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Window on the West: Views from the American Frontier, the Phelan Collection


The exhibition presents the West as a newly minted place -- a land of surprise, quick settlement and authentic grandeur, as seen by the artists who personally explored the West and visually documented what they discovered. Approximately sixty paintings from the Arthur J. Phelan Collection were selected to give an historically accurate cross-section of what really happened during the expansion of the West. The paintings depict the people who moved west from the Mississippi, the land they passed through and chose for their new homes, and the settlements they created. They examine how the West was gradually transformed over the decades as the continent filled and the frontier receded, then disappeared. (right: James Stuart, Eastern Oregon Cattle Ranch, 1881, oil oin artist's board, from the Arthur J. Phelan Collection)

Included in the exhibition are works by noteworthy artists Frederic Remington, Carl Wimar, Alfred Jacob Miller, Karl Bodmer, and Josef Bakos, as well as, Lone Wolf who was believed to be the first academically trained Native American artist.

The exhibition will be on view in the Museum's Holmes Gallery through Sunday, June 12, 2003.


In order to provide further information about the exhibit, the Museum has provided the following wall panel text:


Views from the American Frontier

The frontier spirit is part of America's birthright, and the most tangible expression of that spirit has been the march westward throughout our 19th century history. For American pioneers the West held the promise of new lands and opportunities. In turn, visual artists sought to capture the drama of the land and its bold inhabitants. These 60 paintings from the Arthur J. Phelan Collection were selected to give an historically accurate cross-section of what really happened in the expansion of the West. Included are works by well-known artists such as Frederic Remington and Karl Bodmer, as well as the views of lesser-known men and women artists personally recording what they observed in the newly founded country. The Phelan Collection demonstrates an interest in the visualization of the past with an emphasis and focus on the artists' documentation of the westward expansion. The paintings in this exhibition center around three general themes: the majestic landscape of the West, the settlements into once open territory, and the individuals who populated the frontier. This Window on the West presents a balanced, thoughtful view from the artists themselves.

Read more articles and essays concerning this institutional source by visiting the sub-index page for the Vero Beach Museum of Art in Resource Library Magazine.

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 2003 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

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