The American West in Bronze at the Metropolitan Museum – New York

The American West in Bronze at the Metropolitan Museum – New YorkThe American West in Bronze at the Metropolitan Museum – New YorkThe American West in Bronze at the Metropolitan Museum – New YorkThe American West in Bronze at the Metropolitan Museum – New York

December 18, 2013 through April 13, 2014

– Through sixty-five bronze sculptures by twenty-eight artists, this exhibition, “The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925,” explores the popularity of Western themes as the subject for fine art bronze statuettes. Focusing on a seventy five year period when iconic images of cowboys, Native Americans, pioneers, prospectors, settlers and animals of the mountains and plains where eagerly collected and captured the imaginations of people around the world, among the artists represented are Solon Hannibal Borglum, James Earle Fraser, Edward Kemeys, Frederick William MacMonnies, Paul Manship, Alexander Phimister Proctor, Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell and Charles Schreyvogel.

Perhaps the most popular sculptures with Western themes were those created by Remington who set the standard for how artists would portray the cowboy with his first and most popular sculpture, “The Bronco Buster,” (1895), one of the highlights of the display. Another masterpiece of the cowboy genre featured in the installation is, “Smoking Up,” (1904) which shows a cowboy brandishing a revolver, as his horse rears in response to the sound of a fired bullet, by Charles M. Russell who took on the persona of his work and was celebrated in his own lifetime as, “the Cowboy Artist.”

Sculptural representations of American Indians during this period included portraits and records of their ways of life as well as works with more universal messages. Highlights of the works featuring depictions of Native Americans include Hermon Atkins MacNeil’s, “Moqui Prayer for Rain,” (1896) inspired by a visit to Arizona, where the artist witnessed the Hopi’s annual prayer for rain at the top of the mesa at Oraibi, James Earle Fraser’s stirring comment on the confinement of American Indians on reservation land, “End of the Trail,” (1918) and Paul Manship’s, “Indian Hunter and His Dog,” (1926), representing the carefree spirit of a young brave rendered in a streamline modern style completely evolved from the works that came before it.

As many species were brought to near extinction, images of Western wildlife from bears to elk and panthers to wolves became popular, but none more so than the bison, most emblematic of all endangered animals of the West, formerly numbering in the millions yet reduced to only a few hundred by the turn of the twentieth century through wanton slaughter, beautifully captured by Henry Merwin Shrady’s, “Buffalo” (1899) which convincingly depicts both the stately bearing and weighty coat of this bovine regarded as monarch of the plains. Known for his beautiful depictions of horses as well as his ability to capture in his work the poignant bond between humans and their equine companions of the frontier, Solon Hannibal Borglum’s, “On the Border of the White Man’s Land,” (1899) showing an Indian shielding himself behind his horse and, “The Blizzard,” (1900) where a cowboy and his mount are huddled together against the elements are additional highlights.

Portraits inspired by the adventures of trailblazing settlers, scouts and traders, both real and mythical, proved exceedingly popular subject matter, from the miners of California Gold Rush to daring frontiersmen like, “Kit Carson,” notably sculpted in 1911 by Frederick William MacMonnies. Bryant Baker spotlights women’s contributions to the settlement of the American West in his, “Model for the Ponca City, OK Pioneer Woman Monument,” (1927) featuring a young mother striding across a prairie, holding a bible in one hand while leading her son with the other, alluding to both a woman’s faith in the face of homesteading’s hardships and her status as heroine and provider.

 

"The Bronco Buster" (1895) - Remington

“The Bronco Buster” (1895) – Remington

“Moqui Prayer for Rain” (1896) - MacNeil

“Moqui Prayer for Rain” (1896) – MacNeil

"Buffalo" (1899) - Shrady

“Buffalo” (1899) – Shrady

"Smoking Up" (1904) - Russell

“Smoking Up” (1904) – Russell

 

Official Exhibition Site

 

METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART

1000 FIFTH AVENUE

NEW YORK, NEW YORK 10028

(212) 535-7710

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925

 

VISITING HOURS:

OPEN SUNDAY THROUGH THURSDAY FROM 10 A.M. TO 5:30 P.M.

OPEN FRIDAY AND SATURDAY FROM 10 A.M. TO 9 P.M.

CLOSED THANKSGIVING DAY, DECEMBER 25, JANUARY 1 AND THE FIRST MONDAY IN MAY.

 

ADMISSION:

$25 RECOMMENDED FOR AN ADULT TICKET.

$17 RECOMMENDED FOR A SENIOR TICKET (65 AND OVER).

$12 RECOMMENDED FOR A STUDENT TICKET (25 AND UNDER).

FREE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 12 ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT.

FEE INCLUDES ACCESS TO THE PERMANENT COLLECTION AND ALL EXHIBITIONS AS WELL AS SAME DAY ADMISSION TO THE CLOISTERS MUSEUM AND GARDENS IN NORTHERN MANHATTAN.

PURCHASING TICKETS ONLINE REQUIRES THAT YOU PAY THE FULL SUGGESTED PRICE PLUS A PER TICKET SERVICE CHARGE.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO PAY LESS THAN THE SUGGESTED ADMISSION PRICE, PURCHASE YOUR TICKET AT THE MUSEUM BOX OFFICE.

TO HELP COVER THE COSTS OF EXHIBITIONS AND OPERATIONS, THE MUSEUM RESPECTFULLY REQUESTS THAT VISITORS PAY THE FULL RECOMMENDED AMOUNT.

 

PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE


 

 

 

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