Howard Russell Butler

"Late Afternoon In Zion Canyon", painted by Howard Russell Baker, 1926, Oil on canvas
Zion Museum Collection ZION 14581
"Late Afternoon In Zion Canyon", painted by Howard Russell Baker, 1926, Oil on canvas
Zion Museum Collection ZION 14581

The impressionist Howard Russell Butler is known for his paintings of seascapes and the eclipse of the sun, but he also painted landscapes. In 1926, the Union Pacific Railroad commissioned him to paint a series of landscapes for promotion of the Colorado Plateau’s scenic marvels as a part of the Union Pacific’s “Grand Circle Tour”. He completed seven large paintings of Zion National Park. These paintings were used in a traveling exhibit by the Union Pacific to promote tourism in the region. They represent the early history of the establishment of Zion National Park as well as early tourism promotion in Utah. The paintings were also on exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History. By 1929 they reached the Museum of Science in Buffalo, NY for display. Eventually, the canvases were relocated to storage. In 1998/99, their registrar discovered the paintings and donated them to Zion National Park. The paintings are nationally significant as they represent the early period of National Park Service development of visitor recreation and transportation.

Thanks to a grant received from the State of Utah’s Office of Museum Services, conservators have stabilized and framed these historic paintings allowing them to be exhibited safely.

 
 
 

Last updated: October 28, 2021

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