By Arthur T. Lee
, A[rthur] T[racy]."House Occupied by Dr. Sutherland at Ft. Davis."Finished watercolor on paper showing a one-story house surrounded by a fence and outbuildings at the foot of a rocky hill, with several people visible around the house and in the yard to the right and a U.S. flag flying in the distance.Signed at lower right in pencil: "A.T. Lee."Fort Davis, undated.23 x 32 cm.
...Artist Arthur T. Lee was also stationed at Fort Davis, which he helped found, between 1854 and September of 1858, when he left to establish Fort Quitman.Arthur T. Lee (1814-1879) was a U.S. Army officer, portrait painter in oils, watercolorist, poet, musician, essayist, historian, landscape architect, engineer, and administrator.He
was stationed at various posts in Texas for about twelve years after having previously served in the Mexican-American War and various Native American removals.He
was transferred to Texas in 1848 and was captured by the Confederates in San Antonio while trying to leave Texas.He
went to fight in the Civil War and was seriously wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.It is believed that many of his
watercolors were finished in his
retirement and were based on pencil sketches he
made earlier on the scene.Although it is uncertain how this watercolor ended up in the possession of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston, it seems possible that Lee
might have met Johnston on the latter's 1849 reconnaissance mission through western Texas, which passed through old Fort Davis.
...For a good selection of Lee's art work in the Rochester institutions, consult: W. Stephen Thomas, Fort Davis and the Texas Frontier: Paintings by Captain Arthur T. Lee, Eighth U.S. Infantry (College Station: Published for the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth, by the Texas A&M University Press, 1977).
For more on Lee
, see: William H. Goetzmann and Becky Duval Reese, Texas Images & Visions (University of Texas Press, 1983), pp.
...The watercolors of Captain Lee at Fort Davis have only come to light in recent years"; p. 52: "Arthur T. Lee and Seth Eastman were sent by the United States government to Texas in the same years and for the same purpose-charting the Texas-Mexico boundary.Lee
was thirty-four years old when he arrived at this first Texas post [and commented]: ,....the frontier was real, daily existence was precarious, Indians were a living threat.'" Sam DeShong Ratliffe, Painting Texas History to 1900 (University of Texas Press, 1992), pp.
71-72: "[Lee's] watercolors were composed as landscapes; the Fort Davis scenes are also historical narrative paintings, depicting work and leisure activities of civilians as well as soldiers."Lee is not listed by Taft or Samuels, but that is probably due to Lee's work only coming to light with the publication of the Lee images in the Rochester Museum in the 1976 publication Fort Davis and the Texas Frontier: Paintings by Captain Arthur T. Lee, Eighth U.S. Infantry.
See Handbook of Texas Online: Arthur Tracy Lee. ($10,000-20,000)