Beginning on December 12, 1954 and ending on September 30, 1956, the Seattle Times Sunday Magazine published the 42-article series "Discovery of the Pacific Northwest" by staff writer Lucile McDonald. Dramatizing the subjects, color reproductions of watercolor paintings by staff artist Parker McAllister appeared on the Magazine's cover.
McAllister's vibrant watercolors for the series depict explorers and their ships, American Indians, and historical events related to the search for the Northwest Passage and the European exploration of the Pacific Northwest coast. The complete series later appeared in the book "Search for the Northwest Passage." Longtime friends, McAllister and McDonald also collaborated in a similar way to produce "Washington's Yesterdays."
In 1963, the Seattle Times donated 120 watercolors of Pacific Northwest historical scenes painted by Parker McAllister for the Sunday Magazine Section to The Seattle Public Library including paintings from both projects. These materials are now part of Parker McAllister's Pacific Northwest collection.
This online series presents 37 of McAllister's original watercolors from the Discovery of the Pacific Northwest series. 16 of these paintings are also on display from September 23 to December 31, 2013 at the Central Library, Level 8 Gallery, as part of the exhibit "Local Color."