Northern Pacific-Alaska Boat is a c. 1935 American travel poster by Sydney Laurence for the Northern Pacific Railway. The poster features a traditional Angyapik (open skin boat) sailing by an Alaskan mountain range at Kenai Fjords National Park. Laurence adopted Alaska as his home early in his career as a landscape painter, and much of his paintings reflect specific locations and details of life in the frontier territory of Alaska. The artwork for this poster was completed in the last years of Laurence's life, and speaks to his romantic painting style.
Sydney Laurence (1865-1940) is considered one of Alaska's most important historical artists. Born in Brooklyn, NY, Laurence studied at the Arts Student League and spent time abroad in England as a member of the Royal Society of British Artists. He was included in numerous exhibitions including the Paris Salon for which he won an award in 1894. Laurence abruptly relocated to Alaska in 1904 and dedicated his career to painting the Alaskan landscape and the changes brought on by modernization. He was a perfect choice for this Northern Pacific Railway poster and incorporated accurate depictions of both the landscape and the native people.
Northern Pacific Railway existed from 1864 to 1970. The transcontinental railway operated through the northern and western front of the United States. NP was awarded almost 40 million acres in land grants by Congress in 1864, with the final spike driven by President Ulysses S. Grant in 1883. Through its early operation, Northern Pacific required protection from the U.S. Army to stave of periodic attacks by American Indian tribes including the Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Kiowa. Northern Pacific was known for many engineering innovations in locomotives, including the modern steam engine. NP's logo derives from the Korean flag as viewed at the Korean exhibit of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, holding little significance beyond the geometric design. In the early 1900's, Northern Pacific developed a successful advertising campaign around its specialty baked potatoes, called “The Route of the Great Big Baked Potato" which remained one of the company's slogan for a half century.
This is an Original Vintage Poster; it is not a reproduction. This poster is conservation mounted, linen backed, and in excellent condition.
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