Elevating Western American Art: Developing an Institution in the Cultural Capital of the Rockies | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/elevating-western-american-art-developing-institution-cultural-capital-rockies[12/8/2015 9:45:31 AM] Home Elevating Western American Art: Developing an Institution in the Cultural Capital of the RockiesElevating Western American Art: Developing an Institution in the Cultural Capital of the RockiesSubmitted by nwharton on 7-31-2012 02:17 PMAuthor: Marlene Chambers Publishing: Norman, OK: University Press of Oklahoma, 2012. Reviewer: Robert W. Larson Elevating Western American Art: Developing an Institution in the Cultural Capital of the Rockies edited by Thomas Brent Smith with an introduction by Marlene Chambers, is an insightful and comprehensive look at western American art, including artworks on display at the Denver Art Museum. The art book effectively advances the proposition that the Denver Art Museum has played a major role in making the city a cultural center for the geographically vast Rocky Mountain region. The museum, located north of New Mexico, which has a smaller population than Colorado but claims to be the third largest art market in the United States, evolved from the pioneering Artists Club founded on December 4, 1893. It not only grew but inspired other art venues in Denver to grow, too, such as the recently opened Philip Anschutz western art collection, now known as the American Museum of Western Art; the Collection of the Kirkland Museum of Fine and Decorative Art; and the newly constructed Clyfford Still Museum adjacent to the Denver Art Museum. An especially informative part of this 320-page book with its beautiful color art reproductions is Marlene Chamberss discussion of the personalities most responsible for the growth of the museums western art collections. These include fine arts specialists such as Lewis I. Sharp, former curator for the American Wing of New Yorks Metropolitan Museum of Art, who served as the Denver museums director from 1989 to 2009. Another transplanted art scholar was Joan Carpenter Troccoli, who was hired as curator of exhibitions at the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, before coming to Denver. She became director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art about the same time that the museum received its prestigious William and Dorothy Harmsen collection of western art. Another key person responsible for the growth of the museums western art collection is the man for whom the Petrie Institute is named, Thomas A. Petrie, a museum trustee whose love of western art was inspired by Charles M. Russells paintings. Other people involved in the development of the Petrie Institute are the museums Renaissance man, Peter H. Hassrick, who began his long and varied career at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas; Ann Scarlett Daley, an associate director at the Petrie Institute from 2001 to 2008; and Thomas Brent Smith, the Institutes current director and editor of Elevating Western American Art The cooperation of these key people is matched by the cooperation of several of the museums departments outside the field of western art; there is, for example, a Japanese wood-block print of El Capitan located in Californias Yosemite Valley (141) and a New Mexico altarpiece from the museums Spanish colonial collection (268). EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanCasimiro Barela, state senator for over 37 years, fought to ensure Colorados first constitution was published in English, Spanish and German.
Elevating Western American Art: Developing an Institution in the Cultural Capital of the Rockies | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/elevating-western-american-art-developing-institution-cultural-capital-rockies[12/8/2015 9:45:31 AM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Most of the book is devoted to thirty essays written by noted art historians who deal with prominent artists and their creative artworks. Thomas H. Hassricks essays focus on Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Eakins, and Taos artist E. Martin Hennings, and Thomas Brent Smith writes about Plains Indian photographer James Bama and Robert Henrione of the leading proponents of modern American art. Other artists profiled in this book include landscape painter Thomas Moran by Kathleen Stuart; George Catlin by Joan Carpenter Troccoli; Charles M. Russell by Brian W. Dippie; Frederic Remington by Lewis I. Sharp; Charles Deas by Carol Clark; landscape artist Alfred Jacob Miller by Karen E. Brooks; and Marsden Hartley by Heather Hole. Art subjects dealt with in this book include cowboys in American art by B. Byron Price; modernist American painters, such as Georgia OKeefe, by Emily Ballew Neff; early landscapes of the Colorado frontier by Nicole A. Parks; Colorado artists and printers during the period between World War I and World War II by Hugh Grant; and painters of the Taos art colony in New Mexico by Marie Watkins. Other art historians who have contributed essays for this study are Ronald Y. Otsuka, Don Stinson, Timothy J. Standing, Gwen F. Chanzit, Dean Sobel, Micah Messenheimer, Jill Diamond, Ann Scarett Daly, Darren Alfred, Nancy J. Blomberg, Christopher Heinrich, and Donna Pierce. Elevating Western Art is an elegant book which readers would definitely want to keep for its striking art reproductions. It has informative notes after each of the thirty essays. The lack of an index is its only shortcoming. This volume should be a great guide for the Denver Art Museums many patrons and visitors. Reviewer Info: Robert Larson, professor emeritus of history at the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley is currently working on a biography of Taos artist Ernest L. Blumenschein for the University of Oklahoma Press. After finishing a history of the University of Northern Colorado in 1989, he published biographies of two Lakota Sioux chiefs, Red Cloud and Gall. Earlier studies by Larson include two monographs on the Populist movement in the West and one on the statehood movement in New Mexico, published in 1968.