The Museum is privileged to own several works by two giants of narrative realism: Frederic Remington (1861-1909) and Charles M. Russell (1869-1926).  Remington’s sculpture, The Rattlesnake, dramatizes the perils faced daily by the West’s cowboys while Russell’s golden painting, The Navajos, is one of only four done by the artist depicting the Southwest.

The collection also focuses on works created by the true Westerner — artists who could handle a lariat as skillfully as they could a paintbrush or chisel. As a teenager, Lon Megargee got his hands dirty taming wild horses and punching cattle at Tex Singleton’s Bull Ranch in Wickenburg.  The Phoenix-based A-1 Beer used the original of his painting, The Cowboy’s Dream, in its advertising.  Another cowboy artist, Olaf Wieghorst, who was originally from Denmark, came west at the age of 19 and began riding trails in New Mexico. His painting titled Roundin’ Up the Herd recalls the adventuresome times of the Dane’s youth.

Leaving old trails behind, the collection also takes a look at the artists who are interpreting what is called the “New West.”  The painting Ganado Clouds by Phoenix’s Ed Mell reflects both the influences of cubism and modernism while Merrill Mahaffey’s Kaibab Reflection is an accurate depiction of this section of the Grand Canyon.

We are in the process of revamping our collections website. See this PDF to view the collection highlights. 


Pictured above: Charles M. Russell, The Navajos, (detail) Gift of Mr. and Mrs.Aiken Fisher, photo © Terrence Moore