The following completed exhibitions at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West played a significant role in the museum’s mission to immerse guests in the stories of the Greater Western region:
The Scottsdale Craftsmen: A 70-Year Legacy (December 20, 2016 – February 11, 2018)
This exhibition celebrated the historic Arizona Craftsmen Center (1946-1950), and its significant role in the emergence of postwar Scottsdale’s cultural identity. Featured artwork showcased the diverse talents of the center’s artists and craftspeople who were the catalyst for establishing the downtown area of the city as an arts epicenter in the American Southwest.
Marjorie Thomas: Arizona Art Pioneer (December 20, 2016 – January 7, 2018)
This exhibition featured more than 40 artworks by trailblazer, artist and early Scottsdale resident Marjorie Thomas, whose life and career link the chronicled of Arizona’s art and history. Her drawings and paintings portray desert landscapes, Native peoples and ranch scenes, often including imagery of the donkeys, horses and sheep that played an integral role in the region’s early history.
Grand Canyon Grandeur (June 6, 2017 – December 31, 2017)
This exhibition, which was on loan from The A.P. Hays Collection, featured 100 striking and historically important portrayals of one of the world’s most revered natural wonders. Oil paintings, watercolors and prints dating from the 1850s to the 1950s depicted the ecological, sociological and visual diversity of the Grand Canyon, while showcasing a range of artistic styles such as naturalism, impressionism, and abstraction. Thomas Moran, Eanger Irving Couse, Gustave Baumann and Gunnar Widforss were among the celebrated artists included in this exhibition.
John Coleman: Past/Present/Future (September 17, 2016 – May 31, 2017)
This exhibition, made possible by Frankie and Howard Alper, provided an unparalleled opportunity to examine the career of pioneering painter, sculptor and influential teacher, John Coleman. It included artworks spanning more than four decades in charcoal, graphite, oil and bronze. Coleman is an award-winning member of the Cowboy Artists of America, a Fellow Member of the National Sculpture Society and a Signature Member of the California Art Club.
The Taos Society of Artists (January 10, 2017 – April 30, 2017)
This major exhibition, sponsored by Scottsdale Art Auction, highlighted the important artwork and careers of the Taos Society of Artists (founded in 1915). It featured a selection of these 19 iconic artists’ finest and most valued works of art, on loan from institutions across the country, as well as private collections.
The members and associate members of the Taos Society of Artists shared a love of the regional location, local color and local people, especially the Hispanic and Pueblo Native American communities. Their paintings were characterized by dramatic landscapes, brilliant lighting, indigenous peoples and modernist techniques. The group’s groundbreaking artworks gave rise to a major school of American painting.
Will James: Cowboy Artist and Author (January 15, 2015 – December 2016)
Illustrations by the prolific writer and artist Will James (1892-1942), who at age 15 left his home near Montreal, Canada to work for large and small cattle outfits in the American West. James wrote and illustrated more than 24 books and numerous magazine articles; he is perhaps best known for his award-winning book “Smoky the Cowhorse.”
Inspirational Journey: The Story of Lewis and Clark (January 15, 2015 – October 30, 2016)
Contemporary painter Charles Fritz chronicled the historic early 19th century expedition of Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in a dynamic series of 100 paintings that were accompanied by sculptural bronzes by artists including Barry Eisenach, Richard Greeves, and Harry Jackson. Interactive audio/video kiosks featured commentary by Fritz on his work.
Lone Wolf (Hart M. Schultz): Cowboy, Actor & Artist (June 21, 2016 – Aug. 31, 2016)
This retrospective highlighted the compelling career and artwork of Lone Wolf (aka Hart M. Schultz), who bridged the diverse cultures of the Old and New West. The exhibition featured a selection of the artist’s paintings, sculptures, illustrated books and ephemera that illuminated his contributions as a contemporary Blackfeet Indian artist. It also discussed his significant role in capturing the accounts of the individuals and events that shaped the American frontier during the first half of the 20th century.
A Salute to Cowboy Artists of America and a Patron, the Late Eddie Basha: 50 Years of Amazing Contributions to the American West (Nov. 7, 2015 – May 31, 2016)
Since its founding by four prominent Arizona artists, Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) has been recognized as one of the most influential artists’ groups in the nation’s history. This retrospective featured more than 90 paintings and sculptures by the 77 artists who have been CAA members during the past 50 years, and showcased their contributions to both fine art and western culture. The exhibition also paid tribute to renowned Arizona businessman and community leader, the late Eddie Basha, whose legacy includes one of the largest private collections of contemporary Western American and American Indian art in the world.
Process and Materiality: The Bronze Artistry of John Coleman with Erik Petersen (Jan. 15, 2015 – Oct. 11, 2015)
Majestic sculptures in bronze by this highly regarded western artist, accompanied by photographs revealing the fascinating and complex process by which Coleman creates his work, including the contribution of artist Erik Petersen.
Fine Art of the American West: People and Places (Jan. 15, 2015 – Oct. 11, 2015)
A diverse and engaging selection of works by artists such as Charles Bird King, Georgia O’Keeffe, Charles M. Russell, W. Herbert Dunton, Fritz Scholder, William R. Leigh, Ed Mell, Allan Houser, Kate T. Cory and Marjorie Thomas showcased the rich variety of themes, styles and imagery in western art.