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Virginia Chism Darce 1910 - 1985
Virginia Darce, Spring Landscape, 1944 Virginia Darce, Spring Landscape, 1944
Virginia Darce, Spring Landscape, 1944 / signature and date
Signature and date ... This painting was trimmed unevenly
when we acquired it, and is displayed floated onto a
maroon matt to preserve the signature and date.
"Spring Landscape " 1944
Watercolor 15 x 19 1/2
$1,800
Virginia Chism Darce was a watercolorist and active in the Spokane, Washington area.

She contributed murals, stained glass murals, and mosaics at the historic Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, Oregon, built by the WPA in 1936 and 1937. Virginia's famed Paul Bunyan Mural was featured in the concluding episode of the PBS series, Lodges of the Pacific Northwest, which visits historic lodges at Mount Rainier, Mount Hood, Oregon Caves, and Crater Lake. Further down this page are photos of her Timberline Lodge artwork and a shot of Virginia and her assistants working on the mural. Read More
Timberline Lodge Mount Hood Oregon
Timberline Lodge, Mount Hood, Oregon
Virginia Darce, Spring Landscape, 1944

Virginia Darce, Spring Landscape, 1944
Virginia Darce creating Paul Bunyun Mural Virginia Darce Mosaic Timberline Lodge Mt Hood Oregon

More of Virginia Darce's Timberline Lodge work can be seen at

http://www.historic-hotels lodges.com/timberline-lodge.htm

Source: Davenports, and the linked site above.

We wish to learn more of Virginia Darce. If you have additional information, please contact us.


In the summer of 2016, Linda and I
visited Oregon's Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood.
We wrote about our visit in our August Newsletter, 2016

Virginia Darce with assistants working on the Paul Bunyun mosaic
Virginia Darce with assistants working on
the Timberline Lodge's Paul Bunyun mural
WPA Artist Virginia Darce and her Glass Mosaic at
Mount Hood's Timberline Lodge

In 1937, 27 year-old Virginia Darce was given an opportunity to create a Paul Bunyun mosaic mural for a bar in the WPA's Timberline Lodge, located on the snowy slopes of Oregon's Mount Hood.

At the time, Virginia probably gave no thought that 80 years hence, people would enter the Blue Ox Bar and marvel at her work. Like other WPA artists during the height of the Great Depression, she was pleased to have the work.

WPA Plaque, entrance to the Timberline Lodge Virgnia Darce at work on her Paul Bunyun Mural at the Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood in Oregon
Working inside the Blue Ox Bar,
Virginia fits glass pieces onto the mural.
Virginia Darce's signature on glass mural of Paul Bunyan in the Blue Ox Bar Timberline Lodge, Oregon
Virginia Darce Signature
Paul Bunyan Mural

Virginia had some experience working with glass. Virginia worked for the Fuller Glass Company of Portland. Previously she had done a 70 foot long mural for the Oregon City Library. When it came to creating a stained glass design for the Blue Ox Bar, she decided to do a mosaic in a technique called "opus sectile," used often in medieval and ancient mosaics where materials were cut into large irregular pieces and made into a picture. This technique is easily distinguished from the more familiar tessellated designs made of uniformly small pieces.

Virginia Darce's Glass Mural, Paul Bunyan and his Blue Ox Babe at the Timberline Inn on Mt Hood, Oregon
The famous Paul Bunyan Mural by Virginia Darce located in the Blue Ox Bar
at the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood in Oregon. It was done in 1938 as part of the WPA.
Paul Bunyan Portrait Blue Ox Bar Virgina Darce Timberline Lodge
Paul Bunyan Portrait in Glass

Side wall, Blue Ox Bar, Timberline Lodge

Entrance to the Blue Ox Bar Timberline Lodge
Cave like entrance
to the Timberline Lodge's Blue Ox Bar

Paul Bunyan and his Baby Blue Ox
Paul Bunyan and his Baby Blue Ox
Side wall, Blue Ox Bar, Timberline Lodge
Babe the Blue Ox Virinia Darce Timberline Lodge

The very bright and bold colors chosen by Virginia's for her mural really enlivened the small cave like space given for the Blue Ox Bar, noted by the rich blue of Babe the Blue Ox and the blazingly orange squares in Paul Bunyun's large flannel checker boarded shirt.

Mt Hood Oregon

Since the Blue Ox Bar opened for business, it isn't too difficult to imagine generations of Oregonians enjoying a pint or two while admiring Virginia's work after a day on Mount Hood's slopes.

After the Mount Hood project, Virginia lived in Portland where she was manager for the Skidmore Fountain Artist Association. After the war, she was active in the Los Angeles area.

Virginia Darce WPA Painting The Market
WPA era painting, Waterfront, 1938 by Virginia Darce
Fine Arts Program, Gen. Services Administration

Virginia Darce WPA Painting The Market
WPA era painting, The Market 1938 by Virginia Darce
Fine Arts Program, Gen. Services Administration
Timberline Lodge exterior
The Timberline Lodge today.

A History of the Art of the Timberline Lodge,
You may fast forward to Virginia Darce's mural, featured at 15:28 into this video.
Virginia Darce Spring Landscape Watercolor 1944
Spring Landscape 1944
, Virginia Darce
currently on view and available for sale
at Bodega Bay Heritage Gallery,
California Women Artists Exhibition
Virginia Darce's page on our site | the Timberline Lodge | Friends of the Timberline | Back to the Top