The Arrival of Jean Nicolet in Michigan in 1634


Zoltan Sepeshy
Oil on Canvas
Artworks - Height: 16 ft Width: 8 ft
A group of Native American curiously greet a group of European explorers. On the right, the leader of the Europeans is wearing brightly colored Chinese-styled robes.
Historical Context:
In 1933, Zoltan Sepeshy was one of eight Michigan artist chosen to depict the one-hundred year history of his state in the Chicago Century of Progress exhibition. His gigantic canvas represented Jean Nicolet, famous as the first white man to set foot on Michigan soil, who impressed the native Indians with his colorful Chinese Mandarin robe and "thunder in his hands". Zoltan Sepeshy was born in 1898 in the old medieval city of Kassa, Hungary, now Kosice. Sepeshy attended the Royal Academy of Art in Budapest studying under Szinyei Merse Pál, known among Hungarian painters as a precursor of French Impressionism, and graduated with a Masters degree in Art and Art Education. In 1921, Sepeshy migrated to the United States, living with his uncle in Detroit. It was there that he began his teaching career in 1926. He was appointed president of the Cranbrook Academy in 1959 (first joined in 1930) and is largely responsible for the full accreditation of the institution by the North Central Association. He is represented in some thirty-five museum collections throughout the United States as well as the National Academy in Budapest and the Museum of Tel Aviv, Israel.
GVSU Collection
Getty Art and Architecture Thesaurus Term
oil paintings
Library of Congress Subjects
Current Location:
GVSU ➜ Detroit Campus ➜ Detroit Center ➜ 2nd Floor (DET)
Location Notes:
DET; 2nd Floor Stairwell