Francis Parkman’s novel, The Oregon Trail, was first published in 1849 after magazine serialization between 1847 and 1849. Each generation of publishers chose a different artist to illustrate the ever-popular Parkman text. The 1945 edition featured Thomas Hart Benton’s renditions. MONA’s collection of all 28 of Benton’s gouache paintings, including the 16 chosen for the 1945 edition, represent the only complete set known to exist.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website