William Parrott

American, 1843–1915

Mount Hood, Crimson Sunrise, c. 1895
Oil on canvas, 37 x 33 in. (94 x 84 cm)
Whatcom Museum

In 1847, William Parrott arrived with his family in Portland, Oregon, and opened a studio there in 1867. Twenty years later, he set out to explore the landscapes of Oregon, Washington, and California. Parrott specialized in painting snowcapped mountains, and Mount Hood became his favorite subject. Although the artist realistically depicts the peak, the surrounding landscape is based on a combination of different views.

Parrott’s painting can be compared with photographs dating from 1901 and 2006 that document the retreat of Mount Hood’s Eliot Glacier. According to Keith Jackson, a Portland State University glaciologist, the seven largest of Mount Hood’s eleven glaciers have shrunk by an average of 34% since the beginning of the last century. (The Sunday Oregonian, March 26, 2006.)