A Celebration of the American West at the Denver Art Museum

A few Sundays ago, I found myself alone in Denver, Colorado with a few free hours on my hands.  Not wanting to waste such a perfect opportunity for adventure, I made my way downtown to the acclaimed Denver Art Museum for an afternoon of cultural edification.  I spent an entire afternoon wandering the galleries of the fortress-like North Building.  Security basically had to kick me out at closing time.  Cultural edification accomplished.

What a great museum!  I enjoyed all the exhibits I encountered – Asian, European and American, Pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, American Indian, and the Northwest Coast.  The pottery collections, in particular, are outstanding.  My favorite galleries by far, though, are the Western American exhibits.  Perhaps because I was in “The West” (Colorado is quintessential western America after all), I was in a frame of mind to be particularly drawn to the subjects and settings.  Or, maybe it was just the passion, creativity, and artistry displayed in the pieces.  Whatever the reason for my fascination, I spent a great deal of time in the Western galleries, admiring and photographing what I saw.

I thought I’d share a tiny sampling of the artwork from the Western American galleries with you.  Personally, I believe the artists represented here pay creative and beautiful homage to the unique history and culture of the American West.  What do you think?

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{ The Open Range by William Herbert Dunton, 1911(?) }

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{ Jack Knife by Ed Mell, 2009 }

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{ Cowgirl and Bronco by Regina Winifred Mulroney, 1945 }

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{ Wide Lands of the Navajo by Maynard Dixon, 1945 }

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{ Two Champs by Harry Jackson, 1974 }

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{ Orion by Deborah Butterfield, 1988 }

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{ Flight by E. Martin Hennings }

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{ Ranch Near Rocky Ridge by Howard Post??? – I’m not sure about the title or artist… }

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{ Big Horn Sheep by Carl Clemens Moritz Rungius, n.d. }

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{ Buffalo (Monarch of the Plains) by Henry M. Shrady, 1900 }

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{ Buffalo Hunt by Charles Marion Russell, 1897 }

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{ Chief of the Multnomah Tribe by Hermon Atkins MacNeil, 1905 }

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{ Eagle Fan by Ernest L. Blumenschein, 1915 }

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The Rendezvous by E. Martin Hennings, about 1930 }

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{ The Stone Age in America by John J. Boyle, 1886 }

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{ A gallery in the Hamilton Building – Andy Warhol’s The American Indian (Russell Means), 1976 is in the middle of the wall }

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{ Young Plains Indian by James Bama, 1980 }

If you are ever in the Denver area and if museums are your thing, I highly recommend a visit to the Denver Art Museum.  You will not be disappointed.

Old Glory

Francis Scott Key asks this famous question at the end of the first stanza of The Star-Spangled Banner:

“Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave,

o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

My response?  Why yes, yes it does…

[ Spring Talent Show, LeTort Elementary, Washington Boro, Pennsylvania ]

[ Rockford Plantation, Lancaster, Pennsylvania ]

[ Lancaster, Pennsylvania ]

[ Albright College, Reading, Pennsylvania ]

[ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ]

 [ Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ]

[ Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania ]

[ Baltimore Inner Harbor, Maryland ]

[ Fort McHenry, Baltimore, Maryland ]

[ Air Show, Ocean City, Maryland ]

[ Washington, D.C. ]

[ Bar Harbor, Maine ]

[ Bar Harbor, Maine ]

[ Tampa, Florida ]

[ Little Palm Island, Florida ]

[ Key West, Florida ]

[ Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, California ]

[ Julian, California ]

[ Julian, California ]

[ Mount Soladad, La Jolla, California ]

[ Coronado, California ]

[ Coronado, California ]

[ Coronado, California ]

A little FYI: Colors for the American flag were taken from the official seal of the United States (which was designed and approved before the flag).  Colors for the seal were chosen for the qualities they represented – white for purity, red for valor and hardiness, and blue for perseverance, justice, and vigilance.  The flag contains thirteen stripes representing the thirteen original colonies or states: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Virginia.  The fifty white stars are representative of the fifty states that create the United States of America we recognize today.

Long may it wave….

Happy 4th of July!

http://www.ehow.com/facts_4759624_meaning-colors-american-flag.html