Frederick S Dellenbaugh
(1853 - 1935)
At eighteen, he was skilled enough to be chosen for the second Powell expedition down the Colorado River. On the expedition he served as both artist and as assistant map-maker, and he began his life-long habit of keeping a daily journal of his travels.
But Dellenbaugh was also interested in fine art, which he studied for a short time. He took some classes in New York and in Europe, but his primary method of study was painting in the field, particularly scenes and landscape features that were difficult to photograph. He traveled widely, to Iceland, Norway, the West Indies and South America. His paintings sold well and were often published as illustrations for natural history books. Using material from his private journals, he himself wrote and illustrated several books about the western United States.
Dellenbaugh was a seasoned traveler when he joined the Harriman Expedition in 1899, but his journals and letters show that he was truly excited to be setting out on this trip. He wrote his fellow artist, R. Swain Gifford, before the trip even started, saying that he was delighted at the opportunity to work in Alaska. Several of his paintings from the trip were used as illustration for the first two volumes published after the Harriman Expedition. He made hundreds more, pencil drawings, oil sketches, even photographs that show his intense interest in the shape and color of the landscape he saw. Even his most formal paintings show evidence of his early experience in surveying and mapping the land.
After the expedition he continued to paint, to write and travel. He retired to upstate New York, and he died there in 1935.