Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Unidentified painting record FFSu1120


[no photo] [La Grange Dam] (provisional title)

Date: ca 1915
Size: Said to be 9 ft H x 15 ft W and constructed in 15 smaller sections. See note (1).
Provenance: Commissioned by the San Joaquin Valley Exposition Association in 1914 or 1915 for $1000; unlocated since. See notes (1) and (2).
Exhibited: Said to have been exhibited in the Stanislaus County exhibit in the California Counties building of the Panama–Pacific International Exposition, San Francisco, California, 20 February to 4 December 1915. See note (3). After the exposition closed, the painting was reported to have been "shipped to the exposition building in Los Angeles".
Citations: Modesto Morning Herald, 17 September 1914; Modesto Evening News, 17 and 28 September 1914, 6 October 1914, and 4 January 1915; Oakdale Leader, 24 September 1914; Hanford Weekly Sentinel, 12 November 1914; Merced Morning Star, 18 March 1915; Modesto Morning Herald, 3 August 1916.
Site: The La Grange Dam is an irrigation diversion dam on California's Tuolumne River near the town of La Grange.
Note: (1) Size and construction reported by the Modesto Morning Herald of 3 August 1916. Commission price reported by the Merced Morning Star of 18 March 1915.
(2) The same 1916 article reports that the painting is to be sent to "the exposition building" in Los Angeles, perhaps one of the buildings in the Los Angeles Exposition Park.
(3) The painting was commissioned by the San Joaquin Valley Exposition Association for use as a background for the Association's agricultural and industrial exhibit at the Panama–Pacific International Exposition. Contemporary accounts are ambiguous as to whether the Stanislaus County exhibit was merged into a larger San Joaquin Valley exhibit. The San Joaquin Valley Counties Association mounted a second exhibit in its own building at the Panama-California Exposition in Balboa Park, San Diego, from 1 January to 31 December 1915, overlapping the San Francisco exposition. The official guide to the San Diego exhibition describes extensive murals covering walls and ceilings of the San Joaquin Valley exhibit but does not mention a painting of La Grange dam. The Madera, California, Mercury of 10 September 1915 reports that the Exposition Association received several awards for its exhibit in San Diego but it, too, does not mention the painting. It thus seems likely that Schafer's painting did not appear in the San Diego exposition.

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