A Fresh Take on Western Art

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West features artworks from the celebrated Tia Collection

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West presents “New Beginnings: An American Story of Romantics and Modernists in the West.” This show offers a fresh Western art experience through 100 works by 70 well-known artists including those from the Taos Society of Artists and less-recognized artists, who were living and working in the 1920s and 1930s in Santa Fe and Taos, N.M.

The exhibition, which will travel to four additional institutes across the U.S. into 2021, features paintings, works on paper, photographs and sculptures from the celebrated Tia Collection including never-before-shown works. A crisp view of artwork covering nearly a century, from 1888 to 1983, shows the evolution of art in New Mexico from 19th century Classicism and Romanticism to early 20th century Modernism.

Kenneth Adams, Juanita, c. 1938, oil on canvas; Tia Collection, Santa Fe

People who lived through rapid industrialization, two world wars, the 1918 flu epidemic, the global economic reversals of the Great Depression and increasingly sophisticated levels of commercialization created the artworks on view. As the U.S. shifted from agrarian ideas to urban manufacturing, artists shifted their focus, too, from perpetuating European traditions to forging an aesthetic rooted in the Americas. Northern New Mexico serves as the back drop for this transformation and is the focus of this exhibition.

“In the 1920s and 1930s artists came to Northern New Mexico from all over the nation and globe – from New York City and other East Coast locales, as well as from across Europe. These innovative artists were inspired by the light, landscape, culture, energy and the community,” says Laura Finlay Smith, Tia Collection curator, Santa Fe. “The idea to feature Santa Fe and Taos artists together in an exhibition is not new. The whole idea behind this Santa Fe and Taos exhibition is to maintain this historic material and make it fresh and relevant to the 21st century, especially appealing to today’s younger audiences. So we took new approaches for the exhibition by mixing things up a bit to showcase a rephrasing of why this work is so very relevant.”

“New Beginnings” is on view through Sept. 2019. “The community of Scottsdale is tremendously proud to host in its museum the first opening of this unique traveling exhibition and featuring never-before-shown artworks from this renowned collection,” says Mike Fox, director and CEO for the museum. “We are thrilled that our young institution is seen as worthy to be one of a number of other major institutions throughout the country to be sharing the creative inspiration and energy behind the ‘New Beginnings’exhibition and its fresh take on Western art. We know our residents, tourists and members will enjoy the exhibition, and we expect to attract new audiences to take in the captivating regional stories represented in the artwork as well.”

Dedicated to telling stories of the Greater Western Region, this is the third of seven new exhibitions coming to Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, a Smithsonian Affiliate, in the 2018-19 season.


New Beginnings: An American Story of Romantics and Modernists in the West

Through Sept. 2019

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, 3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale

For more information, visit scottsdalemuseumwest.org.

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