Investigating the Painted Past
'Peshtigo Fire I: Refuge in a Field'
Painted by Mel Kishner (1915-1991).
Oil on fiberboard, 1968.
Wisconsin Historical Museum object #1971.169.1.
Peshtigo Fire I: Refuge in a Field
On October 8, 1871, the day of the Great Chicago Fire, firestorms raged through the upper Great Lakes region, including a 2400-square-mile area around Peshtigo, Wisconsin. More than 1200 lives were lost and thousands of acres of the surrounding countryside and forests lay ravaged. Yet, the event is overshadowed by the calamity in Chicago.
Nearly 100 years later, Milwaukee Journal illustrator Melvin A. Kishner created a series of dramatic scenes of the great catastrophe to accompany the Journal's serialized version of the book "Fire at Peshtigo" by Robert W. Wells.
Investigate this painting by clicking on an image below.