty miles distant from the mountain, and shows in the foreground and middle distance an interval of ravine and forest scenery of great interest and picturesque beauty. The mountain rises in the background, its crown covered with snow. The sketch for the picture was taken in mid-summer, and illustrates the mountain under the effect of what is termed the 'summer snow.' Mount Hood is one of the most symmetrical mountains on the North American continent, and Mr. Munger's delineation of it is given from a new standpoint, which shows many of its most remarkable and interesting features, not the least of which is the glacial formation, the existence of which is new an acknowledged fact in connection with this celebrated peak." [MM - New York Evening Post, p.1, c.3]|
|1872 Mar 14||"To Munger's studio." [GS - Emmons]|
|1872 May 2||"On May 2, 1872 Thomas Moran's Grand Canon of the Yellowstone drew a curious throng to Leavitt's auction rooms in Clinton Hall on Astor Place in New York City. ... 'The press - the literati - the artists [including Gilbert Munger, former guest painter with Clarence King's Fortieth Parallel Exploration] - and the rich [were] all out in force.'" [Wilkins-2, p.3]|
|1872 May 23||Munger is cited as an authority on the color of the Rocky Mountains in a review of Thomas Moran's Great Canon of the Yellowstone. [AH - The Independent (New York), p.2, c.5]|
|1872 May 25||"... Classified with Mr. Key's pictures, the last on the catalogue (No. 14) is a very fine view of the Pacific Ocean by Gilbert Munger, the New York artist who usually is Mr. Key's boon companion in his sketching tours. This is a view from a point just below San Francisco, the first obtained by the traveler westward-bound, and is an exceedingly creditable work. Its sky and distance are fine and full of poetic feeling and sentiment; while its foreground of sage brush, shells, and stones is handled with a free touch and artistic feeling." [MM - report on a John Ross Key exhibition at Williams & Everett's, in The Boston Daily Evening Transcript, p.2, c.8]|
Period 5: Second trip west, under own sponsorship - San Francisco
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|1872 Jun 8||"Gilbert Munger has closed his studio for the season, and will spend the summer in California and in the region bordering Puget's Sound." [MM - New York Evening Post, p.1, c.2]|
|1872 Jun 14||"Evening Munger arrives, having seen (illegible) at Ogden. Talk with him until 12." [GS - Emmons] Emmons is now in Salt Lake City.|
|1872 Jun 15||"Train at 5 with Munger." [GS - Emmons] Presumably they are heading for San Francisco.|
|1872 Jun 18||Munger painting shown at 1st San Francisco Art Association Exhibition: Falls of Minnehaha owned by McDonald. [Yarnell]|
|1872 Jun 19||"Letter from Munger." [GS - Emmons]|
|1872 Jun 21||"Letter from Munger." [GS - Emmons]|
|1872 Jun 22||"ART ITEMS - ... Gilbert Munger, of New York, has closed his studio for the season, and will spend this summer in California and in the region bordering Puget Sound. ..." [AH - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.1, c.4]|
|1872 Jun 27||"Letter from Munger." [GS - Emmons]|
|1872 Aug 10||"Gilbert Munger, who was lately in San Francisco, on his way to Puget Sound and the Falls of the Shoshone, had some admirable studies of scenery at Lake Tahoe, and on the Plains. The lake views were remarkable for the pellucid water and tender atmosphere - some of them for literal rendering of rocky summits. Two views on Green river were still more remarkable as studies of the battlemented formations of shale rock which wall the river on one side, showing their stratification and color markings with weird effect, and lifting their abrupt masses above the plain like the Sphinx rises above the sands of the Nile. These studies are so faithful that a geologist can read in them a history of the country - can discern the shore lines of an ancient lake, marking the slopes and branches of the sedimentary rock. But with this literalness there is the poetic effect of sunset light striking the tops of the rocks, while the plain, desolate but for the ribbon of green that margins the river, is falling into twilight." [AH - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.1, c.3]|
|1872 Aug 24||"Munger has gone to Puget Sound." [AH - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.1, c.3]|
|1872 Oct 16||"Gilbert Munger has returned from Puget Sound, where he made some fine studies of scenery. He will depart for the northern interior again in a few days, and visit the celebrated Shoshone falls in the Snake River country, which no painter has yet depicted from original studies." [AH - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.3, c.4]|
|1872 Oct 20||"Sunday evening go around for Munger but don't find him." [GS - Emmons] Emmons is now in San Francisco.|
|1872 Nov 9||"Art Notes - Albert Bierstadt, since his return from the Kern River country, has made two trips to the Sierra in the vicinity of Donner Lake and Lake Tahoe, making studies for important works commissioned by Californians ... He will have a studio in this city during the winter." [San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin] This item helps to authenticate the letter presented as 1872 Nov 15 below.|
|1872 Nov 12||"BRIEF MENTION.
-- Gilbert Munger, the artist, has just returned from the Shoshone country, where he experienced the various sensations allied to dodging the brawny braves and the penciling of sketches, and is now going the Grand." [San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin]
|1872 Nov 15||"A ST. PAUL ARTIST HIGH UP IN THE WORLD SKETCHING
The following letter from Mr. Munger who left here some six months ago for the Pacific Coast, was received yesterday by R. C. Munger. It will be read with pleasure by all who know the writer:
Summit Sierra Nevadas[IP - St. Paul Daily Pioneer, p.4]
|1872 Nov 15||"... Albert Bierstadt now in Sierras summit, making studies for the completion of an important work. ..." [San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin]|
|1872 Nov 23||"Gilbert Munger has returned from his trip to Shoshone Falls, in Idaho, and is hard at work upon a most important painting of that remarkable cataract. Mr. Munger's field studies are very elaborate and faithful, and his finished paintings entitle him to a high rank among American landscape artists. He combines enthusiasm with good judgment and painstaking industry in a rare degree." [San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.1, c.4]|
|1872 Nov 27||"At Philip & Solomons may be seen a truthful and beautiful picture of Lake Tahoe, by Gilbert Munger, former resident of Washington. The pellucid water, tender air, and rich atmospheric effects of that enchanted locality are rendered with admirable fidelity, and the poetic sentiment of the place is thoroughly preserved without, in any way, sacrificing its portrait. It must gratify Mr. Munger's old friends here to know that he is rapidly and surely taking his place in the front rank of American artists." [MM - Washington D.C. Evening Star, p.1, c.5]|
|1872 Dec 5||Munger paintings shown at the 3rd San Francisco Art Association Exhibition: Mission San Buenaventura owned by Mrs. E. Eastman; Lake Tahoe owned by Wm. Alvord; Sunset Lake Tahoe owned by H. S. Babcock. [Yarnell]|
|1872 Dec 6||"San Francisco Art Association Sixth Quarterly Reception - Gilbert Munger is represented by a very tender study - Sunset on Lake Tahoe - which gives the tranquil evening aspect of the largest lake of the Sierras, with ruddy glowing mountains tipped with snow, and above a few streakings of crimson cloud, through which softly shines the crescent of the new moon. A smaller work by Mr. Munger is a faithful sketch of the old Mission of San Buenaventura." [MM - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.4, c.1&2]|
|1872 Dec 12||"3rd Exhibition of the San Francisco Art Association - ... #3 Sunset, Lake Tahoe by Munger would be though too flush in color by those who had not seen the glorious flush as the sun sank behind the Sierra. ..." San Francisco Newsletter 22, n.47, p.16]|
|1872 Dec 16||"The Pictures in the Rooms of the Art Association - ... No. 3 - a sunset on Lake Tahoe - by Munger, is a weak, starchy production, with nothing to modify its defects. It is from the brush of a young man who has attained a fair position in art, and as such is more to be censured. This picture, like a dozen others, should never have been given a place on the wall of the Association. They may do very well for a private room, but one below that standard of merit which should govern the works of a public exhibition." [AH - San Francisco Evening Post, p.3, c.6]|
|1872 Dec 18||"Gilbert Munger is engaged on a boldly conceived and finely worked view of the Shoshone Falls." [MM - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.3, c.4]|
|1872 Dec 19||"Letter to Munger." [GS - Emmons]|
|1872 Dec 25||"Items of News.
Gilbert Munger writes, November 7th, that he is with Albert Bierstadt in the Sierra Nevada, and says: 'We work from sunrise to sunset, muffled to our elbows in furs for the weather os so intensely cold, and we are camped in the snow, sketching snow storms and snow effects.' " [Boston Investigator]
|1872||Munger painting for sale at Buffalo Fine Arts Academy: A Glimpse of the Pacific. [Yarnell]|
|1872/3||The Munger Brothers Music store in St. Paul burns, destroying a number of Munger's western scenes. [Sweeney, p.50] The Munger Brothers Musical Instruments business is listed in St. Paul city directories at 192 3rd Street through 1871. There is no directory for 1872. In the 1873 and subsequent directories no music business is listed, either by business name or last name. But R. C. Munger is listed with the occupation of real estate (and manager of the St. Paul Opera House in 1873). Thus 1872 or 1873 seems a good guess for the date of the fire. [Thanks to Alison Purgeil at the Minnesota Historical Society for this information.]|
|1872/3||Munger painting shown at the Yale School of Fine Arts, New Haven: Rocky Mts. [Yarnell]|
|1873 Jan 3||"ART MATTERS - What San Francisco Has Done - An Example for
Older Cities - The San Francisco Art Association - ... - Special Correspondent
of the Chicago Tribune, San Francisco, Dec. 20, 1872.
The esthetic culture of the city is illustrated in a striking manner by the success of the local Art Association ... The present exhibition, now ten days in progress, comprises over three hundred works of art ... Among the American artists represented are the following: ... Gilbert Munger, also staying here; ..." [MM - Chicago Tribune, p.2, c.5]
|1873 Jan 8||"Munger's Falls of the Shoshone - a remarkably honest and closely studied picture of a great natural wonder - is now receiving finishing touches at his hands and will shortly be exhibited at the Art Rooms of Marple & Gamp." [AH - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.3, c.6]|
|1873 Jan 8||"Art Matters - ... Several landscapes by Kensett, William Hart, and Casilear, lately received from the East are on exhibition at Snow & Roos' Gallery and a couple of companion views painted by Key and Munger jointly, one of Santa Clara Valley and the other of Lake Tahoe. ..." [AH - Alta California, p.1, c.1]|
|1873 Jan 17||"Shoshone Falls. - We visited the studio of Mr. Gilbert Munger yesterday, and found him hard at work on his picture of the "Great Shoshone Falls," on Snake River, Idaho Territory. The picture is 5x8 and represents the wondrous cascade in the mellow sunset of a November afternoon. There is a dreamy haze of purple Autumn pervading the picture, and the tawny cliffs along the crystal flood give token that the year is in its sheaf. Mr. Munger is one of those painters who study harmony rather than contrast and aims to produce the greatest amount of light with the least amount of coloring. The snowy peaks of the Coeur d'Alene mountains loom up in the background through the gorgeous Autumn sunset. The picture will be placed on exhibition at the Art Gallery in about a fortnight, where our readers will be enabled to see and judge it on its own merits." [AH - Alta California, p.1, c.1]|
|1873 Jan 18||"A VISIT TO THE ART GALLERY - Bierstadt's Donner Lake and some other pictures - ... Sunset on Lake Tahoe, by Gilbert Munger, is very beautiful. The artist is now at work on a large painting called Shoshone Falls, which is to be his best effort. It will be on exhibition. ..." [AH - San Francisco Evening Post, p.2, c.3]|
|1873 Jan 25||The Alta California article of 17 Jan 1873 (see above) is reproduced with the following comment appended: " That picture may be all right, except the Coeur d'Alene mountains do not loom up in the background -- at least from our standpoint." [Owyhee Avalanche, Silver City ID, p.1, c.5; courtesy of the Idaho State Historical Society, Boise]|
|1873 Jan 25||"ART NOTES. ... Gilbert Munger's Falls of the Shoshone - a remarkably honest and closely studied picture of a great natural wonder - is now receiving the finishing touches at his hands and will shortly be exhibited at the Art Rooms of Marple & Gamp. ..." [San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.3, c.6; courtesy of Nancy Anderson]|
|1873 Jan 30||Letter from Clarence King in San Francisco to Samuel
"... I miss you very much. JD (?) is domestic and (??) and hence not to be seen a great deal. Janin has gone to Pene(?) and Palmer affords me but little society. Munger paints away handily on his Shastina which now draws near completion. Directly after that is done he will go at your two. ..." [Text provided by James G. Moore, USGS; source unknown]
|1873 Feb 17||"Mr. Munger is still working conscientiously on his Falls of the Shoshone, loth to let it go." [MM - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.3, c.6]|
|1873 Feb||"ART NOTES - ...
For an Afternoon. - The following memoranda are offered as suggestion and guide for an afternoon with the artists located in San Francisco: Hill's studio ... Tucker's studio ... Munger's studio, room 123 Grand Hotel; Bloomer's studio ... Denny's studio ... Nahl's studio ... Brooks' studio ... Keith's studio ... Deakin's studio ... Hahn's studio ... Bierstadt ...
Gilbert Munger's studio, in the Grand Hotel, is a plainly furnished working area. Two tables, covered with paints, and a sofa constitute the principal furniture. Among his sketches that are faced against the wall, or rolled up, or in covers, are several fine views of Mt. Raignier, on Puget Sound. The Shoshone Falls, on which he is working, are on the road from Salt Lake to Boise, and, as one may learn by Munger's picture, are interesting geologically, as an erosion into a vast plain of modern, underlaid by ancient rocks. Mr. Munger will go with Bierstadt to the Southern Sierras as soon as the season permits.
... " [AH - The Illustrated Press (San Francisco) 1, n. 2]
|1873 Feb||"LOCAL ART NOTES - ...
Gilbert Munger has on his easel a very remarkable and interesting picture of the Shoshone Falls, on the Snake river in Idaho. The picture is mainly composed of rock and water, there being scarcely a tree or shrub, or any trace of vegetation in the entire landscape. This feature, with the sober brown of the rocks stretching far into the distance, contributes much to the feeling of grandeur and desolation that pervades the picture. The sky occupies a comparatively narrow space at the top of the canvas, from the necessity of giving due emphasis to the height of the cataract; yet is it very effective, and the subtle insight of a true artist is revealed in the manner in which it is made to harmonize with the peculiar character of the landscape, and to give value to the emerald and white of the falling waters, lit up by the late afternoon sun. It is generally considered a very difficult thing in art to give the effect of falling water. Mr. Munger has triumphed over this difficulty. The tumbling, tumultuous mass precipitating itself over an immense cliff, and emitting marvelous prismatic hues, has a remarkably natural look, and is finely painted, both in detail and for general effect. At the foot of the fall, it comes grandly out from amidst its obscuring haze of spray and vapor, settling in to the rich bluish-green shade so seldom seem in water, except just below a cataract. As we have said this picture has much character, and at first glance the landscape as a whole would strike the majority of observers as unnatural and purely fanciful. Yet upon close examination the improbable looking rocks, with their strange sombre monotony of color, show distinct indications of being close geological studies. It is the intention of Mr. Munger to afford the public an opportunity of seeing this very remarkable work, by placing it for a short time in the gallery of the Art Association.
[AH - The California Art Gallery Vol. 1, No. 2, p.19, c.2]
|1873 Mar||"ART PATRONAGE IN CALIFORNIA - ... Munger has been with us for some time - a painter of decided ability, who has a sweet expressive picture of Lake Tahoe at sunset, in 'Art Association Gallery.' That and a landscape of the Wasatch Range have proved him a person of excellent promise. ..." [AH - The California Art Gallery, Vol 1, No. 3, p.33]|
|1873 Mar||Munger painting for sale at Boston Art Club: Lake Lal. [Yarnell]|
|1873 Apr 7||"COLOR AND CANVAS - A Stroll in the Art Studios - New
Pictures and Their Merits - What the Artist Are Doing.
Munger, the artist, has been engaged for some time on a large painting of a scene on the Snake river, already celebrated as One? Shoshone Falls, in Idaho, about midway, on the stage route, between Salt Lake City and Boise City. At this point the river has worn its way through a great lava bed, which ends with a rocky ridge, over which the water runs to a depth of 220 feet, which is forty feet greater than that of Niagara Falls. The country around is barren in the extreme, there being no vegetation whatever except a few stunted trees on the banks at the base of the falls. Boldly outlined in the distance from this point is a high range of mountains which are rugged and bare. The river comes from this direction and flows with but little circuitousness to the site of the falls, where a kind of upper basin is formed, adding to the volume of the water and intensifying the force of the overflow. To the right and left the land is level, and has a dark slatey surface, which variegates the sun's reflection and gives a sort of wild beauty to the prospect. Mr. Munger has caught the spirit of the scene as only a true artist can, and has painted a picture which, even if here were never to use
..." [AH - San Francisco Chronicle, p. 3, c.4]
|1873 Apr 14||"ABOUT THE STUDIOS - What Our Artists Are Doing - ... Munger has made a number of interesting studies in Monterey country. The romantic old churches of the Mission have found a place in his sketchbook. ..." [AH - San Francisco Evening Post, p.1, c.1]|
|1873 Apr||"LOCAL ARTS NOTES - ... Munger has returned from his southern trip and brings with him a number of excellent sketches of coast scenery, in many of which the weird, storm-beaten Monterey cypress appears. Besides these, he has made careful studies of the old mission churches as foundations for pictures which can hardly be other than popular. He has just gone over his Shoshone Falls with a careful hand, materially improving this excellent painting. [AH - The California Art Gallery, Vol 1, No. 4, p.54]|
|1873 Apr||"MOVEMENTS OF ARTISTS - ... Munger will devote himself to sketching in the vicinity of the Bay, and will also elaborate some of his southern coast sketches." [AH - The California Art Gallery, Vol 1, No. 4, p.54]|
|1873 May 15||Munger painting shown at 4th San Francisco Art Association Exhibition: Shoshone owned by Gilbert Munger. [Yarnell]|
|1873 May 16||"Art Reception - ... The Crown of the Sierras, by Mr. Keith, is a fine large picture, and should have been placed in the middle of the hall on the eastern wall, instead of a larger but weaker picture of the Shoshone Fall, by Gilbert Munger, whose work, though not without merit, does not deserve the best place. Munger uses bright colors, but is defective in the relief of his fore and middle ground. ..." [AH - Alta California, p.1, c.1]|
|1873 May 16||"THE ART ASSOCIATION - The Eight Reception - A Large and Brilliant Attendance - A Fine Display of Beautiful Pictures - ... Munger has a large painting of Shoshone Falls, on the Snake river, which evinces much care in the correctness of detail. ..." [AH - San Francisco Evening Post, p.1, c.1]|
|1873 May 16||"Gilbert Munger has a large painting - Shoshone Falls - in which the perspective is very fine, and the effect of the foam and spray managed in a masterly manner." [MM - article on the Eight Reception of the San Francisco Art Association in the San Francisco Daily Morning Call, p.3, c.3]|
|1873 May 16||"Mr. Munger's Shoshone, (No. 25), represents the celebrated falls on a branch of the Snake river, which are even higher than Niagara. The location of the these falls is about twenty miles from the overland road between Salt Lake and Portland, Oregon, one hundred miles from the Central Pacific Railroad, in a region wild and unsettled. ... The surface of the plain is brownish-yellow in the afternoon sun of the autumn, the rocky cliffs are reddish brown as though stained with iron; and out of this mass of monotonous browns, breaks suddenly the opalescent glory of the falls, right in the face of the spectator, full of lively, dancing motion, of blended blues, grays and greens, of pearly flashes and snowy foam, tumbling into a pool of still green water far below, whence rises clouds of thin mist, through which we see the distant brown landscape. The scene presents many difficulties for an artist, but Mr. Munger has produced a picture of singular interest and much beauty, remarkable for its topographical truth and for the very conscientious labor apparent in the painting. It is certain to attract a great deal of attention." [MM - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.3, c.4]|
|1873 May 16||"THE ART ASSOCIATION - The Reception Last Evening - A Large
and Brilliant Audience - A Glance at Some of the Most Striking Paintings.
The fourth exhibition of the San Francisco Art Association opened with a grand reception at the rooms on Pine street. ...
|1873 May 17||"SOIREE OF THE ART ASSOCIATION - ... Gilbert Munger contributes a most important work in Shoshone Falls, the coloring of which surprises some, although we believe that the warm, burnt up vegetation, rocks and distant plains, are faithful to nature. The water is certainly admirable, and but for a little want of force in the foreground, we should place this in the foremost rank. Anyway, it is a remarkable picture of a scene never before transferred to canvas; the handling masterly and the composition grand. ..." [AH - San Francisco Daily News Letter, p.4, c.2]|
|1873 May 21||"AMONG THE PICTURES - Spring Exhibition of the Art
Association - ...
Falls of the Shoshone - Mr. Munger's painting is the largest in the Gallery, except Hill's Royal Arches, measuring nearly five by seven feet, and has caused him months of hard work, directed to the production of a conscientiously faithful transcript of a wonder of western scenery which no painter before him has visited or depicted. (Appears here a long topographic description of Shoshone Falls and of the depiction in the painting ...) The Falls are received into a quiet basin, on whose surface floats a row boat containing a party of Indians engaged in fishing for salmon. ... Opinions differ as to the strictly artistic merits of this picture, but there is no question as to its conscientious fidelity to the actual scene, nor as to the painstaking care with which it was executed. Had Mr. Munger tried to make a more pleasing picture conventionally, it would hardly have been so true, and absolute truth seems to have been his grand aim. The topography and geology of the region are plain enough to be described as from nature, and the falling motion of the water is admirably rendered. The picture is a very interesting study of a remarkable scene in one of the least known regions of the far West. ..." [MM - San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin, p.1, c.1]
|1873 May 26||"The Shoshone Falls. Munger's picture of the Shoshone Falls, on exhibition at the Art Association's rooms, is so simply faithful, so natural, and unlike a picture, that a majority of the visitors walk past it with a casual glance, not even pausing before it; and yet, it is one of the best paintings in the gallery. As a piece of artistic labor, it is superb; as a study for topographers and cosmologists, it is a curiosity, and an authentic one - for Munger is a most literal painter. Like Hill, Munger finds all the poetry a picture can express, in the closest, most faithful delineation of Nature's simple face. The great leap of these seething white waters into the great depth, is so beautifully painted, that it seems like a reflection of actuality, through the instantaneous camera of photography. The artist has given such a sense of an immensity of rushing waters, that it seems strange that it should be so silent. The perspective of the strange land formation, like Martello towers, reaching far away in long, defensive line, beside the river banks; the narrow space of sky, a sacrifice artistically managed, to give the falls their just, effective height; the lovely Aldeberan green tint of the water, far enough below the "falls" to have recovered from the snow white pallor of its frightful leap, are efforts of no ordinary painter." [AH - Alta California, p.1, c.1]|
|1873 May 29||"Art Matters - The Art Association provided another treat for its members and the public yesterday by obtaining a new picture of exhibition size of Bierstadt - Autumn in the Sierra - and the best of all from his brush seen in our city. ... Munger's picture of the Shoshone Falls has been moved to the end of the hall (a better place for it) to make room for Bierstadt's big picture. ..." [AH - Alta California, p.1, c.1]|
|1873 Jun 8||Clarence King, accompanied by the 40th Parallel Survey geologist Samuel Franklin Emmons, visits the notorious Emma mine in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, to evaluate the potential for the new manager. [Wilkins, p.190] Munger most likely accompanies them, since six months later he shows "studies drawn in the neighborhood of the famous Emma mine." [See entry for 1873 Dec 11]|
|1873 Jun 27||"Munger's sketches, in the Wasatch Mountains, Little
Cottonwood, and various parts of Utah; in California (Monterey, San Mateo
counties and elsewhere) have been shown to us, and we fully appreciate the
favor. There is a genuine pleasure in going through such a folio as
Munger gathers in his indefatigable labors, for he is no fair-weather
painter, no studio student. There are few if any other artists among our
celebrities, who would go through Munger's experience in getting up
his studies of the Shoshone Falls. He was alone for two weeks; his guide
refusing, for love or money, to remain after guiding him within twenty-five
miles of the Falls, and directing him upon the right trail; and, for a
fortnight, the artist was alone, making his sketches and studies of this
great wonder of nature with the thermometer below zero all the time; ... We
have already noticed at length, the great study of the Shoshone Falls,
and now wish we could do justice to the powerful sketches made since then.
The stern, old cypress groves, planted near Monterey, by the old padres of
San Carmel, more than a hundred years ago; ... Among these sketches is one
of the old Mission Church at San Carmel, crumbling and weather-beaten, ... ,
and bright, blue sea, with snowy foam tossing against the brown, warm rocks,
and Point Pinos in the distance, ... 'That looks like a sketch on the shore
of the blue Mediterranean,' we said to the artist. He turned quickly saying,
'Exactly my own thoughts while I was taking it; and the whole coast of
California seems unlike any other portion of America.'
Some views near Salt Lake are very grand and picturesque: Sketches at earliest sunrise, or just as the sun, sinking in the west, throws its opal light upon the extreme mountain-tops, their glowing summits in strange contrast with the gray gloom, all the way down from the flush line along the gleaming pinnacles to where the broad foundation mingles with common earth, dark and indefinable.
Some tree studies, in San Mateo county - one in particular: a sturdy, old live-oak; its brawny, far-reaching branches impressing one with such a sense of indestructible strength.
Coyote Point, on the shore-line of the Howard Ranch in San Mateo county: clumps of tree plumps of trees and bits of meadow and brook scenery, all so freely handled; every touch so effective and full of meaning; no waste of time, no useless dawdling or groping for chance effects, but literal, honest delineation of the landscape, its geology, its topography, its botany, dendrology, clouds and atmosphere, truly and faithfully as an artist every should in painting from nature. Composition and flights of fancy are all very well in their place, fiction is very pleasing to read, but don't falsify it by saying it is history.
Dwellers in distant lands may rest assured that when Munger places before their eyes pictures of far-off scenes on which their gaze has never rested, the delineation will be scrupulously true that cosmograph may read the character of the land like a page from an honest book." [Alta California, p.1, c.4]
|1873 Jul 3||"THE PICTURE SALE - The prices offered at the auction sale of pictures at the Art Gallery, last evening, were so low that most of the pictures were withdrawn. J. C. Duncan acted as auctioneer. The following are the principal sales: ... A Landscape, by Munger, brought $80 from George C. Hickox. ..." [AH - San Francisco Bulletin, p.3, c.3]|
|1873 Jul 5||"LOCAL PERSONNEL. ...
Clarence King, the geologist, and Gilbert Munger, who paints good pictures of California Missions, are at the Grand.
..." [AH - San Francisco Call p.1, c.9]
|1873 Jul 10||The 27 June 1873 Alta California article is excerpted in a New York newspaper under the title "A New York Artist in California and Utah". [MM - New York Evening Post, p.2, c.5]|
An etching of the exhibition of the Art Association appears in
a San Francisco newspaper, showing Munger's five foot by eight foot
Shoshone Falls painting in the center at the end of the room.
[AH- San Francisco Illustrated Press, 1, 7]
|1873 Jul||"Mr. Munger will soon leave for an extended tour among the lakes of the Sierra, where he will find fitting subjects for his pencil." [AH - The California Art Gallery, p.107, c.3]|
"One of the largest and finest springs has been utilized, forming one of the most picturesque
resorts in California. About two miles below, the river has cut a narrow channel one hundred
and fifty feet deep and one eighth of a mile long through solid granite. This chasm is but a
few rods wide at top, and only a few feet wide at bottom, where there are numerous smooth pot holes,
forming deep pools of wonderfully transparent water of an exquisite aquamarine tint. There is
enough descent to make the current empty from one pool to another in little cascades, over sharp pitcher
lips of polished rock. Lovers of angling are provoked to find no fish in these charming basins.
A few stunted but picturesque cedars are stuck like cockades in the clefts above, and the
summits of the chasm walls are rounded and smoothed by ancient glacial action. To this place was
given the name of Munger's Gorge, by a gay picnic party last summer, in honor of the fine artist
who sat with them on its brink, and was first to paint it. A few miles below is a still deeper
and grander gorge, at the foot of Eagle Cliff, where the precipitous granite walls rise a thousand
feet or more, and the stream makes a sheer fall of a hundred feet."
[Article by Benjamin P. Avery in The Overland Monthly 12, 2 (Feb 1874) p.178]
Russle Towle of Dutch Flat, California, identifies where Avery would have Munger's Gorge with a circle on the Tahoe National Forest map below. Avery's Eagle Cliff is today's Snow Mountain, just off the left edge of map. "Confusion arises because today's town of Soda Springs is just the train station where you'd get on a stage to go to the actual springs, six miles away on the North Fork of the American River. This Soda Springs, mentioned by Avery, was called Summit Soda Springs and now Old Soda Springs. There was a hotel, where Munger undoubtedly stayed, and where Mark Hopkins had a cabin."
|1873 Oct 19||The hotel register for Snow's Casa Nevada in Yosemite Valley shows "Gilbert Munger." [KO - The register is in the Yosemite Museum.]|
|1873 Nov 8||"Gilbert Munger has returned from his sketching tour with a capital collection of sketches. He has worked along all the way from the summit of the Sierras to Lake Tahoe; and his portfolio is consequently rich in good things." [AH - San Francisco Evening Post, p.2, c.3]|
|1873 Nov 15||"ART GOSSIP - Peeps at the Picture Galleries - About Our Artists - Gilbert Munger has left for New York. Munger is a man of genuine talent, and a most conscientious artist. ..." [AH - San Francisco Evening Post, p.2, c.3]|
|1873 Nov 15||"Our art community has sustained a decided loss by the
departure of Mr. Gilbert Munger for New York, where he will
reestablish himself for a time. Munger has in the last two seasons traveled
incessantly, part of the time in company with Clarence King, the geologist,
and has visited not merely all the leading points of interest to an artist
in California, but has extended his trips through inaccessible portions of
Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, etc., securing an immense number of valuable
sketches. This artist's style is eminently finished and complete; hence we
were not surprised to learn that he has received commissions enough during
his travels and stay in this city to occupy his time for the next year or
more, working hard at that. Among his patrons is Lord Skelmersdale, M. P.,*
(the purchaser of the $40,000 Eastern bull), who, meeting him in Yosemite
valley, was greatly struck by his characteristic sketches; it is a further
proof of this artist's fidelity to nature, that Prof. Whitney and several
other scientific men have given him commissions. Poor Munger ! we
would rather paint for the most exacting connoisseurs than for scientists.
But let that pass; we can bear ample testimony to this artist's genius and
talent, as well as to his untiring energy and conscientiousness. His two
years' studies have been made for the most part on a large scale, and in
number are sufficient to cover the entire walls of the Art Association
galleries, and they should have been secured for at least one evening by
that society. The artist under review has been little represented here, his
remarkable Shoshone Falls being the only large work exhibited by him
this year. His success in obtaining commissions in the field from
travellers and tourists, will, we expect, stimulate some of our younger men
to sketch more carefully and spend more time among the beauties of
nature. Munger's sketches have nothing meretricious about them; he
aims at strong neutral effects very frequently, it is true, and some think
his work a little too scenic, but if so, it is scenic painting of the best
and highest order. For the rest his numerous separate studies of foliage,
rocks geologically true, snow under all effects skies and clouds
innumerable, convince us that this artist is working in the right spirit,
and is sure of attaining a foremost place in his profession."
[AH - California Advertiser, p.5, c.2]
* Lord Skelmersdale is Edward Bootle-Wilbraham, the 2nd Baron Skelmersdale and 1st Earl of Lathom (Lancaster), born 12 Dec 1837 died 23 Nov 1897. His interest in the west later extended to owing a share of the Oxley Ranche that was established in 1882 near Ft. MacLeod in southwest Alberta.
Period 6: East coast artist & third California trip - New York and St. Paul
|Go to: Guide Page Previous Period Next Period|
|1873 Nov 19||"Gilbert Munger, Esq., the artist, who has been spending a year or more among the Sierras Mountains and on the Pacific coast, sketching views which are long (illegible) will appear on canvas, arrived in the city last evening." [IP - St. Paul Daily Pioneer, p.4 ]|
|1873 Dec 10||"Munger has just returned from Monterey and exhibits a view of that most beautiful bay." [AH - San Francisco Evening Post, p.2, c.3]|
|1873 Dec 10||Munger painting shown at the 5th San Francisco Art Association Exhibition: Bay of Monterey owned by Mrs. J. D. Hague. [Yarnell]|
|1873 Dec 11||"Gilbert Munger, who has been sketching on the western plains and in California and Oregon during the past eight months, returned to his studio last week with a portfolio of sketches which exceed in interest and variety any which we have hitherto seen relating to those far western regions. Mr. Munger accompanied the geologist Mr. Clarence King, during his rambles, and visited many wild sections which were never before studied by an artist. Among his sketches, which illustrate all phases of scenery and effects from nature, are numerous views drawn from the Wahsatch range of mountains near Salt lake City; studies in the Yo Semite Valley, some of which are of remarkable strength and indicate in a realistic manner the stupendous character of the scenery of that wonderful region; views on the mountains in the Sierra Nevada range; studies of the Cypress groves near San Francisco; view of Lake Angela (source of the South Yuba River, located near Donner Pass in the Sierras) with its rugged surroundings; sketch of a cottonwood canon in the Wahsatch range of mountains; Donner Lake at Twilight; View of Lake Tahoe; study of an old mission house in Lower California; studies drawn in the neighborhood of the famous Emma mine (located in Little Cottonwood Canyon in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah); view of a California landscape in spring; sketches of the giant trees of California; and many others of equal interest. Mr. Munger's sketches and studies are finely executed and many of them bear the character of finished pictures. His studio is at No. 1155 Broadway." [MM - New York Evening Post, p.1, c.2]|
|1874 Jan||"Gilbert Munger, who has just returned East with a large number of very able and honest studies - embracing scenes about lakes Tahoe and Donner, Yosemite, San Francisco, and Monterey - is represented by a small view of Monterey Bay, remarkable for its quiet truth and the charm of its long, curving shore-lines, where a light surf margins the beautifully graduated blues of the still water, and the ocean beyond melts in to the gray distance." [Review of the Art Association second winter exhibition, which opened 1873 Dec 10, in Overland Monthly, p.91, c.2]|
|1874 Jan||"ART NOTES - In our last issue we gave a short notice of some of the more prominent pictures on exhibition in our local art galleries, but it necessarily conveyed but a very imperfect idea of the wealth of art to be found there. ... The Bay of Monterey, by Munger, is a fine sketch, but the deep blue of the water is unnatural, contrasted as it is with the gray tint of the overhanging clouds. ..." [AH - Illustrated Press (San Francisco) 2, no.1, p.10, c.2]|
|1874 Jan 30||" ... Expecting King back ... Doesn't come ... Munger and I turn in early." [Emmons] Emmons is in New York.|
|1874 Jan 31||" ... Go to Water Color Exhibition with King. After to Munger's. ..." [Emmons]|
|1874 Feb 9||"Morning Munger's studio with Eva & Martha. ... theatre with Munger." [Emmons]|
|1874 Mar 13||" ... King to the opera with Munger." [Emmons]|
|1874 Apr 13||" ... King & Munger to Bertha's" [Emmons]|
|1874 Apr 16||" ... King & Munger go to the Bowery." [Emmons]|
|1874 Apr 25||" ... Storms. Bradley party & Munger." [Emmons]|
|1874 Apr 27||" ... Lily (Emmons) goes to Central Park with Munger. ..." [Emmons]|
|1874 May 2||" ... Munger brings in Sachetti. ..." [Emmons]|
|1874 May 4||" ... Meet Lily at Munger's and dine with her at Brunswick." [Emmons]|
|1874 May 9||Munger and others see Emmons off on a steamer trip to Europe. [Emmons]|
|1874 Oct 20||"Gilbert Munger arrived at St. Paul last evening, having been absent from here almost one year. He has been busily engaged during that entire time, except four days, in his studio in New York city, and has completed over fifty pictures, which he had ordered. Fifteen of them were painted for English gentlemen, and were mostly scenes among the Rocky Mountains. It is to be hoped that this talented artist, whom St. Paul claims as her own, will place some of his excellent works on exhibition for the inspection of the public." [IP - St. Paul Daily Pioneer, p.4]|
|1874 Oct 25||"ART - Gilbert Munger, Esq., has established a studio at the Metropolitan hotel, and will commence immediately on a large picture of the scenery in the Yosemite valley, which is intended for exhibition in this city." [IP - St. Paul Sunday Pioneer, p.4]|
|1874 Nov 5||Invoice from "Julius Bien, Lithographer, New York, to Mr. Clarence King, In charge of Explorations & Surveys of 40th Parallel: ... Preparing 10 colored sketches for geological book illustrations @ $75 - $740" [Emmons] These must be the drawings for the Munger chromolithographs in Systematic Geology. This invoice suggests that after Munger painted the original oil sketches Bien did all the rest of the preparation. See also 1876 Jun 17 for the printing invoice.|
|1874 Nov 15||"ART - Munger's Yosemite. A visit to Gilbert Munger's studio on yesterday, afforded "At Home" an opportunity to view that artist's splendid painting of the Yosemite Valley, which had just been removed from the easel. The subject is one of great interest and beauty. The painting is 3 by 4 1/2 feet, and has been mounted in a beautiful, massive frame. The time chosen is at sunset, the brilliant orb being concealed at the left of the picture by the grand outlines of the 'Three Brothers.' The warm golden rays of the sun glance up the valley and shed a brilliant lustre on the lofty Cathedral spires in the front and the "Three Graces" in the perspective. The effect of the golden mist and the warm tint of the sunset sky is wonderful beyond description. The scene selected is looking out of the valley, and is taken from the foot of the "Dome." The river Merced is seen threading its silver course to its outlet, while the nearer foreground is rich in splendid foliage and wonderful geological formations. The painting will be on exhibition at the store of Metcalf & Dixon in a few days, and it is destined to attract great attention from the lovers of fine arts in St, Paul. This industrious artist will immediately employ himself on several smaller paintings of scenes among the Rockies, over one hundred sketches of which he has in his studio." [IP - St. Paul Sunday Pioneer, p.4]|
|1874 Nov 29||"Gilbert Munger is working most industriously in two fine pictures which have been ordered from studies found in his portfolio. It is a pleasure to know that some of his work will be left in St. Paul. His Yosemite is attracting great attention, and there is a possibility that also will remain in this city. Investments in the works of such great and growing geniuses are the best that can be made." [IP - St. Paul Sunday Pioneer, p.4 ]|
|1874 Dec 5||"Munger, whose pictures of California scenery are well known in this city, has set up his easel in St. Paul Minnesota for the winter, and is now working on a large canvas, giving a view of Yo Semite Valley, taken from the base of the 'Dome,' and looking towards the 'Three Graces.' " [AH - New York Evening Post, p.1, c.3]|
|1874 Dec 6||In defense of an unnamed critic's claim that Yosemite
Valley lacked poetical thought - "... Who would give two cents for
Munger's picture if he had put a vista, a cascade or evidence of animal
life? It is the Cathedral spires, the Dome and the Graces and Brothers they
admire. A new milch cow would be most impressive at the base of a peak 4,500
feet high ...
... None but the true poet would have selected the period of the day that Munger has seized.
The golden rays of the descending sun falling upon the mighty cliffs, transforming their dull gray to a perfect glory of splendid hues. Through the golden mist the mighty peaks rise and fade far into the distance. The sunbeams shimmer on the foliage and dance on the placid stream.
Where is the poet or painter that can rival nature, or improve on her.
The author of the notice should order a picture with the same outline as Munger's Yosemite, having a French villa on the highest peak, Minnehaha Falls in the equal distance, the gentle Merced, with Guy Salisbury fishing for speckled trout, an alligator sunning itself on its banks, gentle peasants performing the Mulligan Guards on their soft-toned lutes to their listening flocks, and Dan Woodmansee speeding Tearaway across the foreground" [IP - St. Paul Daily Pioneer, p.4]
|1874 Dec 20||"Gilbert Munger has just commenced working up the
study of a painting which he is to make for the Centennial Exhibition. The
picture will be 12x7 feet in size and will be one of the most interesting
ever painted of American scenery. The scenery is Shoshone Falls, which is on
Snake river, one of the main tributaries of the Columbia river in Idaho on
the old stage route between Salt Lake City and Portland, Oregon. This
remarkable falls has been discovered within the past five years, and is the
western rival of Niagara, being 40 feet higher, but the volume of water is
not so great; it flows through a deep canon with rocky walls of basalt
formation rising 700 feet on either side.
The falls commence in a series of cascades, divided by high huge masses of trachite rock, and then makes it final leap of 240 feet. The fall itself is one of the most beautiful in the world. The shadows cast upon the fall by the precipitous walls are the most beautiful cobalt blue, and the base of the fall is completely veiled by the vapory spray which rises and floats upward into the sky until it blends with the blue of heaven. The river as it leaves the falls is of that rare beryl green that is often seen in the high mountain lakes of the Rockies." [IP - St. Paul Sunday Pioneer, p.4] The official art catalog for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition does not list any works by Gilbert Munger. But David Sellin, a expert on the Centennial Exhibition, points out that the work easily could have been part of a display other than the art exhibition, for example the installation of the Department of the Interior. In this case it would not be listed in the art catalog.
|1875 Jan 17||"Mr. Gilbert Munger is busily at work in his studio in New York, painting views in the Yosemite valley to fill orders from English connoisseurs." [IP - St. Paul Sunday Pioneer, p.4]|
|1875 Feb 14||"Messrs. Metcalf and Dixon are in receipt of the most charming little picture by Gilbert Munger. It represents a lake in the Rocky mountains and is a gem worthy of the inspection of all art lovers." [IP - St. Paul Sunday Pioneer, p.4]|
|1875 Feb 24||"Munger arrives." [GS - Emmons] Emmons is in New York.|
|1875 Feb 25||"Evening go to Park theater with King and Munger ..." [GS - Emmons]|
|1875 Mar 19||"Munger and Arthur go theater ..." [GS - Emmons]|
|1875 Mar 20||King and Munger dine with the Bierstadt's. [GS - Emmons]|
|1875 Mar 31||"Evening with Munger." [GS - Emmons]|
|1875 Apr 1||"Go with (illegible) and Munger to see Ammie in La Jolie Parisian." [GS - Emmons]|
|1875 Apr 8||"Evening with Munger." [GS - Emmons]|
|1875 Apr||Munger's Mount Hood, Oregon, listed as owned by N. H. Emmons Jr., shown at the Boston Art Club Exhibition. [Exhibition catalog]|
|1875 Jun 26||"Munger for picture, $309.05" [GS - Emmons, account records at back of diary book]|
|1875 Jul 9||The hotel register for Mariposa Big Tree Station, near Yosemite Valley, shows Gilbert Munger. This entry confirms the observation of Walter Paris (see entry below for 1875) that Munger was in California in 1875. It is mysterious that newspaper clippings mentioning him have not been found. [KO - The register is in the Yosemite Museum.]|
|1875 Aug 17||... through Oct 9. Munger painting shown at the San Francisco Mechanics' Institute: Unfinished Sketch - San Mateo owned by Geo. C. Hickox. [Yarnell]|
|1875 Oct 24||The hotel register for Snow's Casa Nevada in Yosemite Valley, shows Gilbert Munger. [KO - The register is in the Yosemite Museum.]|
|1875 Oct 31||The hotel register for Mariposa Big Tree Station, near Yosemite Valley, shows Gilbert Munger. [KO - The register is in the Yosemite Museum.]|
|1875 Nov 6||"BRIEF MENTION
-- Gilbert Munger, the well-known artist, is now in the city, having just returned from an extended visit to the Yosemite." [San Francisco Daily Evening Bulletin]
|1875 Dec 6||"Munger arrives." [GS - Emmons] Emmons is still in New York. This may be Munger returning from his California trip.|
|1875 Dec 6||"The Prang Collection of Paintings
A large and valuable collection of American and European oil paintings owned by Mr. Louis Prang, of Boston, was opened for exhibition at the Leavitt Art Rooms, No. 817 Broadway, yesterday morning. Many of the subjects have been published under the name of "Prang's Chromos," and are now to be under the direction [at auction] of the Messrs. Leavitt, on the evenings of Tuesday and Wednesday, December 7 and 8, at 8 o'clock.
In examining this collection critically it must be admitted that Mr. Prang exercised good judgment and taste in his selections. The paintings are mostly of cabinet size, and in nearly every instance were executed to order. ...
There are other strong American pictures by ... Gilbert Munger ...
... There are two hundred and five works in the collection all together." [MM - The New York Evening Post, p.3, c.8]
|1875||"I met him (Munger) for the first time in San Francisco in 1875, where he had then established in his studio as an artist, and the work be was doing at that time was the most careful and conscientious interpretation from nature, fine in color and strong in artistic values. His work of those days I consider the most interesting period of his life as it was absolutely sincere and not influenced by the art of any other country. It was spontaneous and full of the most careful feeling for truth and for Nature." [Letter from Mr. Walter Paris, artist, to Monroe, 1904 Jan 5. Quoted in Monroe, p.120] Cummings thinks this 1875 report is misdated and that Munger did not return west after 1873. But the recently discovered hotel register entries for 9 July, 24 October, and 31 October 1875 confirm Paris' recollection.|
|1875||Munger painting shown at Yale School of Fine Arts, New Haven: Rocky Mountains. [Yarnell]|
|1876 Jan 5||Munger is reported to have donated $100 to the Chicago Nursery and Half-orphan Asylum in the year ending 1 Jan 1876. [Inter Ocean (Chicago)]|
|1876 Feb 21||"sale of oil paintings by auction ... of the Stenersen Collection ... by the following well know American and foreign artists: Bierstadt, Irving, Gilbert, Munger, Dupre, ..." [MM -- advertisement in The Evening Star (Washington DC)]|
|1876 Mar 8||"THE FINE ARTS. INFORMAL EXHIBITION AT THE ART CLUB.
The informal exhibition of sketches and pictures shown at the regular monthly meeting if the Art club on Saturday evening has proved so interesting that the managers have decided to continue it through Wednesday. Ninety-eight out of-door sketches of California scenery by Gilbert Munger of New York make up the greater part of the display, and form a very interesting series of picturesque illustrations. There are a number of Yosemite valley views, one or two sketches of the great trees, several coast views, and various studies of effect of different degrees of excellence. ..." [The Boston Daily Advertiser]
|1876 June 17||Invoice from "Julius Bien, Lithographer, New York, to Geol. Exploration of the 40th Parallel: 2000 copies of 10 color geol. views -- $4200" [Emmons] This seems to be the invoice for printing the 10 Munger chromolithographs in Systematic Geology. It also suggests that the press run of Systematic Geology was 2000 copies.|
|1876||Peterson claims that Alvah Bradish was the only artist who worked in St. Paul during 1876. This implies that Munger was NOT in St. Paul that year. [IP, p.89]|
|1876||Gilbert Munger is NOT mentioned in the San Francisco newspapers, the New York Evening Post, or the London Art Journal for this year.|
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