A Fresh Approach to Art of the American West
This week TMA is wrapping up a reinstallation of Art of the American West in the Frank and Jean Hamilton Gallery. Located in the lower level of the museum, this gallery features works from TMA’s permanent collection. The new installation includes old favorites as well as new interpretations of the art of the American West.
To emphasize the breadth and diversity of works encompassed by the category Art of the American West, the space now includes thematic sections. What to look for when you visit the gallery:
Yesterday’s West, featuring historic works in the collection, particularly work by New Mexico and Arizona artists such as Taos Society of Artist members and Maynard Dixon.
Today’s West examines contemporary imagery of the American West, showing different styles and art forms that have emerged in the last few decades.
Art of the Horse is a global look at horse culture in relation to the West, displaying items from other TMA collections in conversation with those of this region.
TMA’s installation crew prepares the Frank and Jean Hamilton Gallery for its reopening on September 16.
TMA’s IDEA plan is rooted in four principles: relevancy, community, respect and multivocality. Recently museum staff have been exploring what those terms mean as they relate to exhibitions and collections. The Art of the American West collection has provided a great platform for staff to pilot a project to re-examine the West in local and national contexts by beginning to illuminate, through these four principles, who or what stories might have been previously overlooked.
Now on view, a special project titled People of the West: A Rethinking of ‘Westerners’ seeks to expand representation of people living, working and thriving in this region. Special thanks to Anh-Thuy Nguyen and Papay Solomon to helping TMA conceptualize this project and challenging staff to consider what makes a 21st century vision of a Westerner. This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (MG-50-19-0044-19).
The reinstallation of the Hamilton Gallery reflects what has been learned the past few years in conversations with the community, with the IDEA plan, and the current discussions for the collecting plan for the TMA collection. The gallery shows how the Art of the American West collection is evolving to broaden representation and provide additional opportunities to link with regional identities while building relevancy for people of all backgrounds.