Art of Discovery
It’s impossible to miss our extraordinary collection of Native American and Northwest art located throughout our property. This collection gives our guests the opportunity to learn more about the art and people of our native region.
Stop by the front desk to pick up a copy of our Art of Discovery Brochure or download a PDF of the Tour Brochure to use as your guide.
Art Lovers Special
After you’ve finished the tour, stop by River Rock and tell us about your favorite piece. We’ll reward you with 10% off our Garnier Chardonnay or Garnier Pinot Noir, an offer reserved exclusively for art lovers like you.
Let's Begin the Tour
While there are hundreds of pieces of art throughout the Lodge’s public spaces, we’ll focus this tour on some of the highlights and more prominent works. Feel free to enjoy it all and stop along the way. To help you identify each piece described on this tour, we’ve included a numbered plaque next to the featured pieces. In addtion, step out on the front lawn to admire one of Skamania's most unique artifacts, the Skamania Sundial.
Ceramic Art by Raymond and Jere Grimm
In one of Skamania Lodge’s most unique collections, ceramic artists Raymond and Jere Grimm share the ancient Native American mythology behind the Bridge of the Gods. Accompanied by written explanations, the Grimm works are intriguing handcrafted ceramic pieces representative of geological formations. This magnificent collection provides a visual history of one of our most important regional landmarks.
Oil on Canvas by Carl Morris
Certainly one of Skamania’s most well-known works is the colorful and engaging Intersecting Light Series, an oil painting by the Pacific Northwest’s own Carl Morris. Now known throughout the United States and Europe, Morris’s successful art career was interestingly founded on a variety of mundane positions he held, including that of a carpenter, truck driver and lifeboat builder.
Oil on Canvas by Douglas Campbell Smith
Bright, cheerful colors celebrate the majesty of the eastern Oregon plains in our collection’s oil on canvas by Douglas Campbell Smith. A professor of art and eventual resident of The Dalles, Campbell Smith’s Shadow Buttes captures perfectly the interesting environment and geology located just east of Skamania Lodge.
Oil on Canvas by John Simon
Purchased for Skamania Lodge in 1993, our large painting by John Simon celebrates the study of light and water on canvas. The work is an engaging celebration of the lively streams that feed the Columbia River. A well-regarded artist from Mount Vernon, Washington, Simon’s work is found in many of the best private and corporate collections here in the Pacific Northwest.
Petroglyph Rubbings by Jeannie Hillis
The visual stories of our region’s early Native Americans are, sadly, now under water. Fortunately, many are preserved forever here at Skamania Lodge. The cornerstone of our expansive art collection, hundreds of petroglyph rubbings crafted by the late artist, Jeanne Hillis, can be found throughout the entire property. Acquired on behalf of Skamania Lodge in 1965, Hillis’s detailed rubbings depict the daily lives and interesting beliefs of our native heritage.
Prints by Marilyn Bolles
We’re pleased to have among our collection two coveted works by the Gorge’s native daughter, Marilyn Bolles. Her passion for her homeland and its history are evident in Lewis and Clark Camp and Columbia Gorge Mist, black and while illustrations that evoke a sense of connection between our region and America’s past.
Roy Setziol Carvings Turn 25 in 2018
One of the Pacific Northwest’s most prolific sculpting and wood carving artists, Roy Setziol was commissioned to contribute a commemorative wood carving for the opening of the resort, 25 years ago. The resulting panel is one that changes form subtly based on the changing light. In addition to being a wonderful example of Northwest wood carving, Setziol’s piece reflects the spirit and style of wood carving techniques used by Native American tribes who once lived throughout the Columbia River Gorge.
Tapestry Art by Monica Setziol-Phillips
The Salish weavers of the Pacific Northwest provided the inspiration for the materials and geometrical designs for Monica Setziol-Phillips’s Mahogany and Wool Tapestry. The wood accents compliment the weaving and are used to express the complexities of navigating the Gorge prior to the advent of modern transportation. Setziol-Phillips is the daughter of wood carver Roy Setziol, and remains a popular and active artist in the Pacific Northwest.
Wood Carvings by Chief Lelooska
Skamania Lodge’s business center is home to numerous original woodcarvings, one of the most impressive of which is a beautiful totem, carved in Northwest red cedar by the late Chief Don Lelooska. Chief Lelooska helped keep alive the traditions and culture of the Pacific Northwest’s coastal tribes until his death in 1996. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the carver of the world’s highest one-piece totem, a 140-foot pole.
The Skamania Sundial
While gazing out towards Skamania's most renowned view of the Columbia River Gorge, guests may notice an interesting devise sitting out on the front lawn. Designed by the late John Bear, the Skamania Sundial is one of the property's most unique artifacts. While working very closely with Skamania Lodge developer John Gray, Bear integrated this particular sundial design with the landscape of the site.
How Does It Work?
Through the last four millenia, sundials have traditionally meausred sun time. However, as we now have become to rely on clocks, these old fashioned sundials seem to most both unreliable and outdated. Facinating enough, the Skamania sundial measures clock time and in fact can be used to set a wristwatch.
The Skamania sundial has a device that casts a shoadow of chaning width as the year progresses through the seasons. The view reads the edge of the shadow rather than its center. The fiberglass device that casts the shadow is called a gnomon and its "figure eight" of "bowling pin" shape is known as an analemma. The bronze plaque on the south side of the sundial tells which side of the shadow gives the correct time at any particular date in the year. The gnomon is moutned on a steel rod that is positioned at 45.7 degres (local latitude) from horizantal in a north-south deirection. It is exactly parallel to the earth's axis and therefore points to the north celestial pole. At night one can sight updward along this axis and discover the north star, Polaris.
The time of day is shown in both Standard and Daylight times on a semicircular steel scale six feet in diameter. The scale is perpendicular to the gnomon axis and therefore parallel to the earth's equator; so the sundial is like a miniature earch, turning once a day and always aimed at the same point, celestial north.