On view June 10-August 11, 2016
Opening Reception Sat. June 11, 5 pm
This exhibition features work from the William Rolland Collection in conjunction with works on loan from various collections. Utilizing paintings, sculpture, and drawing, the exhibit highlights on how Western-themed art influenced ideas about what America is, abroad and at home. Beginning with images of the late 19th-century frontier and early 20th-century works, the exhibition tracks the social, political, and cultural implications of these images.
Vast and desolate depictions of open terrain allowed glimpses of awe-inspiring and seemingly alien landscapes. Re-enactments performed in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West shows shaped ideas about Native- and Euro-American interactions, while images of cowboys influenced perceptions of masculinity. The exhibit culminates in the flourishing tradition of contemporary Western Art with some of the most well-respected artists in the field.
Artists featured include Roy Anderson, Richard Bacon, Kent Butler, István Benyovszky, Carole Caroompas, Nicholas Coleman, Cyrus Edwin Dallin, Glenn Dean, Tracy Felix, David Grossmann, Logan Maxwell Hagege, R.A. Heichberger, Frank Tenney Johnson, Roy Kerswill, Jan Kunz, Thomas W. Lorimer, Jeremy Lipking, Albert Micale, Donald Puttman, Billy Schenck, Harold Shelton, Oleg Stavrowsky, and Clark True.
An essay competition was hosted for students in Dr. Christine Sellin’s Art 105 course on the history of American Art. The first prize winner was Jaimilee Ruud, who wrote about the syncretization and trading of art influence between Native Americans post-Western contact, and runner-up Livia Bowman focused her paper on investigating the Rolland Gallery’s permanent collection of Harold Shelton’s series, “Epic of the Plains Indians.” For his essay “Conflicts of American Indians and European Colonists: A Fight of Faith or Provocation for Property?” John Kornet receives honorable mention.
For an interview with Jeremy Lipking, whose work is featured in the exhibit, click here.
Special thanks to our loan partners Maxwell Alexander Gallery and Western Project.
This project was partially funded by a Resident Fellowship from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming.
Image: Detail of Harold Shelton (American 1918-1999), Defender of the Dakota, bronze and metal paint on granite base, 31 x 20 x 14 inches. Part of the series “Epic of the Plains Indians” commissioned by the National Heritage Collectors Society. Collection of William Rolland.