“Having their Picture Took”: Western Portrait Photography Then and Now

October 8, 2016 - October 29, 2017

From photo sessions in 1890s saloons to Scott Baxter’s Top Hand project and the Petersen cousins’ series on working artists, personalities of the West and their stories have long been captured for posterity. Central to the display is Ben Stahl’s large oil painting that gives the exhibition its title, along with historic photographs and cameras from the Museum’s collection. Large historic cameras and equipment from the collection of photo historian Jeremy Rowe are also on view.

The exhibition also features the contemporary color photographs of Erik and Willie Petersen, which depict artists in the environments that inspire them. In addition to several portraits of Cowboy Artists of America artist Bill Nebeker, the Museum’s 2017 heART of the West Gala honoree, a number of Nebeker’s large bronzes are included.

A third section showcases black and white contemporary portraits by Scott Baxter and Barbara Van Cleve. Baxter’s hand-written journal documenting his 100 Years 100 Ranchers Arizona centennial series accompanies those shots.

guidePORT™ recordings enliven both the Petersen and Baxter displays.