American Western Art Movement

USA 1840 - Present Day

American Western Art, History, Cowboy Paintings & Artists.

American Western Art movement, Old West Art, American Frontier Art, since there is no formalized name for this, it is sometimes referred as "Cowboy or Western Art" by Americans. This art additionally incorporates sometimes Native American crafts. Subjects included exploration of the western states and cowboy, ranchers and Indian themes. Popular artists such as Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell are two of the many who captured the "Old West" or "Wild West" on canvas oil paintings. The class of painting prospers in assortment and prominence inside the United States. The exploration, settlement, abuse, and conflicts of the American old west form a unique history of events, which has been celebrated by Americans and foreigners alike, in an art which continues to today.

The Mythologizing of the Wild West, Propaganda for the East.

The mythologizing of the West began with traveling minstrel shows in the 1840s, but also with artist/explorers that went with expeditions to chart and record new unexplored western terrains and peoples. These paintings were exhibited back east to the curious public, showing the majestic landscapes, Indians, and the Cavalry and cowboys who fought them to gain new territory. During the same period, P. T. Barnum carnival circus introduced Indian chiefs, dances, and other Wild West exhibits in his exhibition halls. But, large scale awareness took off when the dime novels appeared in 1859. By simplifying reality and exaggerating and misrepresenting reality, the novels caught the general population's attention with sensational stories of savagery and bravery, and fixed in the public's mind stereotypical images of heroes in white and villains in black, courageous ranchers and savage Indians, temperate lawmen and merciless outlaws, brave pioneers and ruthless cattlemen and railroad men.

Elite Eastern artists of the late 19th century advanced and commended western legend. Their artwork showed up in upscale national magazines, for example, Harper's Weekly included illustrations by artists Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, and others.

Historians of the American West have written about the mythic West, art and of people's shared recollections. The phenomenon has given rise to the expression the, "Imagined West". The "Code of the West" was an unwritten, agreed upon set of casual laws forming the cowhand culture of the Old West. After some time, the Cowboys built up their very own individual culture, a blend of values that even retained vestiges of chivalry. Such risky work in secluded conditions additionally reared a convention of self-reliance and independence, with extraordinary esteem put on individual trustworthiness. The code likewise incorporated the Gunfighter myths, who in some cases took after a type of code duel adopted from the Old South to solve disputes. The Wild West, the moniker was mostly due to some degree as a result of the wild creatures and wild Indians, however more in view of the free for all state of mind that pervaded regular day to day existence in the western regions. This is shown in the real and mythologized artworks of the famous painters who saw the West first hand and others who envisioned it from their comfortable studios back east.

Partly from: Wikipedia

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