Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum

Wausau, WI




The John A. and Margaret Hill Collection of American Western Art


"The John A. and Margaret Hill Collection of American Western Art" opens at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum on June 23 and continues through August 26, 2001.

As a connoisseur of American art, John Hill collected what he believed in, which was the myth of the American West. It is a myth that has shaped this nation more than any other. From it, comes our sense of magisterial landscapes dwarfing human actions, of self-reliance and hardy individualism, of reaching for the ever-expanding horizon. (left: Robert Loughheed, Taos Friends: Ben Marcus, Taos Indian, 1968, oil on panel, Hill Collection of American Western Art)

Hill grew up in Colorado, his wife, Margaret, in New Mexico. When they married in 1930, their mutual interests determined the direction of their collecting focus. The scenes they collected were common experience rather than nostalgia. For John and Margaret Hill, the myth of the American West was reality.

The collection concentrates on works of the 20th century with fine examples from the Taos Society of Artists, the Santa Fe School, and the American Regionalists. The Taos Society was composed primarily of Easterners - such as Oscar Berninghaus, E. Irving Couse, Ernest Blumenschein, and Robert Henri - who went West to see the scenery and stayed to paint it. Artists representing the Santa Fe School include Emil Bisttram, Gerald Cassidy, and Sheldon Parsons. The popular trio of Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood, among others, represent the regionalist movement.

The Hill Collection is highly personal, reflecting what John Hill describes as artworks that "bring memories of the great West with all of its romance, history, and colorful pioneering days." In their paintings, sculpture, and works on paper - whether depicting genre scenes, portraits, landscapes, adobe structures, or modes of transportation - artists of the American West touched a universal chord in the hearts of people all over the world, including John and Margaret Hill. (left: Harvey Johnson, Christmas in Montana, 1972, oil on board, Hill Collection of American Western Art)

"The John A. and Margaret Hill Collection of American Western Art" has been organized by Cheekwood-Tennessee Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art, Nashville.

See other internet resources on Taos Society of Artists, the Santa Fe Colony of Artists and American Regionalism, Images and other information on the artists mentioned above are included in the Distinguished artists section of this magazine.

Read more on the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.in Resource Library Magazine

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This page was originally published in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information. rev. 5/28/11

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