Picturing the American West – A Tour of the Sid Richardson Museum Collection – Saturday, August 21, 2021

Published by Fort Worth on

An Exhibit Tour by Director of the Sid Richardson Museum, Scott Winterrowd 

Saturday, August 21, 2021 at 10:30am

Free. RSVP (limit 15 registrants) https://www.eventbrite.com/e/picturing-the-american-west-a-tour-of-the-sid-richardson-museum-tickets-161354374277

Photo courtesy of the Sid Richardson Museum

The tour covers works by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, as well as other artists of the time. These artists depicted the westward expansion into the prairies and mountains of the west. The 4 themes of the exhibit include (text from the SRM website):

The Bison and Plains Indian Culture – Central to the lives of the Plains Indian peoples was the bison hunt. In this section of the exhibit, most of the works are made by Charles Russell who specialized in painting and sculpting the drama and energy of the hunt alongside one of Frederic Remington’s late masterworks capturing dynamic movement, Buffalo Runners—Big Horn Basin, 1909. This grouping also examines four paintings by Russell that show his treatment of the role of Plains Indian women in relation to the hunt painted over a twenty-year period.

Western Archetypes – Centered around an image of Buffalo Bill Cody, the characters in this section of the exhibition carved out the trails west from the expedition of Lewis and Clark to those who set out in search of fortune, and sped up communication across the continent.  Buffalo Bill is the west personified, and through his Wild West Show that began in the early 1880s he and his cast created the drama and excitement of the west that passed into the twentieth century through the artists displayed here and through film and later television. In his own lifetime, Cody became a legend that young boys like Russell read about and idealized.

Cowboys and Native Americans – The conflicts between “cowboys and Indians” are more myth than reality developed out of the imagination of dime store novel authors and the popular “Westerns” of film and television. Most of the images in this section reflect a time before, while two of the works capture life on reservations made shortly after the end of the open plains when the time of the bison was no more.

Twilight into Night – Sunset, twilight, and night have long been used metaphorically in works of art. These settings were often employed by western artists to communicate their nostalgia for the passing of the Old West. The passage of sunset into night can be seen in this grouping as the golden glare at the end of day gives way to lavender shadows and descends into cool blues, inky blacks, and lurid greens.

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