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  • Michael Blaser artwork

    The University of Wisconsin - La Crosse Foundation and Murphy Library have commissioned an original oil painting by acclaimed marine artist, Michael Blaser. The original painting and a framed print can be viewed at the Special Collections area of Murphy Library. A colorful brochure describes and shows the painting and offers information about ordering limited edition prints.


    The Artist

    Marine artist Michael Blaser, is a native midwesterner who has lived along the Mississippi River all his life. He has painted every major river town from St. Paul to New Orleans and Pittsburgh to Cairo. His specialty is western river steamboats and vessels on the Great Lakes. His historic paintings are featured in private and corporate collections throughout the United States. Learn more about Michael Blaser and view his works online at


    Michael Blaser with August Moon Painting

    The Endowment Fund

    This project could not have been launched except for the generous support of several donors. These donors, along with many other supporters of Murphy Library, have contributed to the library in a number of ways over the years. The Murphy Library Endowment Fund is the vehicle by which the library is able to undertake projects and purchase resources that are not covered by normal university budgets. Proceeds from the sales of August Moon go to the Endowment Fund.


    The Painting

    The painting is titled August Moon: The Steamer Avalon Arrives at La Crosse, 1950. It depicts the excursion vessel, Avalon, coming into Riverside Park on a warm summer evening in 1950. Her spotlight on the bow is shining on the levee showing a classic Old Style beer truck and the Old Style Inn (formerly the Palm Garden). Looking closely at the buildings in the shadows, you can see what once had been the banking and commerce center of the city.


    Michael Blaser, August Moon


    Availability of Prints

    This important artwork for the community of La Crosse is available in limited edition prints produced from the original oil painting. Proceeds go to the Murphy Library Endowment Fund, which supports and enhances library collections and services. The original painting and a framed print can be viewed at the Murphy Library Special Collections area. To order the print or for further information, call: 608.785.8511. To request a brochure: Brochure Request Form