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In 2010, the Anschutz Collection became the American Museum of Western Art--The Anschutz Collection, a public museum. Painters and the American West, Volume II
is a companion and sequel to the award-winning Painters and the American West: The Anschutz Collection,
published in 2000. The present volume includes the finest works featured in the earlier book, along with major recent acquisitions by Alfred Jacob Miller, Charles Deas, William Ranney, Emanuel Leutze, Thomas Eakins, Thomas Anshutz, Henry Farny, N. C. Wyeth, William Herbert "Buck" Dunton, Edward Hopper, and many others.
In the foreword to this book, Sarah Hunt, director of the museum, tells the story of the Anschutz Collection's transition from a closely held treasure to an educational and esthetic resource for Denver and western art enthusiasts everywhere. In the book's introductory essay, distinguished scholar and curator John Wilmerding provides cultural and literary context for the museum's holdings, which include exemplary works by virtually every significant painter of the American West from the 1820s through the mid-twentieth century. Historical essays by acclaimed historian James P. Ronda introduce the six chapters of the book, setting the stage for in-depth examinations of individual masterworks by Joan Carpenter Troccoli.
Scholars have brought new insight to western American art in the past decade, and the European view of the westering experience as a defining characteristic of American history and culture is beginning to take hold among art historians on this side of the Atlantic. Western American art is shedding its outsider status and assuming its rightful place as an integral component of the history of American art--and American life. The 150 masterful images from over a century of painting that are showcased in this book expand our understanding of the place of the American West in the story of humankind.