Upcoming Exhibitions

Art, history, and popular culture provide mirrors in which we can see ourselves in the context of our time. The story of the West connects us all and continues today. The museum’s temporary exhibitions paint a picture of the American West through historic and contemporary art and artifacts.


John Moyers, Voices in the Night, 1997, oil on canvas, 39.75 x 49.5 in.


Narrative Art & The West

October 3, 2024 – January 19, 2025

This exhibition explores the various ways artists have told stories about the Southwest in their work. From illustrations of historic events, such as Diego Romero’s images of the Pueblo Revolt and paintings of regional religious ceremonies like William Penhallow Henderson’s Holy Week in New Mexico, to ruminations on spiritual traditions as in Patrocinos Barela’s The Last Supper, the narratives of the West reflect various points of view to tell the story of this special place. Ranging from the celebratory to the satirical, these works reflect on modern art, as shown by John Sloan or Gustave Baumann, comically lampoon contemporary society, and expand on iconic images of the pop culture West as seen in W. Herbert Dunton’s illustration for “The Fair in the Cow Country” and Billy Schenck’s pop cowboys.

Narrative art tells a story. It can illustrate historic events or bring the imagination to life. It can be somber, humorous, didactic, ironic, and often entertaining. The traditions of storytelling in the Southwest can be traced back to ancient times and to the Indigenous populations of the region. Later, the West held a special place in the American imagination providing a canvas for the expression of the nation’s hopes, fears, and aspirations. The topics of these stories include the everyday, agriculture, ecology, celebrations, grief, and regional history.

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