Whitney Western Art Museum Collections
The Whitney Western Art Museum holds one of the preeminent collections of western American art in the country. The museum fulfills the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s mission of “Connecting people to the stories of the American West” by collecting, preserving, and making accessible artwork which explores the myths and realities of the American West as a geographical and cultural concept.
The Whitney presents a broad spectrum of western American art from historical masterworks of the nineteenth century to compelling contemporary art. Works of art span stylistic developments from realism and romanticism to impressionism and abstraction, and offer varied perspectives on the American West. Predominantly representational, the collection’s focal subjects include the West’s diverse people, magnificent environments, fascinating wildlife, and historical events. The collection features over 10,000 artworks—including more than 2,000 paintings and sculptures, plus drawings, prints, illustrated letters, and other objects—spanning more than 180 years.
The primary strength of the collection is art inspired by the northern Plains and northern Rocky Mountains between 1830 and 1930. Within this period, emphases include: the studio collections of artists W.H.D. Koerner, Alexander Phimister Proctor, Frederic Remington, and Joseph Henry Sharp; works by nineteenth-century artist-explorers, including George Catlin, Alfred Jacob Miller, and John Mix Stanley; nineteenth-century landscapes by Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran; western American bronze sculptures dating between 1850–1925; and, works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell as well as other figurative artists of their time.
The secondary strength of the collection is contemporary art of the West created since 1970, varying widely in technique and style. Among these holdings, the Whitney has significant representation of art created by Indigenous artists including T.C. Cannon and Fritz Scholder, and in-depth holdings of artists Harry Jackson, T.D. Kelsey, and James Bama.