Bowers Museum of Cultural Art

Santa Ana, CA


photos, ©1999 John Hazeltine


Remington, Russell and the Language of Western Art

July 7 -September 16, 2001


The enduring myth of the Wild West comes to life as the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art joins The Trust for Museum Exhibitions (TME) in the national tour of Remington, Russell and the Language of Western Art. On view at the Bowers Museum from July 7 to September 16, 2001, this exhibition explores the lives and legacies of Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, considered the two quintessential creators of Western American art, through about 100 paintings, bronzes, sketches and pieces of historical memorabilia.

"This exhibition brings together two of the most celebrated visual documentarians of the American West, gathered from some of the most prestigious collections of Western Americana from around the country," said Peter Keller, Bowers Museum president. In conjunction with the exhibition, the Bowers is hosting a lecture series on the American West, a classic film series and special family events.

Although they never met, Remington and Russell were constantly compared during and after their lifetimes, both by the public and the press. Though together the works of these two artists have determined popular views of the American West, Remington and Russell approached their subjects from different viewpoints. Remington was a Yale University-trained artist who spent most of his life on the East Coast, while Russell was self-taught and worked as a cowboy.

One of the strengths of the exhibition is the generosity of its 52 lenders, permitting a superb selection of objects from public and private sources. The lenders constitute all of the finest Western Americana collections in the United States, including the Amon Carter Museum, the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the C.M. Russell Museum, the Frederic Remington Art Museum and the Charles M. Russell Center at the University of Oklahoma.

The guest curator for this show is noted Western scholar Peter Hassrick, the Charles Marion Russell Professor of American Western Art and director of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of the American West, at the University of Oklahoma in Norman. Hassrick was the founding director of The Georgia O'Keefe Museum in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For 20 years prior, he served as director of the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. A fully illustrated, all-color catalogue written by Hassrick accompanies the exhibition.

The exhibition premiered on November 16, 2000 at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, where it remained on view through January 28, 2001. Subsequent venues include the Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida (February 16-April 4, 2001); the Portland (Oregon) Art Museum (April 26-June 24, 2001); the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art, Santa Ana, California (July 7-September 16, 2001) and the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, Norman, Oklahoma (October 5-December 9, 2001).

Remington, Russell and the Language of Western Art was organized by The Trust for Museum Exhibitions, Washington, DC, a nonprofit service organization committed to providing the finest in exhibitions and technical support to museums and cultural centers throughout the United States and abroad.

See our earlier article on this exhibition tour, including images and an essay segment by Peter Hassrick, at Remington, Russell and the Language of Western Art (11/22/00)

Read more about the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art 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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