‘In the Vicinity of Ouray’



Course Instructor


‘In the Vicinity of Ouray’

            ‘In the Vicinity of Ouray’ is an artwork by Charles Partridge Adams, found in his collection of Bruce and Dorothy Dines. The exact of date of its creation remains unknown. However, this could possibly be between 1800 and the early 1900’s, because, according to the Denver Art Museum, this is the period, which Charles Adam was active (Denver Art Museum WEB). This artwork is displayed in the Denver Art Museum, and is among other artworks of Adams. Adams was one of the best artists in Colorado, and was famous for his paintings of mountain peaks (Denver Art Museum WEB).

This is a mountain painting, where he used oil paint on canvas. The painting shows a mountain peaks with ice, and is snowy. From the name of the artwork, ‘In the vicinity of Ouray,’ we can establish considerable information about this artwork. The word ‘vicinity’ means a place or an area, which surrounds or in the surrounding of a particular place. Therefore, the snowy mountain peaks in the painting are near Ouray. Nonetheless, Adams’ painting shows snowy mountain peaks within Ouray.

As mentioned, the mountain peaks are covered with considerable ice. In addition, in the painting, there is a fallen tree on the slope of one of the mountain. The mountains shown in the painting are of considerable heights, and in fact, they are in a group, thus, these could possibly be mountain ranges. The snow and ice on the mountain peaks show that this painting was taken during wintertime. If this was not painted during wintertime, then the artist painted this artwork out of his memory. If this is the case, then it seems the mountains were such a fascination to this artist, until he had to paint them.

The amount of snow on the mountain peaks is not great, therefore, it might also be true that this painting was done near the end of winter period. Since the mountains in the painting are mountain ranges, then these could possibly be the famous Rockies, which stretch to parts of the state of Colorado. Ouray, being a county in Colorado, means is close to the Rockies in Colorado.

Therefore, this painting shows the attraction of Colorado, which is the Rockies. Ouray is famous for being a tourist destination, receiving quite a big number of tourists each year. The Rockies in Ouray are part of the main tourist attractions in the small town. Today, this small town continues to receive tourists, who are attracted to the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies among other attractions such as the Ouray Ice Park, jeep roads, and sulphur-free hot springs. Al these tourist attractions have existed over the past decades through history.

Most artists create paintings that represent an important phenomenon in the environment, history, or personal life. These mountain peaks are part of the environment. Therefore, these had an important meaning to the painter, Adams. From this, it can be deduced that the Rockies in Ouray were an attraction since the historical times. The reason for this is that, this painting was created in one of the years between 1800 and 1900. Therefore, the importance of Ouray as a historical tourist attraction emerges from this painting, given it is an old painting.


Works Cited

Denver Art Museum. “Rocky Mountain Majesty: The Paintings of Charles Partridge Adams

December 16, 2012 – September 8, 2013.” <http://www.denverartmuseum.org/exhibitions/rocky-mountain-majesty>



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