Nostalgia for an American West

High in the Sierras
High in the Sierras, 1931
Frank Tenney Johnson
Oil painting
Lent by artist
Gift of the Ball Brothers Foundation
Capturing a unique moment in American history, Nostalgia for an American West, is a thought-provoking exhibition that focuses on romantic vistas and cowboy heroes, images of the American Indian as seen through white eyes, and selections of Native American art and handicrafts that reflect the emerging cultural dialog between Indians and white settlers.

Selected works of art from the private collection of Leland and LaRita Boren, make up one part of the tripartite exhibition. The Borens are collectors of cowboy art, most made after World War II, Director Peter Blume said.

“We can see in many of these works of art a nostalgia for an earlier and idealized history of the American West,” Blume said.

Other features include works from the museum’s collection, including paintings by Frank Tenney Johnson and bronze sculptures by Paul Manship and Cyrus Edwin Dallin. A third aspect of the exhibition includes crafts of Native American artists selected to give a sense of the dialog Native Americans were having with the white settlers. “These items were designed for trade or made with materials furnished by European settlers, often incorporating motifs like American flags,” Blume said.

Exhibition Date: May 11, 2007 - August 18, 2007