19th-21st Century Rocky Mountain and Southwest Paintings and Sculpture



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "19th-21st Century Rocky Mountain and Southwest Paintings and Sculpture." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section.

Following the listing of Resource Library articles and essays are links to valuable online resources found outside our website. Links may be to museums' articles about exhibits, plus much more topical information based on our online searches.

Following online resources is information about offline resources including museums, DVDs, and paper-printed books, journals and articles.


Articles and essays from Resource Library in chronological order:











Other online sources:

Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and the West is a 2017 exhibit at the Burchfield - Penney Art Center which says: "This exhibition is the first to explore the impact Mabel Dodge Luhan had on some of the most compelling modern American artists, writers, and social activists.  It offers a glimpse at the uproarious, complicated life of a woman whose goal was to revolt against the old-fashioned, Victorian environment in which she was raised -- and from which she benefitted financially." Also see dedicated website. Accessed 4/17

Nicolai Fechin and Southwest Art from the Permanent Collection is a 2012-13 exhibit at the Dubuque Museum of Art which says: "A rare opportunity to see two exquisite works by Russian/American master and celebrated Southwest artist, Nicolai Fechin." Also see entry in Wikipedia. Accessed 3/17

Painting the American Southwest: The Work of Otto Plaug is a 2019 exhibit at the Albany (NY) Institute of History and Art which says: "Plaug will rejoin the ranks of Georgia O'Keefe, Gustave Baumann, Robert Henri, Winold Reiss, and other well-known American modernists who found the American southwest a source of inspiration and astonishing beauty."  Also see 1/19/20 article in The Daily Gazette.  Accessed 8/20 

The Rockies and the Alps is a 2018 exhibit at the Newark Museum which says: "Focusing on the 1830s to the 1870s, a critical period when artists, scientists, sight-seers and armchair travelers on both continents were awakening to the attractions of the mountains, The Rockies and the Alps showcases finished masterworks and plein air sketches by some of America's most celebrated landscape artists: Albert Bierstadt, Worthington Whittredge, Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, John Singer Sargent, and others - along with breathtaking alpine views by the leader of the Swiss alpine school of painting, Alexandre Calame, and other revered European landscape painters such as J. M. W. Turner and John Ruskin." Accessed 5/18

Way Out West: Celebrating the Gift of the Hugh A. McAllister Jr. Collection is a 2019 exhibit at the Ackland Art Museum which says: "Displayed together with artworks already in the Museum's own permanent collection, the exhibition features nearly eighty works spanning over 150 years, by artists such as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Ansel Adams, Awa Tsireh, Dorothea Lange, Edward Weston, and Allan Houser, among others, that chart how artists have responded to the landscape and culture of the American West since the late nineteenth century." Also see 6//15/19 article from The Triangle Guide Accessed 11/19 

A World Unconquered: The Art of Oscar Brousse Jacobson is a 2015 exhibit at the Fred Jones Jr Museum of Art which says: "Jacobson completed in excess of 600 works of art during his fifty-year career and looked to the landscapes of Colorado, New Mexico, and Oklahoma for inspiration."  Accessed 8/18



Books focusing on the art history of the Colorado Plateau, courtesy of Alan Petersen, Fine Arts Department Chair, Colorado Plateau Studies Coordinator, Coconino Community College:

Weigle, Marta and Babcock, Barbara, ed.. The Great Southwest of the Fred Harvey Company and the Santa Fe Railway. The Heard Museum, 1996.
Babbitt, Bruce. Color and Light, The Southwest Canvases of Louis Aiken. Flagstaff: Northland Press, 1973.
Belknap, Bill. Gunnar Widforss: painter of the Grand Canyon. Published for the Museum of Northern Arizona by Northland Press, 1969.
Brody, J.J. Anasazi and Pueblo Painting. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1991.
Chase, Katherine L. Brushstrokes on the Plateau: An Overview of Anglo Art on the Colorado Plateau. The Museum of Northern Arizona, 1984.
Gibbs, Linda Jones. Escape to Reality: The Western World of Maynard Dixon. Brigham Young University, 2001.
Hagerty, Donald. Beyond the Visible Terrain. Northland Publishing, 1996.
Heard Museum, Fred Harvey Fine Arts Collection. Phoenix: The Heard Museum, 1976.
Howard, Kathleen L. and Pardue, Diana F. Inventing the Southwest: The Fred Harvey Company and Native American Art. Flagstaff: Northland Publishing, Flagstaff, 1996.
Huseman, Ben W. Wild River, Timeless Canyons, Balduin Möllhausen's Watercolors of the Colorado. Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum, 1995.
Kinsey, Joni Louise. Thomas Moran and the Surveying of the American West. Smithsonian Books, 1992.
Kinsey, Joni . The Majesty of the Grand Canyon: 150 Years in Art. Pomegranate, 2004
Laird, Helen. Carl Oscar Borg and the Magic Realm. Layton: Gibbs M. Smith, Inc., Peregrine Smith Books, 1986.
Mahaffey, Merrill. Arizona Landscape Project: Paintings by Merrill Mahaffey. Scottsdale Center for the Arts, 1979.
Mahaffey, Merrill. Monumental Landscapes. Northland Press, 1979.
Mead, Tray C., ed. Capturing the Canyon, Artists in the Grand Canyon. Mesa Southwest Museum, 1987.
Petersen, Alan. "Merrill Mahaffey: Interior Landscapes of the West, a Fifty-Year Retrospective." Plateau. The Museum of Northern Arizona, 2008.
Smith, Thomas Brent. A Place of Refuge: Maynard Dixon's Arizona. Tucson Museum of Art, 2008.

Also see Southwestern art books



Amon Carter Museum Composites: Amon Carter Museum Composite I: Carleton Watkins: Photographer of the American West Introduces photographer Carleton Watkins (1829--1916), who documented Yosemite and other wilderness areas, as well as industrial and architectural progress of the American West. 5-minute video segment. Description source: Amon Carter Museum Teacher Resource Center. The Museum contains a comprehensive lending library including many videos.

Artists of the West is a 56 minute 2000 PBS Home Video. Actor Joseph Campanella narrates a dramatic story of the American West as seen through the eyes of three pre-eminent artists : Charles Russell, Thomas Moran, and Frederic Remington

Frederic Remington: The Truth of Other Days is a 58 minute American Masters series 1991 video filmed in high definition and directed by Thomas L. Neff and produced by Home Vision Entertainment. Near the turn of the century, Frederic Remington popularized the myths, legends and images of the Old West. This program traces the career of the brilliant painter, sculptor and author. Hundreds of original artworks are showcased while narration by Gregory Peck, interviews, location footage, archival footage and period photographs create an illuminating frame around the works of one of America's finest artists. The program also explores Remington's direct influence on filmmakers such as John Ford and his continuing influence on today's popular culture. Frederic Remington: The Truth of Other Days is available through the Sullivan Video Library at The Speed Art Museum which holds a sizable collection of art-related videos available to educators at no charge.

Georgia O'Keeffe was produced by Perry Miller Adato in 1977 by WNET for The Originals: Women in Art series and distributed by the Educational Broadcasting Corporation. The video is self-narrated by O'Keeffe. The artist talks candidly about her work and life, showing how nature and the mountains and desert of New Mexico figure prominently in her work. The video includes comments by sculptor Juan Hamilton, who was her assistant, and critics Barbara Rose and Daniel Catton Rich. The Wildling Museum says: This 60 minute color film, produced in 1977 when O'Keeffe was 90 years old, captures O'Keeffe on camera for the first time candidly discussing her work and inspirations taken from the haunting mountain deserts of New Mexico. This film won the Peabody Award and the Bronze Hugo at the Chicago International Film Festival."

Georgia O'Keeffe: A Life in Art Adato, Perry Miller, producer and director. A 2002 video from the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe. The Museum's orientation film created by the acclaimed, award-winning filmaker Perry Miller Adato. The film presents O'Keeffe's life and the origins and development of her art. VHS and DVD.

Georgia O'Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz 60 minute / 1998 / CTC - "Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O'Keeffe, companions in life and art in spite of a 23-year age difference, symbolize the juxtapositions characteristics of the American modernist period. In this program, Professor Wanda Corn from Stanford University uses O'Keeffe's paintings and Stieglitz's photographs to show the impact each had on the other's work and on the evolution of American art. Corn emphasizes the artistic collaboration between the couple and points out O'Keeffe's modernist style of abstraction in her use of strong form and color and unusual vantage point on a traditional subject. As O'Keeffe is influenced by her sojourns to New Mexico, so does her art consciously change in subject matter as a reflection of her strong artistic spirit and determination to reconnect with traditional America.."

Georgia O'Keeffe: Women in Art 1977, 60 minutes. A sensitive presentation that goes beyond the Georgia O'Keeffe legend to reveal a woman who was full of warmth, humor, and practical wisdom. O'Keeffe appeared for the first time on camera to talk candidly about her work and life. Her paintings figure prominently, showing her wide range of style and how nature continued to inspire her. (text courtesy Georgia Museum of Art)

Harding Black: An American Treasure features the San Antonio, TX master potter Harding Black. Available through KRLN/San Antonio.

Living Portraits: New Mexico Artists & Writers. "This DVD is a series of three, short films. They feature interviews with the artists, examples of their work, and footage of places and activities important to their lives. A discussion guide accompanies each film to assist teachers and others in fully considering the issues raised in the films." Text courtesy of Museum of New Mexico Foundation. Available through the Fine Arts Museum, Santa Fe.

"Maynard Dixon: Art and Spirit" reveals the rich canvas of Dixon's life through insightful interviews with his family, friends and members of the art community. More than four hundred Dixon paintings and drawings, and Dorothea Lange's family photographs are included in the documentary, as well as photographs of Dixon taken by lifelong friend Ansel Adams. Filming took place in Montana, Utah, Arizona, California and New Mexico bringing Dixon's paintings and drawings to life framed by the breathtaking panoramas of the land that he loved so deeply. The filmmakers, Alan and Jayne McKay have been in the entertainment industry for over 30 years, working on projects nationally and internationally. Six years of research and preparation have resulted in Producer/Director Jayne McKay becoming a leading expert on the life and art of Maynard Dixon, and the careers of photographer Dorothea Lange and artist Edith Hamlin. The film is narrated by award-winning actress Diane Keaton, an avid collector of Dixon's paintings. Western actor and songwriter, Don Edwards, provides the voice of Maynard Dixon. The soundtrack contains original music composed by Grammy winner, John McEuen of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Michael Ronstadt and his band, the Santa Cruz River Band, contribute a song once performed for Maynard Dixon, when the Ronstadt family lived across the street from the artist's home in Tucson. The desert was Maynard Dixon's sanctuary, a timeless place where he could forget the hurried pace of his life in San Francisco. He would often leave his wife and children, his paying work in the city, and his friends in the bohemian art scene for months of solitary searching in the American West. Under the desert stars, Dixon wrote poetry. Under the desert sun, Dixon painted, sketched and drew. His travels took him to the camps and reservations of the Hopi and Navajo, where he was welcomed with reverence for his talent with pencil, crayon and paint. He lived with the Native Americans and his art became a language between two cultures. The film was written by Jayne McKay and Daniel Dixon. The film contains interviews with Dixon's sons, Daniel and John, granddaughter Becky Jenkins, and Dixon's friends, artists Ray Strong and Milford Zornes. Also interviewed are Dixon biographers, Donald J. Hagerty and Linda Jones Gibbs. The information on this film, released in 2007, was provided to TFAO on September 11, 2007 by Jayne McKay. There is a website dedicated to the DVD.

Maynard Dixon: To the Desert Again is a 57-minute 2006 production from KUED in Salt Lake City, Utah. (see the transcript). KUED says "Art curator Will South, who is interviewed in the film, notes, 'Dixon was a man of the West, not because he painted Western scenes, but because he embraces what the West was and represented: mobility, freedom, possibility and the sense of the infinite'... The film also includes interviews with Donald J. Hagarty, who wrote the definitive Dixon biography; art dealer Paul Bingham, founder of the Thunderbird Foundation, dedicated to the preservation of Maynard Dixon's legacy and his Mt. Carmel, Utah home; and Daniel Dixon, the son of Maynard Dixon and Dorothea Lange."

Native American Art videos, most of which relate to the Southwest region of the United States

O'Keeffe and Texas Takes a look at American Modernist Georgia O'Keeffe during her years in Texas. Explores how her experiences as a teacher and how the natural forms of the area around Amarillo and Canyon, Texas, influenced her emotional states and her art. 15-minute video. Description source: Amon Carter Museum Teacher Resource Center

Plein Air: Painting the American Landscape episodes take the viewer on a journey, from Cape Cod, where the Atlantic meets the land, to the peak of Denali, the "Great One," North America's tallest mountain. Other episodes feature the Tongass Rain Forest; Seward, Alaska; Taos, New Mexico; Trinidad, Colorado; and central Michigan. Plein air artists featured in the series include Matt Smith of Scottsdale, Arizona; Kenn Backhaus of Robesonia, Pennsylvania; Jean LeGassick of Silver City, Nevada; Connecticut artist Charles Sovek; Utah artist Ron Rencher; and Frank LaLumia of Trinidad, Colorado. Episodes features one or two of the contemporary plein air painters and examine their technique plus history of the plein air genre. Plein Air: Painting the American Landscape appeals to art lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike and helps viewers to understand America's own naturalist art form. For more than a century, a unique group of American artists ventured out of their studios to capture the essence of the American landscape. Some learned their craft from the French Impressionists, others through trial and error. What unites them is their dedication to the interplay of land, water and sky, and the study of how light, shadow and color form the varied and rich masks of the natural world. This six-part series premiered in August 2007 on PBS and was presented in high definition. Underwriters for the series are Rasmuson Foundation and Joan Irvine Smith & Athalie R. Clarke Foundation. The producer is Greg Bombeck of Bombeck Productions and the PBS presenter is KTOO Juneau. DVDs are available through Bombeck Productions, LLC, 18016 Kamkoff Ave., P.O. Box 770302, Eagle River, AK 99577

Remington and AVA: American Art is a 60 minute video from Mastervision and narrated by Arthur Godfrey. Frederic Remington immortalized the wild west in his paintings and sculptures, capturing for all time the intimate drama of the unbridled American spirit. The spirit of Remington lives on in the contemporary frontiers of American art, here paired on video with AVA, the prestigious Awards in the Visual Arts.

Southwest of Georgia O'Keeffe, The is a 11 minute 1995 video from Lucerne Media that covers the paintings of flowers, bones, and airborne images made during the lifetime of the noted American abstractionist Georgia O'Keeffe (1887-1986), especially the Southwestern themes and landscapes for which she became most famous. She saw an abstract universe everwhere in the flowers, the city, the desert, and exploring the aerial view of the world


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