Opening September 19, 2009, the Amon Carter Museum presents Views and Visions: Prints of the American West, 1820–1970. The exhibition, on view through January 10, 2010, showcases approximately 120 prints and illustrated books from the museum’s permanent collection.
After Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902), Drawn on stone by Jacob Lutz. Printed by Kell Bros., Published by Thomas McLean. The Rocky Mountains Lander’s Peak, 1869. Chromolithograph. Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas 1968.40
American artists saw and experienced the western frontier in different ways and with varied perspectives. This exhibition features prints from the past two centuries, representing a myriad views and visions of the American West.
“While the works will be arranged by subjects familiar to the viewer—nature, wildlife, native peoples and non-native settlement—they will reflect broader aspects,” says Rick Stewart, the Carter’s senior curator of western paintings and sculpture and curator of Views and Visions.
“One of the most interesting features in the exhibition will be the juxtaposition of particular works,” Stewart continues, “sometimes made more than a century apart, that will show curious similarities or intriguing differences in artistic vision.”
Included in the exhibition are the first eyewitness renderings of Yosemite Valley, the summit of the Sierra Nevada and the iconic Mountain of the Holy Cross. From these early landscapes and portraits of western denizens, the show progresses deep into the 20th century with works by Leonard Baskin, Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry and Grant Wood.
“As this exhibition will show, some American artists viewed the West in its mythic enlargement,” says Stewart, “while others attempted to infuse their mythic visions with a harsher reality. Yet even today, the appeal of the mythic vision of the American West remains widespread.”