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Frederick Ferdinand Schafer Painting Catalog

Painting record FFSd0117

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[photo] [Indian scene, Northwest]
Photo credit: William K. Dick, 1971
Date: said to be 1878 (see Note)
Medium: oil on canvas
Size: 10 x 18 in (25 x 46 cm)
Inscription: said to be signed l/r "F. Schafer", each letter in a different color (not visible in photograph)
Verso: said to be no inscription
Provenance: In collection of Paul E. McCarthy, San Francisco; by 1962. to The Society of California Pioneers; With Alta California Bookstore, Berkeley, California, in 1970 (750). With Howell's Bookstore, San Francisco, in 1971.
Exhibited: The McCarthy Collection, San Francisco, 1962
Reproductions: William K. Dick photo #94 (color, 1971)
Citations: Dawdy, Doris Ostrander, Artists of the American West; Inventory of American Paintings… record 71063555; William K. Dick notes, page 72; 1962 exhibition catalog, #29; A typed inventory of the paintings of Paul E. McCarthy; A handwritten inventory of the paintings of Paul E. McCarthy.
Description: An Indian on horseback stands at the edge of a lake conversing with two figures in a canoe, one standing, one sitting. A gnarled tree stands at the right edge, the trunk of a dead tree lies on a rock in the foreground center, and a patch of bright green grass stands to the left of the lake. In the background, a hill stands in the center, with indistinct ranges beyond; there is a plume of smoke from an unseen campfire on the left bank of the lake. The hills are all covered with forest; the sky is a bright hazy whitish blue with some clouds. (From a color photograph.)
Note: (1) McCarthy's personal records list this painting in two places. A handwritten inventory has the entries "Name, Fred Schaffer; Size, 10-18; Date, 1878; Title, Indian Territory; Amount, $75." No source is mentioned for the date. A typewritten inventory titled "P. E. McCARTHY - CATALOGUE of paintings" has the entry "Fred Schaffer - 10-18 - 1878 - Indian Scene Northwest Kansas". (2) The catalog of the McCarthy Collection exhibition (which also spells the artist's name "Schaffer") gives the date of the painting as 1875, and the title as "Indian Summer, Northwest", as does the Inventory of American Paintings listing, which is based on that catalog. It seems likely that the date in the exhibition listing is a typographical error rather than information from another source. Similarly, the title in the exhibition listing seems derived, but incorrectly, from the typewritten catalogue listing.
Identification: Several different titles appear to have been assigned by Paul McCarthy during the time the painting was in his possession. Dawdy cites the Inventory of American Paintings entry, which gives the owner as the Society of California Pioneers. A note on the back of the photo by William K. Dick identifies it with the exhibition at the Society of California Pioneers, the McCarthy collection, and the Alta California offering. The SCP (perhaps mistakenly) reported the painting in a 1975 Inventory, but it could not be located in July 1991.
Other title(s): Indian Summer, Northwest (from the 1962 exhibition catalog and Inventory of American Paintings… record.; Indian territory (from a handwritten inventory); Indian scene, Northwest Kansas (from a typed inventory)

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Feb 21, 2017, 12:59 MST