American West Art History ~ Russell Remington Catlin Moran Bierstadt and others.
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This is a complete presentation on American West Art History which is highly visual and thoroughly annotated. My preview is 20 of the slides in the presentation. This will give you the best idea of what the product is like.
Excerpt I: Bullet Points Overview
Western art embodies the European artistic tradition. It was adapted to suit the American West.
Native Americans are also covered within Western art.
The American West is a mythology known world wide. The dreams inspired by the American West have never disappeared. This is the white man’s American West.
“Manifest destiny,” the entrepreneurial push Westward, is an integral part of the white man’s American West.
The Native Americans’ American West is different from the white man’s. Although it was a physical place, their home, it was also a sacred place and an inherent part of their spirituality.
The mythology of the American West has been kept alive by the art of film. The film industry used and continues to use the art of the American West in every aspect of the film making process. This is a unique symbiosis, keeping both alive and well yet also encouraging the myth making.
Western art defined traditionally: realistic art work about Indians, white pioneers and the environmentally pure, vast landscapes of the West.
Those creating Western art west of the Mississippi today do not agree with this hidebound definition. They believe the art form is capable of evolving and encompassing more modern and diverse styles.
The Western art of the past was Anglo oriented. Breaking away from the Anglo perspective to other perspectives is a pent-up demand.
The people making Western art now include Americans with Native, Hispanic, or Chinese heritages plus female artists and environmentalists. They all add in their own perspective of their people and the American West.
They are a minority though. White males and Native Americans are the most active artists in Western Art.
The next two slides are work by a Chinese artist about the American West.
Excerpt 2: Westward Expansion via Manifest Destiny (with painting)
"American Progress" painting by John Gast - NEXT SLIDE
Nineteenth century westward expansion via manifest destiny of the United States was seen as a good thing.
It grabbed the imaginations of those to the East of the Mississippi.
It was seen as starting anew with boundless economic opportunity.
There was propaganda promoting this idea. John Gast’s painting "American Progress," printed in traveling guides, was one such piece of propaganda.
He depicts manifest destiny via westward expansion as a glorious and correct thing to do.
In historical hindsight, this movement comes off poorly, as a money grubbing land grab with gross destruction and exploitation. The phrase "rape of the land" has become synonymous with the phrase "manifest destiny."