This display of American bronzes will be the first full-scale exhibition to explore the complex aesthetic and cultural impulses behind the creation of the bronze statuettes of American western themes. Not only will it include several representative examples by iconic artists Frederic Remington (1861–1909) and Charles Marion Russell (1864–1926), the exhibition will also explore the work of sculptors who infrequently pursued western subjects–such as James Earle Fraser (1876-1953) and Paul Manship (1885-1966)–yet profoundly informed public appreciation of the western bronze statuette.
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the concept of “the vanishing West” drove many sculptors to portray incidents of western life, usually in a French-inspired style emphasizing naturalistic treatment of lively form. The rise of the American bronze casting industry in the 1850s paralleled artists’ pursuits of these themes, and the bronze medium was ideally suited to convey the complex compositions, textural variety, and narrative detail of these works. This exhibition will offer a fresh and balanced treatment of the complex roles that these artists played in creating three-dimensional interpretations of the West, whether based on fact, fiction, or something in between.
This exhibition will also travel to the Denver Art Museum (May 11 – August 31, 2014).
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