Tuesday, November 29, 2016
This photo from Knott's Berry Farm (circa 1959) shows a group of statues representing a family of Native Americans; mother, father, and tiny tot. These sculptures were added in 1954, and were created by artist Ross Yost (thanks to Jay Jennings' excellent book "Knott's Berry Farm: The Early Years" for the helpful info!).
Zooming in a bit, we can see the group a little bit better. This tableau was based on the the painting "Night Watch" by Charles Nahl, which used to hang in the Music Hall - I don't believe it's there any longer. In fact, I am not sure the sculptures are extant any more either. Anyone? Bueller?
This photo (from 1963) shows the aforementioned painting. It has the look of a classic painting of the American West. A postcard featuring the artwork has this written on the back: "This is a replica of one of the most beautiful paintings we have ever seen - the original was painted in the most glowing colors by Charles Nahl in 1870. It hangs in the old Adobe at Knott's Ghost Town - Don't miss it when you come visiting this fascinating place!". I love that they were so enthusiastic.
Thanks to the miracle of Photoshop, I could correct the perspective so that you can get a better look at the painting. Did the Knott family collect other examples of Western art? Perhaps a Frederic Remington or two? N.C. Wyeth, or a Charles Russell, or George Caleb Bingham? I wish I knew.