In a day-long symposium this past June, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Whitney Western Art Museum brought together several top art historians and renowned artists to examine topics related to western American sculpture. Forged and Founded—Western American Sculpture, a Centennial Symposium resulted in stimulating and thought-provoking presentations, recorded and now available online.
Themes explored at the symposium included the history of bronze casting in America; the artistic careers of sculptors Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Alexander Phimister Proctor; groundbreaking contemporary sculpture in the West; the artistic process of sculpting in varied media; the science of X-ray fluorescence in the study of bronze sculpture, and more.
Featured speakers whose presentations are now captured on video include the following:
- Dr. Carol C. Clark, William McCall Vickery 1957 Professor of the History of Art and American Studies-Emerita, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts. Clark discusses American sculpture from 1850 – 1925.
- Débora Mesa from the Ensamble Studio, expands on Structures of Landscape at Tippet Rise Art Center, Fishtail, Montana.
- Ellen Roberts, Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Curator of American Art, Norton Museum, West Palm Beach, Florida. Roberts shares perspectives on sculptress Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.
- Karen McWhorter, Scarlett Curator of western American art at the Center’s Whitney Western Art Museum, discusses the centrality of sculpture to the Whitney Museum’s story.
- Contemporary artist Linda Raynolds shares her interest in animals as a subject for her through drawing, painting, and sculpting in this brief snippet.
- Peter Hassrick, Director Emeritus and Senior Scholar for the Center of the West. Hassrick explores Alexander Phimister Proctor’s interpretations of western and wildlife subjects in his public monuments.
- Sculptor Tracy Linder briefly discusses her incorporation of our integral connection to the land into her work.
- Vic and Dustin Payne, both noted sculptors, each talk about their own artistic styles and approaches in this clip.
- Center of the West Chief Conservator Beverly Perkins and Conservation Research Fellow Allison Rosenthal explain the process and importance of X-ray Fluorescence in their research.
These video presentations can also be accessed directly from the Center’s YouTube channel: click here.
Funding for the June symposium was provided in part by the Peters Family Art Foundation, Bill and Robin Weiss, Carlene Lebous and Harris Haston, Hope and Edward Connors, and the Proctor Collection Endowment Fund. A a grant from thinkWY|Wyoming Humanities supported the filming of the program by Levi Meyer, as well.
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For additional information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s Facebook page. #100YearsMore