Jackson, WY, through April 28, 2013
This story was featured in the November 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Order the Southwest Art November 2012 print edition here, or purchase the Southwest Art November 2012 digital download here. Or simply subscribe to Southwest Art magazine and never miss a story!
The National Museum of Wildlife Art was founded in 1984, and today it is home to more than 5,000 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper. The museum is also an important educational center with a mission to foster programs emphasizing American history, natural science, and art history and appreciation. This month the museum carries on its long-standing traditions with an exhibition of 75 photographs depicting the West, mostly taken by National Geographic photographers. The exhibit, titled National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West, is on view simultaneously at nine other top museums across the country, including the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA; the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, OK; the Eiteljorg Museum in Indianapolis, IN; and the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, WY. “This is the first time we know of that so many museums opened the same exhibition on the same day. It demonstrates the collective value of museums, and it also points to the significance of the cultural resources represented by iconic organizations like National Geographic,” says James C. McNutt, president and CEO of the wildlife museum. “The American West happened to be a terrific place for photographers and for a worldwide audience, and this show tries to show the impact of that circumstance.”
The exhibition is the brainchild of McNutt and of Colorado-based photographer Rich Clarkson. Viewers can expect to see intimate and powerful glimpses into the country’s last frontier over a span of some 125 years. Each museum features different photographs with subject matter ranging from Joshua trees in California’s Death Valley to a modern-day cowboy carrying an oversize mailbox across a rural dirt road near Dubois, WY.
A 304-page book, National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West: Capturing 125 Years of Majesty, Spirit, and Adventure, was published in October in conjunction with the opening of the show. Divided into four chapters—Legends, Encounters, Boundaries, and Visions—the images in the book, like those in the show, portray both the enduring myths and the compelling realities of life in the West. —Bonnie Gangelhoff
Featured in the November 2012 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art magazine November 2012 digital download
Southwest Art magazine November 2012 print edition
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