Lloyd Branson’s lost King’s Mountain painting

UPDATE 11/8/15: Well, apparently the painting discussed below wasn’t the work of Lloyd Branson, after all.  Although some sources attribute the Imperial’s King’s Mountain scene to Branson, contemporary reports claim it was the work of James W. Wallace, another Tennessee artist who was one of Branson’s students.

The good news is that—as you may have noticed—I managed to restore my nifty header image of the overmountain men’s muster at Sycamore Shoals, which kicked off the events leading to the Battle of King’s Mountain.  I’ve discussed this painting and why I like it before, so I’m glad to have a segment of it gracing the top of the blog again.

Here’s the bad news.  Lloyd Branson, the East Tennessee artist who produced this beautiful piece, also painted a scene of the actual battle, which decorated the lobby of Knoxville’s swanky Hotel Imperial.  (An early travel booklet described the Imperial as “beautifully furnished,” and noted that the food was particularly good.)  During WWI the hotel went up in flames and took Branson’s King’s Mountain painting with it.  The loss of the Imperial inspired three Knoxvillians to build a brand-new hotel which opened shortly thereafter, but of course nobody could replace Branson’s canvas.

I’ve been unable to find a picture or description of it.  It’s a shame we don’t have the other “bookend” of Branson’s visual depiction of the King’s Mountain expedition, especially since the muster painting is one of Tennessee’s definitive historical artworks.


Filed under American Revolution, Tennessee History

4 responses to “Lloyd Branson’s lost King’s Mountain painting

  1. Pingback: Bad dude, small world | Past in the Present

  2. Pingback: Lloyd Branson’s art at the East Tennessee Historical Society | Past in the Present

  3. robert rhea earnest

    Here is some info I tried to send but must have your email wrong: From my name, Robert Rhea Earnest, you may recognize my roots. My Ancestor,
    Henry settled in what was then Washington County, North Carolina but is now
    Greene County Tennessee in 1770 or so. He built the Earnest Blockhouse
    which is the oldest house in Tennessee and he and his sons developed five
    large plantations on the Nolichucky which, in part, make up the Earnest
    Farms Historic District. Henry’s son was Felix. At 18 yrs of age he fought
    with John Sevier at the Battle of Kings Mountain. He rose to the rank of
    Ensign and fought Indians with Sevier off and on for several years after
    Kings Mountain. In his younger days he was described as evil and wicked but
    he had a conversion event and became a respected preacher and was
    instrumental in founding the first permanent church in the area Ebenezer
    Methodist on land he or his father donated. Most of my ancestors are buried
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    Historical Society Museum has our most famous relic: the pistol John Sevier
    gave to Felix.

    Our family has multiplied and we now count more than 80,000 cousins. We
    have a family reunion about every 10 years. Willamina Williams is our
    family custodian of information and I can give you her address if you wish.
    She keeps the keys to the Blockhouse. I live near Charleston, SC in the
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