Duncanson was the first African American painter to achieve recognition at home and abroad. Although most of his career was spent in Cincinnati, he painted this calm, panoramic scene during a journey up the Mississippi River to Canada, which he likely made to escape the upheaval of the Civil War. Duncanson worked in Montreal and London, England, before returning home after the war.

Download this artwork (provided by The Cleveland Museum of Art).
Learn more about this artwork.


  • Title: View of Lake Pepin, Minnesota
  • Creator: Robert S. Duncanson (American, 1821–1872)
  • Date Created: 1862
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 38.5 x 63 x 6.5 cm (15 3/16 x 24 13/16 x 2 9/16 in.); Unframed: 30.2 x 54.5 cm (11 7/8 x 21 7/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Eric Lundberg, Tuttle's Book Shop, Rutland, VT, 1945, sold to William Macbeth, (William Macbeth, Inc., New York, NY, given to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1947.198
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Inscriptions: Signed lower left: R.S.D. / 1862; signed on verso: Valley of Lake Pepin/Minnesota/Painted By R.S.D.
  • Fun Fact: The sport of waterskiing was invented on Lake Pepin in 1922.
  • Department: American Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: America, 19th century
  • Credit Line: Gift of William Macbeth
  • Collection: American - Painting
  • Accession Number: 1947.198

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps