The Delta Quuen

Amanda Winstead Fine Art
Sep 20, 2018 8:42PM

“A stranger to this mode of travelling would find it difficult to describe his impressions upon descending the Mississippi for the first time in one of these steam boats…the fare is sumptuous and everything is in style of splendor, order, and regularity, far exceeding that of most city taverns.”

Timothy Flint in History and Geography of the Mississippi Valley, 1832.

American School
The Delta Queen, 19th c.
Amanda Winstead Fine Art

Amanda Winstead Fine Art is pleased to announce an important discovery in maritime art, with the addition of The Delta Queen to their collection.

Amanda Winstead Fine Art has painstakingly identified a body of work by a previously undocumented 19th century maritime artist specializing in portraiture of paddlewheelers. These steamboats hold a special place in the history and culture of the South. Historically, they were the main commercial and transportation portal of the South via the Mississippi River, allowing people and goods to be connected with neighboring states previously isolated. Culturally, they embodied a new era of progress and luxury transportation prior to the interstate highway and rail systems. Powered by a steam engine and propelled with stern or side wheels, paddlewheelers were sometimes deemed “floating palaces,” often drawing a crowd to the dock with their luxurious design and entertainment.

Portraits of paddlewheelers exist in an intersection of nature and culture and their illustrations are used to highlight the aura these steamboats held. The artist represented here (while unnamed) accurately captures the spirit of these vessels. Choosing to depict historically accurate renderings of paddlewheelers but with fabricated names, the artist creates a fictitious personality meant to heighten the romanticized perceptions of industriousness and glamour. Amanda Winstead Fine Art has identified six paintings of paddllewheelers by the hand of this unidentified artist: the Eclipse, Eleanora, Fuegla, New Orleans River Company Express, Challenge, and the Bayou Belle. With the Delta Queen and the aforementioned portraits, the artist works in a meticulous fashion with extreme attention to the details of the figures, railings, and ship accessories. The stylized renderings make this artist’s hand easy to identify, and the materials used and style of ship depicted dates this artist to roughly the 1870s.

Amanda Winstead Fine Art prides themselves on unparalleled connoisseurship and understanding of the Southern Regional paintings market.  We invite your inquiry.

Reference: Busch, Jason T., et al., Currents of Change: Art and Life Along the Mississippi River 1850-1861, The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2004.

Amanda Winstead Fine Art