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The Land of Evangeline

Joseph Rusling Meeker, American, 1827–1887
Oil on canvas
Made in
United States, North and Central America
Louisiana, United States, North and Central America
Current Location
On View, Gallery 336
33 1/8 x 45 1/8 in. (84.1 x 114.6 cm)
framed: 40 1/2 x 52 5/8 x 3 3/8 in. (102.9 x 133.7 x 8.6 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mrs. Wright Prescott Edgerton in memory of Dr. and Mrs. W. T. Helmuth by exchange
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Object Number
Cypress trees draped with moss frame this view of a young woman, Evangeline, resting during her search for her missing fiancé. This painting depicts a scene from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem “Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie” (1847). During the Civil War, the artist Joseph Meeker joined the Union Navy and served on a gunboat that patrolled the Mississippi River Delta. There, he became fascinated by the beauty of the bayous, a subject he favored in the post-war paintings he created in St. Louis.
Joseph W. Branch, St. Louis, MO, purchased from the artist

by 1935 -
Mr. and Mrs. Price Lane, St. Louis, MO, by inheritance from Joseph W. Branch [1]

- 1946
Mrs. Cornelia G. Turner, Seattle, WA, acquired from Mrs. Price Lane [2]

1946 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Mrs. Cornelia G. Turner [3]

The main sources for this provenance are the notes of a telephone conversation between Mrs. Cornelia G. Turner and Mr. Perry Rathbone of the Saint Louis Art Museum on June 6, 1946 [SLAM document files].

[1] Mrs. Price Lane (previously Mrs. C. K. Garrison) inherited the painting from her father, Joseph W. Branch. According to the Saint Louis Art Museum accession record, Mr. and Mrs. Price Lane lent the painting to the Museum in 1935 [SLAM document files].

[2] Mrs. Cornelia G. Turner was the daughter of Mrs. Price Lane.

[3] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, June 5, 1946.
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