top of page
Drawing on the Susquehanna :
Four Centuries of Artistic Inspiration and Commerce



Curated by Rob Evans

Overview:  This exhibit, which includes approximately 60 works, examines the influence of the Susquehanna River as an artistic muse and commercial driver for prominent American artists who, over several centuries, explored the river’s shores and utilized its imagery as part of a greater initiative to promote the American landscape. These artists worked in a diverse range of media often experimenting with some of the newest technologies of the day including wood, copper and steel engravings; hand colored lithographs and chromolithographs; etchings; transfer decorated china; and paintings and drawings. Many of the prints, framed individually in the exhibit, were used to illustrate elaborately bound oversized coffee table books and portfolios which marketed the American landscape as a picturesque destination, and are displayed in the exhibit alongside actual copies of the books in which they appeared. In all, the exhibit presents a unique portrait a single subject over four centuries, documenting, through the eyes of artists, the Susquehanna's many moods and manifestations, as well as the progression of human habitation and development along its shores.


Background: For nearly four decades artist and independent curator Rob Evans has lived, raised a family and worked in his studio on a ridge overlooking the Susquehanna River in eastern York County, PA. Evans' ties to the Susquehanna run deep as both his parents were raised along its shores, his mother on adjoining property to his farm, and his father further upriver near Wilkes Barre, PA. Most of Evans' paintings and drawings depict the Susquehanna River Valley landscape and its flora/fauna, whether metaphorically or through direct observation.


In 2005 Evans embarked on a curatorial project to explore his roots as a Susquehanna painter and the resulting traveling exhibit, "Visions of the Susquehanna: 250 Years of Paintings by American Masters," featured works by such renowned American landscape painters as Benjamin West, Joshua Shaw, Thomas Doughty, Sanford Gifford, Thomas Moran, Jasper Cropsey, George Inness, and Charles Demuth among others.


While Visions of the Susquehanna focused primarily on major studio paintings intended for exhibit in expositions and which eventually disappeared into the homes of wealthy private collectors, Drawing on the Susquehanna takes a slightly different angle, exploring the artists direct engagement with their public through the dissemination of their work via commercial partnerships with various industries and businesses, utilizing the most current printing technologies available to them. Through mass publication worldwide in maps, books, portfolios, journals, magazines, newspapers and decorated china they not only self-promoted but helped make the Susquehanna one of the most popular and well known rivers worldwide along with its sister east coast river, the Hudson. Even before the Hudson River School of landscape painting took shape, the Susquehanna played a role in influencing and inspiring some of the first truly American artists, writers and poets. Although no formal "Susquehanna School" of painters has ever been delineated, this exhibit argues that such an influential school has taken shape over the last several centuries and continues to this day.

Exhibition Tour Schedule


April 18 - May 13, 2020

Lore Degenstein Gallery (virtual due to Covid),

Susquehanna University, Selinsgrove, PA

November 2, 2020 - December 30, 2021

Historic Hellam Preserve, Hellam, PA


January 1 - June 30, 2022

Governor’s Residence, Harrisburg, PA

(virtual due to Covid)

August 6 - November 6, 2022

Demuth Museum, Lancaster, PA

September 6 - December 8, 2023

Schmucker Gallery, Gettysburg College,

Gettysburg, PA

Booking available through 2025

Inst 1.jpg

Drawing on the Susquehanna on view at the Historic Hellam Preserve

Exhibition Details and Rental Information


Exhibit rental includes:  


In-coming and out-going shipping and



Assistance with exhibit design, layout and

installation/take down

Wall labels and signage


Display cases

Curator's gallery talk or lecture

Coordination with educational programs

Assistance with press and publicity

Exhibit loan fee:  


Available on request (negotiable - assistance

with securing sponsorship available)


Includes full curatorial services (assistance with

layout/installation/take down) as well as

unpacking/packing and shipping to and from

Contributions are welcome to support this project and to help underwrite exhibition costs! For more information about a Naming Campaign to raise funds click here 





Thank you so much for your support!

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button

Installation shot from the Demuth Museum, Lancaster, PA

Bartlett case.jpg

Display case featuring Bartlett's American Scenery



Matthaus Merian the Elder (1593 - 1650)

John Smith Map of Virginia

From Theodore De Bry's "Grand Voyages"

copper plate engraving with hand coloring, 1627

Selected Works from the Exhibit


For full catalog and essay click here 

a1.John Smith Map 1627.jpg
a2.Sasquesahanok 1673.jpg
a3.A View on the Juniata - Columbia Mag



Artist unknown

A View on the Juniata River

From August 1788 issue of "Columbian Magazine"

copper plate engraving, 1788



Arnoldus Montanus (1625 - 1683)


From "A New and Unknown World: A Description of America"

copper plate engraving with letterpress, 1673

Port Folio - View on the Susquehanna 1815a.jpg



William Strickland (1788 - 1854)

From December 1815 issue of "The Port Folio"

View on the Susquehannah

aquatint, 1815




Artist Unknown (illustration in The Port Folio for "The Foresters" poem by Alexander Wilson)

Scene on the Susquehanna

engraving, 1809

a4.Cooke - Wright's Ferry on the Susqueh



After George Beck (1749 - 1812)

Wright's Ferry on the Susquehanna

blue transferware ceramic plate produced by Staffordshire Pottery, c.1825



George Cooke (1781 - 1834)

After George Beck (1749 - 1812)

Wright's Ferry on the Susquehanna, Pennsylvania

engraving with aquatint, 1812




Jacques Gérard Milbert (1766 - 1840)

Machine for the Portage on the Susquehanna 

From Milbert's "Itinéraire Pittoresque du Fleuve Hudson" 

lithograph chine colle, 1828



Fielding Lucas Jr. (1781 - 1854)

Lucas' Progressive Drawing Book

First edition, published by

Fielding Lucas Jr., Baltimore, 1827

a5.Lucas - Falls of the Susquehanna Abov
a6.Lucas - View on the Susquehanna 1827.



After John H. B. Latrobe (1803 - 1891)

Sky in Stormy Weather - Falls of the Susquehanna Above Columbia

From Fielding Lucas' "Progressive Drawing Book"

hand colored engraving with aquatint, 1827



After John H. B. Latrobe (1803 - 1891)

Dark Foreground - View on the Susquehanna

From Fielding Lucas' "Progressive Drawing Book"

hand colored engraving with aquatint, 1827




Thomas Doughty (1793 - 1856)

Valley of the Susquehanna

oil on canvas, c.1830s

Doughty - Banks of the Juniata 1830.jpg



After Thomas Doughty (1793 - 1856)

Banks of the Juniata

From "The Token"

engraving, 1830



James Fenimore Cooper (1789 - 1851)

The Pioneers - or the Sources of the Susquehanna

First edition, published by Charles Wiley, NY, 1823




After Abner Reeder (1766 - 1841)

An Attempt to Burn John Harris

lithograph with hand coloring, 1839

Turner - Gertrude of Wyoming - 1843.jpg



After Joseph Mallord William Turner  (1755 - 1851)

The Waterfall - Gertrude of Wyoming

From "Poetical Works of Thomas Campbell"

engraving, 1837



After Felix Octavius Carr Darley  (1822 - 1888)


Engraved by J. C. McRae

Published by W. H. Holbrooke, NY

engraving, 1852

a7.Cole - Headwaters of the Juniata 1834



After Thomas Cole (1801 - 1848)

The Headwaters of the Juniata, Allegheny Mountains, Pennsylvania

From John Howard Hinton's "History and Topography of the United States"

steel plate engraving, 1831



After William H. Bartlett (1809 - 1854)

Columbia Bridge (on the Susquehanna)

blue transferware ceramic pitcher produced by

William Ridgway and Sons, Stffordshire, England, c.1844



After Thomas Cole (1801 - 1848)

The Headwaters of the Juniata

red transferware ceramic soup plate produced by

William Adams and Sons, Staffordshire, England, c.1831 - 61

B5a. Ridgway - Bartlett - Columbia Bridg
a9.William Adams and Sons, Head Waters o
B5. Bartlett - Columbia Bridge c1840.jpg



After William H. Bartlett (1809 - 1854)

Columbia Bridge (on the Susquehanna)

From Bartlett's "American Scenery"

steel plate engraving, 1838




Russell Smith (1812 - 1896)

Capous Mountain, Susquehanna River

oil on paper,1839



William H. Bartlett (1809 - 1854)

View on the Susquehanna, at Liverpool

oil on board, c.1838



Emma Catherine Embury (1806 - 1863)

Nature's Gems - American Wildflowers in their Native Haunts

First edition, with illustrations by Edwin Whitefield

published by Appleton, NY, 1845



Edwin Whitefield (1816 - 1892)

Study for Title Page of "Nature's Gems"

pencil and watercolor, 1845

Edwin Whitefield - Embury Title page.jpg
Whitefield - Wild Strawberry 1845.jpg
Whitefield - Adder's Tongue Violet 1845.
Whitefield - Wild Columbine.jpg
Whitefield - Wild Honeysuckle.jpg
Whitefield - Early Aesclepias.jpg
Whitefield - Azure Star Flower.jpg



After Edwin Whitefield (1816 - 1892)

various plates from "Nature's Gems - American Wildflowers in Their Native Haunts" featuring the Susquehanna River in the background,

all hand colored chromolithographs, 1845



After George Catlin (1796 - 1872)

Water Hunting For Deer, A Night Scene on the River Susquehanna, Pennsylvania

From April 11, 1857 issue of the "Illustrated London News"

wood engraving, 1857



After Thomas Moran (1837 - 1926)

View From the Bluffs at Catawissa

From June, 1862 issue of the "Harpers Monthly Magazine"

wood engraving, 1862

C2. Catlin - London Illustrated News 185
Thomas Moran - View From the Bluffs at C
Occupation of Wrightsville 1863.jpg



After Albert Berghaus (active 1860 - 1880)

Occupation of Wrightsville, Pa., by Lees Army...

From July 18, 1863 issue of  "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper"

wood engraving, 1863

Cropsey - American Autumn 1865.jpg



After Jasper F. Cropsey (1823 - 1900)

American Autumn, Starucca Valley, Erie R. Road

signed by the artist

19 color chromolithograph, c.1867




Jasper F. Cropsey (1823 - 1900)

On the Susquehanna, Autumn

oil on canvas, 1889



Henry Wolcott Boss (attrib., 1827 - 1916)

Rowing on the Susquehanna

oil on board, n.d.




Paul Weber (1823 - 1916)

Gathering Flowers Near the Susquehanna

oil on canvas, 1852




Edmund Darch Lewis (1835 - 1910)

Susquehanna Valley

oil on canvas, 1870

ALEXANDER HELWIG WYANT_The Upper Susquehanna_oil on canvas_15 1_2 x 26 3_4 inches.jpg



 Alexander Helwig Wyant (1836 - 1892)

The Upper Susquehanna

oil on canvas, 1869




Herman Herzog (1832 - 1932)

Evening Campfire on the Susquehanna

oil on canvas, n.d.



After Granville Perkins (1830 - 1895)

The Susquehanna (at Hunter's Gap)

From William Cullen Bryant's "Picturesque America"

steel plate engraving, 1873

Granville Perkins - The Susquehanna (at



After George H. Smillie (1840 - 1921)

On the Susquehanna (Near Great Bend, NY)

From "Gallery of Landscape Painters - American Scenery"

steel plate engraving, 1869

George Smillie - On the Susquehanna.jpg
Currier and Ives - Valley of the Susqueh



Nathaniel Currier (1813 - 1888) and James Ives (1824 - 1895)

The Valley of the Susquehanna

large folio, hand colored lithograph, c.1870s

Julius Augustus Beck - Chickies Rock c18



Julius Augustus Beck (1831 - 1917)

Chickies Rock

watercolor, c.1898

Kuhler - Harnessing the Susquehanna, Saf
G. Book - Safe Harbor Dam 1930.jpg



Harry Martin Book (1904 - 1971)

Construction of the Safe Harbor Dam

oil on canvas, 1930



Otto Kuhler (1894 - 1977)

Harnessing the Susquehanna: Safe Harbor Dam

etching, 1930




After Daniel Garber (1880 - 1958)

The Conowingo Dam

offset lithograph, c. 1939

published by the Philadelphia Electric Company

Dehn Susquehanna 1946.webp



Adolf Dehn (1895 - 1968)

The Susquehanna (or Winding River)

stone lithograph, c. 1946



After Grif Teller (1899 - 1993)

Crossroads of Commerce

offset lithograph, 1950

calendar published by the Pennsylvania Railroad

Lehman Bridges.jpg
Lehman Route 30.jpg



John L. Lehman (1916 - 2012)

Columbia Wrightsville Bridge

oil on canvas, 1990



John L. Lehman (1916 - 2012)

Construction of the Route 30 Bridge

oil on canvas, c.1970




Rob Evans (b. 1959)


mixed media on paper, 1997

Visions of the Susquehanna Art Collection,

Susquehanna National Heritage Area




Patricia Hunsinger (b. 1960)

The River Runs Eels

screen print, 2014




Robert Patierno (b. 1949)


mixed media, 2005

Visions of the Susquehanna Art Collection,

Susquehanna National Heritage Area




Debra Bermingham (b. 1953)

Sunlight on the Susquehanna

oil and graphite on panel, 2006

Visions of the Susquehanna Art Collection,

Susquehanna National Heritage Area




Paul Caranicas (b. 1946)

Energy Sources 4: Three Mile Island - 2000

oil on canvas, 1993

Visions of the Susquehanna Art Collection,

Susquehanna National Heritage Area




Mark Innerst (b. 1957)

Old Shakey (Walnut Street Bridge)

oil on panel, 2006

Visions of the Susquehanna Art Collection,

Susquehanna National Heritage Area




Randall Exon (b. 1956)


oil on canvas, 2006

Private Collection

bottom of page