Art of the American West

The West in bronze, canvas, and stone.

By National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Art of the American West (2015) by National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumNational Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Art of the American West Gallery (2015) by National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumNational Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The Vivid West

From the romantic landscapes of Albert Bierstadt to the dramatic world of Fredric Remington, the paintings, sculptures, and drawings in the Art of the American West Gallery tell an epic tale of human determination, triumph, and tragedy.

Emigrants Crossing the Plains (1867) by Albert Bierstadt (1830 1902)National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

On an expedition in 1859, German artist Albert Bierstadt fell in love with the American West. This led to a series of panoramic paintings that established him as a proponent of the "romantic sublime."

Bierstadt declared the American Rockies to be the equal of the European Alps.

Minute details combined with moody, deistic lighting won Bierstadt fame and fortune.

Although he placed a cow skull and bones prominently in the foreground of the painting, Bierstadt downplayed the harsh realities of the journey, creating idealized visions of a westward migration.

Emigrants Crossing the Plains, From the collection of: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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Art of the American West Gallery (Remington display) (2015) by National Cowboy & Western Heritage MuseumNational Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Frederic
Remington 

In 1892, art critic William Coffin noted that more than any other source, Frederic Remington’s paintings were chiefly responsible for easterners’ conceptions of what the Far‑Western life is like.

The Buffalo Signal (1901) by Frederic Remington (1861 1909)National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

The Museum's collection holds seven of Remington's bronze subjects, including "The Buffalo Signal," which is a unique cast Remington gifted to his friend French Devereux.

The bronze represents the moment at which an Indian scout waves a buffalo robe, signaling the beginning of the hunt.

Fredric Remington: The Sculptor, From the collection of: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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Red Man's Wireless, Charles M. Russell (1864 1926), 1916, From the collection of: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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The Leader's Downfall, William R. Leigh (1866 1955), 1946, From the collection of: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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Morning of a New Day, Henry Farny (1847 1916), 1907, From the collection of: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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Buffalo Hunt, Charles (Carl) Wimar (1828 1862), 1860, From the collection of: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
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Credits: Story

Come explore the West at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Exhibit produced by,
John Spencer, Director of Media & Content Production, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Grant Leatherwood, Manager of Media & Content Production, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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