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Legends of the West: The Foxley Collection
November 11, 2006 - February 25, 2007
In November, Joslyn Art Museum celebrates its 75th anniversary and begins a year of special exhibitions, events, and programs honoring that milestone. The inaugural show of its 75th anniversary exhibition roster is Legends of the West: The Foxley Collection, opening November 11, 2006 and continuing through February 25, 2007.
For the past 30 years, Bill Foxley -- cattleman, industry innovator, art collector, and former Omahan -- has been acquiring American Western art that spans a period of over 125 years. His collection emphasizes legendary artists who fueled the imagination with their depictions of cowboys, native peoples, and Western landscapes. Legends of the West features some of the very best works from the Foxley Collection, one of the most important of its kind in the world.
Featuring paintings and some sculpture, Legends of the West at Joslyn showcases 56 works selected from the Foxley Collection and representing the great span of artists, styles, and subject matter of the American West from around 1832 to 1940. Featured artists include such luminaries as Albert Bierstadt, Karl Bodmer, Edward Borein, Maynard Dixon, Henry Farny, Frank Tenney Johnson, William Robinson Leigh, Charles Christian Nahl, Thomas Moran, Frederic S. Remington, Charles M. Russell, and Charles Schreyvogel.
Bill Foxley built one of the largest cattle and feeding companies in the U.S., with sizable ranches and innovative feed lots in Texas, California, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and other locations. Starting in the early 1960s with an inheritance from his father, who was also a cattleman based in Omaha, Foxley grew the company into a very successful business while at the same time discovering his love for important American Western art. Foxley's experience with art (and Joslyn Art Museum) began early.
As a high school student at Creighton Prep, located at that time on the campus of Creighton University, Foxley would "slip out" early to explore Joslyn's collections of European and American art. Later, through reading, consulting with experts, and visiting museums around the country and world, his knowledge of art expanded, his interest focused on the art of the American West, and he began to build a stellar collection. By 1983, his collection included almost 125 works. That same year, he opened the Museum of Western Art in Denver, Colorado, to the public. Located in the historic Navarre Building, he personally financed the museum until 1998 when it closed. It was the first of its kind in Denver, with educational programs and tours that encouraged an appreciation for the art of the West. Since that time, Foxley has continued quietly acquiring important works of American Western art. He is a passionate and knowledgeable collector and self-taught historian who understands the fleeting definitions and sometimes underappreciated form and content constituting what has become one of the most strident markets in the art world, the art of the American West.
A fully-illustrated exhibition catalogue and narrative essay by Joslyn director J. Brooks Joyner will be available for purchase in Joslyn's Hitchcock Museum Shop.
Exhibition Resource Area
The Cowboy Corral, a special exhibition resource area for young visitors, will be located at the end of the Legends of the West exhibition. The Cowboy Corral will offer a variety of engaging exhibition-related activities in a rustic setting. Children will enjoy mounting a saddle, handling horse and cowboy gear, reading and composing their own cowboy poetry, braiding leather, and choosing a recipe for at-home cowboy cookin'. The Cowboy Corral is open during regular Museum hours.
75th Anniversary Gala Celebration Highlights Legends of the West
Legends of the West will be the featured exhibition at the Museum's 75th anniversary gala celebration on Saturday, November 11. The evening includes buffet dining, exhibition viewing, and a spectacular entertainment event with producer, songwriter, and Grammy® Award winner David Foster. Foster will produce a concert for the evening featuring surprise performers. The 75th anniversary celebration honorary chairmen are Suzanne and Walter Scott. Chairman is Barbara Call. Fee. Dress is cocktail attire. Limited, open seating for the concert. Reservations are due Friday, November 3. To receive an invitation, call the Museum at (402) 342-3300. For more information, visit www.joslyn.org.
Members Opening Anniversary Event Includes Video Interview with Bill Foxley
A Joslyn members-only event celebrating the Museum's 75th anniversary and the opening of Legends of the West: The Foxley Collection will be held Saturday, November 18. The evening begins at 6:30 pm (doors open at 5:30 pm) in the Witherspoon Concert Hall with the airing of a video interview between Bill Foxley and Joslyn Director J. Brooks Joyner. In the interview, Foxley will share his motivations, decisions, and insights concerning the formation of his remarkable collection, selections from which make up the Legends of the West exhibition. The second half of the evening's formal presentation will also include a lecture, "Expansive Influences: American Art Museums as Community Institutions," by Neil Harris, Ph.D., Preston and Sterling Morton Professor in the Department of History at the University of Chicago. After the lecture, members will enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres, cash bar, and viewing the Legends of the West exhibition. All permanent collection galleries will be open. Limited, open seating for the evening's concert hall presentation. Invitations for this event will be mailed to all Joslyn members. This event is sponsored in part by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. To join Joslyn, contact the Museum's membership department at (402) 342-3300 ext. 286.
Holiday Lights Family Festival and Cowboy Gathering
Kids and families are invited to dress in Western duds and stampede to Joslyn on Sunday, December 17, for a free afternoon of family fun in celebration of the exhibition Legends of the West: The Foxley Collection. From 1-5 pm, guests can mosey through the show with a printed gallery guide. Throughout the afternoon, cowboy music will be performed by Jim and Jeanne Martin, Joan Wells will demonstrate trick roping, and participants will learn about the multi-ethnic roots of the cowboy with Ricardo Garcia. Hands-on activities will include braiding leather, making a poke sack, and designing a brand stamp. Mouth-watering chuck wagon fare will be available for purchase in Café Durham. This cowboy gathering is part of downtown Omaha's annual Holiday Lights Family Festival. Free admission is offered at participating arts and cultural attractions and complimentary trolley service is provided between locations. Chairmen of the Joslyn event are Jodie Clement, Dianne Nelsen, and Leslie Southard of the Joslyn Art Museum Association.
Wide Open West Lecture Series
In celebration of Legends of the West, Joslyn will present a lecture series, Wide Open West, on Saturdays, February 3-24, at 2 pm. The series will offer reflections on cowboy culture featuring local and national scholars and performers. Each program includes exhibition viewing and an hors d'oeuvres reception. Fee. Exhibition admission and hors d'oeuvres reception included in the lecture ticket price. For series details and/or to purchase tickets/series passes, contact Joslyn's assistant curator of education, adult and special programs, at (402) 342-3300 ext. 262.
Regular guided tours of the exhibition will be offered as follows: Saturdays at 11:30 am (Nov. 25, Dec. 2, Jan. 6, 20, Feb. 3, 17); Wednesdays at 1 pm (Dec. 6, 20, 27, Jan. 3, 17, 31, Feb. 14); and Friday at 1 pm (Dec. 15). Saturday morning tours are free. Wednesday and Friday tours are free with regular Museum admission.
Art Class & Camp
Joslyn offers an art class and an art camp celebrating Legends of the West
Major sponsors for Legends of the West are the Bodmer Society of Joslyn Art Museum, City of Omaha, Douglas County Commissioners, Durham Foundation, and Mutual of Omaha. Sponsors are First National Bank, Marlene and Joe Ricketts, and Gail and Michael Yanney. Additional support is provided by Lenore Polack and Omaha World-Herald.
Text panels for the exhibition
(above: Maynard Dixon (American, 1875-1946), The Pony Boy (Blackfeet Indians, Montana), 1920, oil on canvas, Lent by W. C. Foxley, on view in the special exhibition Legends of the West: The Foxley Collection, Nov. 11, 2006 - Feb. 25, 2007, Joslyn Art Museum)
(above: Frederic S. Remington (American, 1861-1909), Cutting Out Pony Herds, 1908, oil on canvas, Lent by W. C. Foxley, on view in the special exhibition Legends of the West: The Foxley Collection, Nov. 11, 2006 - Feb. 25, 2007, Joslyn Art Museum)
(above: Albert Bierstadt (American, born Prussia, 1830-1902), Big Sandy River-Wind River Mountains, 1860, oil on board, Lent by W. C. Foxley, on view in the special exhibition Legends of the West: The Foxley Collection, Nov. 11, 2006 - Feb. 25, 2007, Joslyn Art Museum)
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