A Celebration of the American West at the Denver Art Museum

A few Sundays ago, I found myself alone in Denver, Colorado with a few free hours on my hands.  Not wanting to waste such a perfect opportunity for adventure, I made my way downtown to the acclaimed Denver Art Museum for an afternoon of cultural edification.  I spent an entire afternoon wandering the galleries of the fortress-like North Building.  Security basically had to kick me out at closing time.  Cultural edification accomplished.

What a great museum!  I enjoyed all the exhibits I encountered – Asian, European and American, Pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, American Indian, and the Northwest Coast.  The pottery collections, in particular, are outstanding.  My favorite galleries by far, though, are the Western American exhibits.  Perhaps because I was in “The West” (Colorado is quintessential western America after all), I was in a frame of mind to be particularly drawn to the subjects and settings.  Or, maybe it was just the passion, creativity, and artistry displayed in the pieces.  Whatever the reason for my fascination, I spent a great deal of time in the Western galleries, admiring and photographing what I saw.

I thought I’d share a tiny sampling of the artwork from the Western American galleries with you.  Personally, I believe the artists represented here pay creative and beautiful homage to the unique history and culture of the American West.  What do you think?

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{ The Open Range by William Herbert Dunton, 1911(?) }

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{ Jack Knife by Ed Mell, 2009 }

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{ Cowgirl and Bronco by Regina Winifred Mulroney, 1945 }

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{ Wide Lands of the Navajo by Maynard Dixon, 1945 }

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{ Two Champs by Harry Jackson, 1974 }

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{ Orion by Deborah Butterfield, 1988 }

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{ Flight by E. Martin Hennings }

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{ Ranch Near Rocky Ridge by Howard Post??? – I’m not sure about the title or artist… }

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{ Big Horn Sheep by Carl Clemens Moritz Rungius, n.d. }

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{ Buffalo (Monarch of the Plains) by Henry M. Shrady, 1900 }

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{ Buffalo Hunt by Charles Marion Russell, 1897 }

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{ Chief of the Multnomah Tribe by Hermon Atkins MacNeil, 1905 }

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{ Eagle Fan by Ernest L. Blumenschein, 1915 }

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The Rendezvous by E. Martin Hennings, about 1930 }

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{ The Stone Age in America by John J. Boyle, 1886 }

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{ A gallery in the Hamilton Building – Andy Warhol’s The American Indian (Russell Means), 1976 is in the middle of the wall }

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{ Young Plains Indian by James Bama, 1980 }

If you are ever in the Denver area and if museums are your thing, I highly recommend a visit to the Denver Art Museum.  You will not be disappointed.

10 thoughts on “A Celebration of the American West at the Denver Art Museum

    1. I hope you get the opportunity to visit Denver and the museum. I think it would be a very interesting exercise to compare and contrast the cultures of New Zealand and the American West. Thanks for reading!

    1. I like him, too. I wish I cuold have shown the complete statue but my photo didn’t turn out. The lighting in the museum was not the greatest for shooting photographs. Oh well, you’ll just have to come and see for yourself. 🙂

    1. It is worth putting on your list if you are in the area. The museum also has an entire floor dedicated to Native American life and artifacts if you are interested in that type of thing. I really enjoyed my time there.

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