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March 25, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Park City Museum will host a Zoom lecture called The Great Frontier Odyssey given by curator Claudine Chalmers on Thursday, March 25th from 5-6 p.m. Mountain Time. Please go to https://parkcityhistory.org/event/a-great-frontier-odyssey-zoom-lecture-given-by-claudine-chalmers/ to register for the lecture or contact Diane Knispel at email@example.com.
Imagine the American West in the early 1870s. The railroads are opening the frontier and there are only eleven American States west of the Mississippi River. Colorado, Dakota, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah, Washington and Wyoming are still mere territories. But the whole nation seems to be marching west.
And now imagine that you are a French artist trying to make a name for yourself in New York. And out of the blue, you get this assignment from the Harper brothers: an extensive sketching tour of the American frontier, “commencing at New York and intended to include the most interesting and picturesque regions of the Western and Southwestern portions of this country.” You are asked to make long excursions on horseback into regions where railroads have not yet penetrated, where even the hardy squatter, the pioneer of civilization, has not yet erected his rude log-cabin.”
The contract states that you will be paid handsomely for one hundred sketches of the frontier, that you will work in tandem with another talented artist, and that all your sketches will appear in the pages of Harper’s Weekly, including several covers and several double pages.
That is the golden opportunity Paul Frenzeny and Jules Tavernier were given. And Claudine will tell you what choices they made, places, people, events, in order to accurately represent “the most astonishing migratory movement of any age or nation.”
Claudine was offered Adventure when at age sixteen, she became the first exchange student from her high-school in Cannes, France, to Palo-Alto. She never recovered from the joy of living in California. She completed graduate and post-graduate studies in France and settled in Mill Valley where she and her family lived for 30 years. She has since moved to the Gold Country where she continues to chronicle the lives of the numerous and colorful Frenchmen who flocked to California in search of gold, success, and freedom. Besides many books and articles, Claudine appeared on a French television show, Thalassa, and a French Canadian production on French pioneers in Los Angeles. Two of her art books became exhibits at the Crocker Museum, the Monterey Museum of Art, and at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah. She was knighted for her work by the French Ministry of Culture. She is presently at work on three books: Barbizon-by-the-Pacific, the riotous beginnings of the Monterey Art Colony; a biography of Jean-Jacques Vioget, founding father of San Francisco; and the history of San Francisco’s French Hospital, California’s oldest private hospital, which created the first HMO in the United States.
Image Credit: Print by Tavernier and Frenzeny courtesy of Claudine Chalmers
Register for this lecture