Paintings as Evidence of the Past | Wisconsin Historical Society

Online Exhibit

Framed! Investigating the Painted Past

Paintings as Evidence of the Past | Wisconsin Historical Society
EnlargePainting of firefighters combatting the great Peshtigo fire.

Peshtigo Fire I: Refuge in a Field, 1871

Painted by Mel Kishner (1915-1991). Oil on fiberboard, 1968. Museum object 1971.169.1

In this online exhibit you'll learn how the Wisconsin Historical Society recognized the importance of visual works of art as documents of history and began to commission and collect paintings in 1854. Discover how paintings provide historical clues about the activities, attitudes, ideas, interests, prejudices, and status of the people who made and used them.

View the Exhibit

People Featured in This Exhibit
  • Carl Arneson
  • George Caleb Bingham
  • Samuel Marsden Brookes
  • Samuel Marsden Brookes
  • Ole Borneman Bull
  • Black Hawk
  • George Armstrong Custer
  • Edwin Willard Deming
  • Colonel Henry Dodge
  • Dr. Amos C. Hamlin, Jr.
  • Mark Robert Harrison
  • Mark Robert Harrison
  • Ikutauam (Austin E. Quinney)
  • Chief Iometah (Augustin Carron)
  • Lavern Kammerude
  • Melvin A. Kishner
  • Seferina Contreras Klinger
  • Moses Kneeland
  • Ellen Clarinda Martin Kneeland
  • James Henry Lockwood
  • Nellie Jane Manning
  • Morgan Lewis Martin
  • Robert Laird McCormick
  • Mildred McQuillan
  • Gertrude Hutchings Mills
  • Jean Nicolet
  • Randall Palmer
  • Vinnie Ream
  • Florantha Thompson Sproat
  • Granville T. Sproat
  • Abram Ross Stanley
  • Thomas H. Stevenson
  • James Reeve Stuart
  • Cephas Thompson
  • Sara Thorp
  • Robert W. Wells