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Gateway to the West: Daniel Boone Leading the Settlers Through the Cumberland Gap - 1775
by David Wright, ca. 2000
Images and interpretation courtesy Cumberland Gap National Historical Park (please click photo below for very high-resolution image).
Carol Borneman, Park Ranger, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park:
Thanks for your note regarding David Wright's "Gateway to the West: Daniel Boone Leading the Settlers Through the Cumberland Gap -1775." Mr. Wright is lauded as the premier artist of the American frontier. And his painting certainly depicts the hopes, fears and dreams of the pioneers as they journeyed through the nation's first doorway to the west. I certainly enjoy standing in the visitor center's upper lobby and watching reactions of park visitors as they view the mural. His painting also graces the front of our park brochure. I hiked with Mr. Wright into the historic Cumberland Gap as he began preparations for his work. That in itself was a powerful experience. The original painting was commissioned by Tour Southern and Eastern Kentucky (I believe in 2000), a tourism organization spearhead by Congressman Hal Rogers, who is also a strong proponent of the national park. The original painting is on display throughout the year at various sites/museums throughout Kentucky. Mr. Wright was also the art director for the award winnning film "Daniel Boone and the Westward Movement" shown here at the park visitor center.
I would suggest that you "GOOGLE" Mr. Wright as there are several web sites, including his own, dedicated to his work.
Many people are familiar with George Caleb Bingham's painting depicting Boone leading the pioneers through the Gap. That painting too is beautiful, but it also romanticizes the journey. It almost appears too that Boone has a halo of light around him.