Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea

National Traveling Exhibition

Many Wests: Artists Shape an American Idea features artwork from the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and four partner museums located in some of the fastest-growing cities and states in the western region of the United States. The collaborating partner museums are the Boise Art Museum in Idaho; the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, Oregon; the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City; and the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington. It is the culmination of a multi-year, joint curatorial initiative made possible by the Art Bridges Foundation.

 

ABOUT | Many Wests examines the perspectives of 48 modern and contemporary artists who offer a broader and more inclusive view of this region, which too often has been dominated by romanticized myths and Euro-American historical accounts.  

This exhibition presents an opportunity to examine previous misconceptions, question racist clichés, and highlight the multiple communities and histories that continue to form this iconic region of the United States. Working in various media, from painting and sculpture to photography and mixed media, the artists featured bring a nuanced and multifaceted history to light. Many Wests highlights many voices—including artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, Asian American, Latinx, and LGBTQ+ — who stake a claim in the American West. 

The exhibition’s three sections; Caretakers, Memory Makers, and Boundary Breakers highlight the various ways artists  explore  singular conceptions  of the American West, often  demonstrating  the resilience of marginalized communities  who survived  against the odds. 

 

EXHIBITION LOCATIONS |  Whatcom Museum of Art in Bellingham, Washington

March 19, 2022 –  August 21, 2022

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art in Eugene, Oregon
September 28, 2022 –  December 31, 2022
Utah Museum of Fine Art in Salt Lake City, Utah
February 4, 2023 –  June 11, 2023
Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC
July 28, 2023 –  January 14, 2024
 

 

 

April 13, 2022