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Chisholm Trail 150

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Horsin’ Around: Out of the Vault


Aug. 24 – Dec. 22, 2016

Artists have long held a fascination for horses, from the wild-free roamers to work horses, and rodeo stock. Many of these pieces have not been on exhibit in years. Discover the role of the horse in the American West, and of the artists behind these rare pieces.

Curated from the Garis collection, this exhibition features 29 rare pieces of art – paintings, sketches and signed lithographs, highlighting the horse. Some of the pieces date to the 1920s by artists such as Tom Lovell and Frank Tenney Johnson or Gene Ware (1949 sketch); and works by famous Oklahomans, Will Sampson and Doc Tate Nevaquaya, while others are by living artists who created the pieces in the late 1960s to 1990s. They were selected from the vault of the Garis Gallery of the American West and have not been on display in at least a decade.

Living artists with early works featured are: Donald Vann (Cherokee National Treasure), Cruz McDaniels, Jim Baker, Janet Loveless, all of Oklahoma; and Howard Terpning and Jack Lutzow.

Some quick facts about some of the artists featured:

Frank Tenney Johnson: When he was only 14-years-old, Johnson left his small farm home in Iowa and moved to “big-city Milwaukee.” Frank was also an accomplished photographer and in a book written by Harold McCracken, he’s quoted in a letter as saying, “Have bought 62 rolls of film at 70 cts or $43.40…” while in Colorado Springs, on his way to photograph the Cheyenne Frontier Days in 1904. He ends his letter with, “And I still own my saddle.”

Tom Lovell: Illustrator and created “pulp fiction” covers, artwork for National Geographic and won the National Academy of Western Artists Prix de West award twice.

Will Sampson: An Oklahoma artist, whose work of tall-Native Americans sitting on large horses, are representative of his own features. He was in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

Jim Baker: now 80, continues to create award-winning work, using digital layers of multiple images, and still paints.

This exhibit is open daily, during regular museum hours. There is an admission fee, which provides access to the entire facility.

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