Exhibition_The American West in Bronze
December 18, 2013–April 13, 2014
At the turn of the twentieth century, artistic representations of American Indians, cowboys and cavalry, pioneers and prospectors, and animals of the plains and the mountains served as visual metaphors for the Old West and, as such, were collected eagerly by an urban-based clientele. Through some sixty-five bronze sculptures by twenty-eight artists, this exhibition will explore the aesthetic and cultural impulses behind the creation of statuettes with American western themes so popular with audiences then and now. In addition to representative sculptures by such archetypal artists as Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, the exhibition will explore the work of sculptors who infrequently pursued western subjects—such as James Earle Fraser and Paul Manship—yet profoundly informed widespread appreciation of the American bronze statuette. The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925 will offer a fresh and balanced look at the multifaceted roles played by these sculptors in creating three-dimensional interpretations of western life, whether those interpretations are based on historical fact, mythologized fiction, or, most often, something in between.