Samuel Colman - The Emigrant Train
Samuel Colman (1832-1920), American
The Emigrant Train, Colorado, 1872
OIL ON CANVAS, MOUNTED ON MASONITE, 20 1/8 x 40 inches
Gift of Horace Fairbanks
Samuel Colman was drawn to the exotic and experimental throughout his career. Among other initiatives, he was one of the first American painters to visit and depict southern Spain and Morocco, and he became the first president of the American Watercolor Society at its founding in 1866. He was equally quick to visit distant California in 1870, a trip that inspired a series of depictions of westward-bound wagon trains that included The Emigrant Train, Colorado. Given that Colman's journey came just a year after the completion of the transcontinental railroad, the arduous wagon trip must itself have seemed destined to became a vestige of the American past.