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Lot 189: WILLIAM H. BULL (1861-1940). APACHE TRAIL OF ARIZONA / SOUTHERN PACIFIC LINES. 23x16 inches, 58x40 cm.
27 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
WILLIAM H. BULL (1861-1940) APACHE TRAIL OF ARIZONA / SOUTHERN PACIFIC LINES.
23x16 inches, 58 1/2x40 1/2 cm.
Condition B+ / B: loss in lower left corner; multiple pin holes in corners and margins; light staining in margins; errant pencil markings in bottom margin into text. Paper.
William H. Bull moved from Buffalo, New York to California in 1882 where he "became the in-house artist for [Southern Pacific] and, beginning in 1898, its pioneering booster-magazine venture, Sunset. He specialized in illustrations that emphasized the vast, romantic West, numerous examples of which ran as Sunset magazine covers and were also produced as newsstand posters" (Zega, p. 15). While primarily known for depicting California scenes, he designed other locales as well, including this dramatic view of a pass along the famed Apache Trail in Arizona. Named after the Native American tribe who originally settled and traveled the route, the trail connects Phoenix to Roosevelt Lake through the Superstition Mountains in Tonto National Forest. During the dedication ceremony for the Roosevelt dam in 1911, President Theodore Roosevelt reflected on the trail saying, "the Apache Trail combines the grandeur of the Alps, the glory of the Rockies, the magnificence of the Grand Canyon and then adds an indefinable something that none of the others have. To me, it is the most awe-inspiring and most sublimely beautiful panorama nature has ever created." The Southern Pacific route did not actually run through the Apache trail, but rather buses from the station would take travelers on a scenic tour, a point Bull alludes to with his depiction of the vehicle on the mountain trail.