The Paul Bunyans
Westwood, CA  •  Viola, CA  •  Klamath, CA  •  Grants Pass, OR  •  Shelton, WA  •  Puyallup, WA  •  Portland, OR

Robert Frost and Carl Sandburg told the story of Paul Bunyan. There are Paul Bunyan short stories, paintings, comic strips, and ballets. There are stained-glass panels of Paul Bunyan and his ox at Mount Hood’s Timberline Lodge, created by Works Progress Administration artists in 1938. The poet W. H. Auden and composer Benjamin Britten wrote a Paul Bunyan opera — as “bewildering and irritating a treatment of the outsize lumberman as any two Englishmen could have devised,” noted Time magazine.

Yet some of the most compelling art celebrating Paul Bunyan isn’t from established artists, but from sculptors scattered through the timber country of the Northwest. I paid a visit to these Pauls recently. Notes...