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View of the St. Anne’s River

Robert Seldon Duncanson, American, 1821–1872
Oil on canvas
Made in
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, North and Central America
Québec, Canada, North and Central America
Current Location
On View, Gallery 336
21 1/4 x 40 1/8 in. (54 x 101.9 cm)
framed: 30 1/2 x 49 1/4 in. (77.5 x 125.1 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Public Domain
Object Number
"View of the St. Anne’s River" is a serene pastoral landscape filled with a golden light which is reflected in the smooth surface of the water. Within this tranquil setting, a small herd of cattle wades, undisturbed by the fishermen in the distance. Duncanson was one of the first African American painters to experience success not only in the United States, but in Canada as well.
Agnes Barnum and Tumulty Barnum (d.1899), Manchester, MO, USA [1]

Mrs. Valentine (Ida) Knapp, MO, given by Agnes Barnum [2]

- 1966
Mrs. A. C. Grosse, Glencoe, MO, inherited from her mother, Ida Knapp

1966 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Mrs. A.C. Grosse [3]

[1] Tumulty Barnum was the owner of the Old Star Overland Coach lines that ran from Saint Louis to the West. He also owned several Duncanson paintings which he acquired from the estate of his brother Phineas T. Barnum, the circus promoter [Parks, James Dallas. "Robert S. Duncanson: 19th Century Black Romantic Painter". Washington D.C.: The Associated Publishers, Inc., p. viii]. This painting may have once been in Phineas T. Barnum's collection.

[2] Mrs. Barnum gave the painting to her neighbor Ida Knapp. Mrs. Knapp's daughter, Mrs. A. C. Grosse, later inherited the painting [notes, SLAM document files].

According to Parks (see note [1]), sometime after Tumulty Barnum's death, Mrs. Barnum gave some paintings to a Father Reker, also of Missouri. Joseph D. Ketner includes both P. T. Barnum and Father Xavier Reker in the provenance of this work, without mention of Mrs. Knapp or Mrs. Grosse, though there is no evidence in SLAM document files to support this provenance [Ketner, Joseph D. "The Emergennce of the African-American Artist: Robert S. Duncanson 1821- 1872". Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1993; p. 202-203].

[3] Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control and Associate Members of the Board of Control of the City Art Museum, June 16, 1966.
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