Captain Seth Eastman’s Journey with a Sketchbook: New Orleans and the Gulf

April 5, 2018 to July 1, 2018

This second of four exhibitions devoted to one of the McNay’s historic gems—the sketchbook kept by Captain Seth Eastman (1808–1875) during his trip to Texas in 1848 and 1849—follows the artist from Vicksburg to Natchez, Mississippi, and from New Orleans to the Mississippi River Delta in Louisiana. Highlights of this leg of the journey are views of sugar plantations, detailed studies of New Orleans’s architecture and riverbank, and a group of masterful drawings of oceangoing sailing ships at anchor in the mirrorlike waters of the Gulf of Mexico near the mouth of the Mississippi River.

This exhibition, part of the McNay’s celebration of San Antonio’s 300th anniversary, includes an interactive digital map that enables visitors to follow Eastman’s journey and to learn more about the places and things he discovered and recorded along the way.

This exhibition is organized by Lyle Williams, Curator of Prints and Drawings, for the McNay Art Museum. Lead funding is most generously provided by the Elizabeth Huth Coates Exhibition Endowment and the Arthur and Jane Stieren Fund for Exhibitions.

Image: Seth Eastman, Pilots' Houses, Southwest Pass, Mouth of the Mississippi River, October 1848, from Sketchbook, 1848–49. Graphite on paper. Collection of the McNay Art Museum, Gift of the Pearl Brewing Company, 1961.5.66.