Judith A. Barter
Judith A. Barter is Field-McCormick Chair, American Art, at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Barter, Judith A.
Barter, Judith A.
United States of America
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Description: Window on the West: Chicago and the Art of the New Frontier 1890–1940
With the landmark World's Columbian Exposition, held in 1893, Chicago established its identity as a "Window on the West": an economic and cultural hub linking the traditions of the East with the resources of the West after the official "closure" of the frontier declared that year by Frederick Jackson Turner. During the period 1890–1940, Chicago experienced tremendous population growth, pioneered numerous technological advances, and contributed to the development of artistic modernism.

Chicago artists looked back at an imagined, idyllic past and romantic Indian heroes, and forward to an equally utopian future in which American culture would rediscover its soul through contact with "authentic" native peoples and artistic expressions. A number of important patrons supported these artists in their quest to depict the West and Southwest. Individuals as diverse as railway entrepreneur Edward E. Ayer; five-term mayor Carter H. Harrison, Jr.; real estate mogul and politician George F. Harding; and progressively inclined Art Institute director Daniel Catton Rich shared a desire for uniquely American art, fostered in Chicago and featuring motifs found tin the West and Southwest. The art they commissioned and collected took many forms: the broad array of media and styles presented here range from the naturalistic sculpture of Frederic Remington and Hermon Atkins MacNeil, through the colorful Taos paintings of Walter Ufer and Victor Higgins, to the modernist abstractions of Georgia O'Keeffe.

This publication provides a focused social and cultural history of the role played by Chicago artists and patrons in the evolution of a visual language for depicting the landscape and people of the American West. These works of art both reflected and influenced the nation's perspective on its land, people, and history.

*This eBook is available exclusively on the A&AePortal*
Print publication date January 2003 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780865591998
EISBN 9780300234329
Illustrations 170 illus.
Print Status out of print