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Painters and the American West, Vol. 2

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Painters and the American West, Vol. 2
American Museum of Western Art / The Anschutz Collection. Contributors include Sarah A. Hunt, James P. Ronda, Joan Carpenter Troccoli, John Wilmerding. (American Museum of Western Art, Denver: 2013. Distributed by the University of Oklahoma Press. Pg. 344. 150 Color Illustrations.) ISBN: 978-0-9881-7740-6.

A History in Review Book of the Week Selection

Reviewed by Harry S. Chou - September 23, 2013

This gorgeous coffee-tabled sized book provides a compelling, graphical survey of Western art - both from the viewpoint of western artists and how others, including Europeans, imagined the American West. Painters and the American West, Vol. 2 contains 150 full-color reproductions of artwork found in the American Museum of Western Art. The artwork is greatly enhanced by the inclusion of in-depth but readable essays that bring the history of these paintings to life.

Painters and the American West, Vol. 2 is the sequel to Painters and the American West was released in 2000. Like the first volume, this book includes samples from the great Western Masters such as Remington, Russell, and O'Keeffe as well as a sampling of some of the newest editions to the museum, including works by Alfred Jacob Miller, Charles Deas, William Ranney, Emanuel Leutze, Thomas Eakins, Thomas Anshutz, Henry Farny, N. C. Wyeth, William Herbert "Buck" Dunton, and Edward Hopper.

The books forward, written by Sarah Hunt, the director of the American Museum of Western Art, explores the history of The Anschutz Collection. All the paintings depicted in this book are part of the Anschutz Collection, and Hunt explains the importance of this art collection for both historians and artists, and as an educational resource.

This is followed by an introductory essay by James P. Ronda, H. G. Barnard Professor of West American History at the University of Tulsa. A respected historian, Ronda's essay explores the history of the American West, and how artist renderings of Western scenes influenced American attitudes toward the West. Ronda's essay provides the reader with a solid historical foundation from which to view the paintings in this book, and to understand the broader political and social implications of these works.

Also included in this book is an informative section by Joan Carpenter Troccoli that provides an even more in-depth overview on individual works. As well, John Wilmerding provides a literary and cultural overview of the works contained in this collection. Throughout, you'll also find descriptions and annotations about the various paintings that provide the reader / viewer with additional information, providing you with the next best experience that you are likely to find short of taking a trip to Denver, Colorado and visiting the American Museum of Western Art in person!

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