Special Collections & University Archives

Cedar panels in Paulson Reading Room

Clough cedar panelThe Paulson Reading Room includes two large works carved from inch-thick Oregon cedar. Art Clough was the designer and lead carver, assisted by Ross McClure and apprentice Jim de Broekert. Each of the works is a triptych with a bottom frieze. At the center of each panel is a mountain framed by tall conifers, with a bridge-like span of mist depicting events of previous eras.

West triptych (shown at left)

Left panel: "Trails in the shadow of Mount Hood." Forest telephone lines being installed; a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) trail improvement crew at work; a government mule pack train; recreational hikers. In the mist above, pioneers with covered wagons cross the Barlow Trail on the south slope of Mount Hood.

Central panel: "Halcyon days at the foot of Mount Jefferson." A tourist campoground with CCC camp improvement crew at work. In the mist span, Indians and fur traders negotiate.

Right panel: "Below the spires of Three-Fingered Jack." A CCC crew constructs a lookout tower, with an old "crows nest" lookout atop a tree beside it. In the mist railway surveyors and their pack animals are at work.

Frieze: "Release of youth from Depression conditions." Scenes of urban poverty and desperation.

East triptych

Left panel: "Mount Washington." A road crew replacing a trail. In the mist, frontiersmen meeting mounted Indians.

Central panel: "The Three Sisters." People relaxing at a CCC construction camp, with a mapping class. In the mist, a work crew getting a wagon over a trail.

Right panel: "Mount Thielsen." Construction of a bridge, with government mules fording the deep river below. In the mist, a stagecoach traveling at speed.

Frieze: "Release of youth from Depression conditions." Scenes of urban poverty and desperation.

Other Resources:

Register Guard Article,"Oregon History in Cedar," April 5, 2012, by Bob Keefer

Oregon Quarterly, "Stories Carved in Cedar," Summer 2013, Vol. 92, no. 4,  by Kenneth O'Connell