Scenery, Curiosities, and Stupendous Rocks: William Quesenbury’s Overland Sketches, by David Royce Murphy


Long before Hollywood brought the landscape of the American West to movie screens, clever impresarios invented ways of simulating the experience of western travel and selling it to mass audiences. In 1851, entrepreneur John Wesley Jones, hired artist William Quesenbury to join such an venture. Quesenbury and other artists traveled the overland trails through Nebraska Territory to sketch the “scenery, curiosities, and stupendous rocks”, they encountered. Scenery, Curiosities, and Rocks gathers 71 of Quesenbury’s sketches from the Jones expedition illuminated by eyewitness accounts from the period, modern maps, contemporary photographs, and descriptive notes.

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