This new traveling exhibit depicts the 1873 cross-country journey of Jules Tavernier & Paul Frenzeny – and, subsequently, late nineteenth-century America – through their engravings of the American West.
After the opening of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, the public clamored for images of the newly accessible American West. The Harper Brother’s publishing firm in New York sought to capitalize on this, and chose Jules Tavernier and Paul Frenzeny to provide images of the frontier. The intrepid men were skilled at depicting newsworthy places or events that favored the plight of the common man. Coupled with their artistic and journalistic talent and keen powers of observation, they were a powerful team; Tavernier created each engraving’s watercolor painting before handing it off to Frenzeny, who added newsworthy details and drew the scene in pencil on wood blocks.
The prints in this exhibit trace the artists’ journey to San Francisco, where both men initially settled in 1874 and became an important part of the city’s art life. From there, Tavernier traveled down the coast to visit the Monterey Peninsula and before long opened the town’s first professional art studio. He returned to San Francisco four years later, but his insatiable appetite for adventure eventually led him to Hawaii. After spending time in Monterey to refine his skills as a watercolorist, Paul Frenzeny resumed his career as a special correspondent in New York, and became an illustrator of choice for Western Adventure stories and for such famous novels as Anna Karenina and the Jungle Book. He also worked as a rider in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in London, where he spent the rest of his life.
The exhibition is divided into four sections:
- Engravers in New York
- Frontier Settlers
- The Wild West
- Colorado to San Francisco
A Great Frontier Odyssey: Sketching the American West is curated by Dr. Claudine Chalmers and traveled by Exhibit Envoy.
- Adults, Students
- Rental Fee:
- $2,000 + shipping for an 8-week booking
- 900-1,100 sq. ft.
- Installation Images:
- View Here
- 40 framed engravings, 2 reproduction watercolors, and didactic text panels
- Artifacts from Tavernier’s family
- Exhibition press kit
- Educational materials for all ages
- An exhibit copy of Chronicling the West for Harper’s: Coast to Coast with Frenzeny & Tavernier in 1873-1874 by Claudine Chalmers
Schedule and Availability
January 21, 2018 – March 18, 2018
Museum of the San Ramon Valley, Danville
October 28, 2018 – December 23, 2018
Hi-Desert Nature Museum, Yucca Valley
March 17, 2019 – May 12, 2019
January 20, 2020 – March 15, 2020
Spartanburg County Public Libraries, Spartanburg, SC
May 3, 2020 – June 28, 2020
Museum on Main, Pleasanton
July 12, 2020 – September 6, 2020
September 20, 2020 – November 15, 2020
November 29, 2020 – January 24, 2021
February 7, 2021 – April 4, 2021
Park City Museum, Park City, UT
April 18, 2021 – June 13, 2021
June 27, 2021 – August 22, 2021
September 5, 2021 – November 7, 2021
Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum, Temple, TX
November 21, 2021 – January 16, 2022
January 30, 2022 – March 27, 2022
April 10, 2022 – June 5, 2022
June 19, 2022 – August 14, 2022
August 28, 2022 – October 23, 2022
November 6, 2022 – January 1, 2023
Contact us for dates beyond 2022.