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Stanley, John Mix
born 1814 died 1872
Discipline: Painting

The West drew John Mix Stanley. His brush had taken him west from his native New York, where he was born in 1814, to Detroit where he painted horses and signs, to Fort Gibson, Okla., where he set up a studio, and to Santa Fe where he joined the Kit Carson-led Kearney military expedition to California. In 1848-49, Stanley traveled to Hawaii where he painted natives.

In 1853, Stanley was named official artist to the Stevens expedition for the northern railway survey that traveled through what would become North Dakota. After the Stevens expedition, Stanley pained 42 huge Western scenes.

He is known for painting Indian subjects. His works contain rich reds and browns.

"No early Western artist had more intimate knowledge by personal experience of the American West than did Stanley," writes Robert Taft in "Artists and Illustrators of the Old West 1850-1900."

Stanley died in 1872.

- Ken Rogers

Originally published under the title "Stanley, Wimar, Hays and Sohon: They Also Came Up the Missouri" in Lewis and Clark: Art of the Upper Missouri. (Ken Rogers, Tim Fought, editors. Jim Bridges, publisher. Bismarck: The Bismarck Tribune, 2000.) Used with permission.

*Image courtesy of the State Historical Society of North Dakota (#C0629).

Painting by Stanley

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