The Whitney Western Art Museum debuted the exhibition Tony Foster: Watercolour Diaries from the Green River in May, 2023.
The exhibition included sixteen artworks by Tony Foster executed en plein air at various locations on the Green River, from its headwaters in Wyoming to its confluence with the Colorado River in Utah.
Foster is a British painter who for forty years has made paintings on his extensive Journeys into the world’s wild places – mountains and canyons, rainforests and deserts, the Arctic and the Tropics. Watercolour Diaries from the Green River, Foster’s eighteenth Journey, is a continuation of Foster’s interest in physically and conceptually exploring waterways in the American West. Other work on rivers includes a Journey on the Salmon River (The Whole Salmon, 2002), as well as Journeys on the Colorado River (Exploring the Grand Canyon, 1988–89), the Missouri River and the Clearwater River (After Lewis and Clark, 1998–99), and the San Juan River (Sacred Places, 2010–12).
An accompanying catalogue and short film will situate Foster in context with historical artists; celebrate the Green River’s ecological uniqueness, significance, and current threats; and examine human relationships to the river across time.
Catalogue essayists include artist Tony Foster; Karen McWhorter, Collier-Read Director of Curatorial, Education and Museum Services, Buffalo Bill Center of the West; James K. Ballinger, Director Emeritus, Phoenix Art Museum; Lynette St. Clair, Shoshone Cultural Preservationist; Kate Poole, Sr. Director, Water Division, Natural Resources Defense Council; Dr. Dorothy Merritts, Professor of Geosciences, Franklin and Marshall College; and David Schendel, Writer, Producer, Director, Schendel Films; with a foreword by Kristin Poole, Artistic Director of the Foster Museum, and Jane Woodward, Founder of the Foster Museum.
Opened in Cody, Wyoming, on May 20, 2023, Watercolour Diaries from the Green River ran concurrently with Alfred Jacob Miller: Revisiting the Rendezvous—in Scotland and Today, an exhibition of Miller’s own artistic interpretations of the Green River Valley and the fur traders’ rendezvous he attended there in 1837. The exhibitions invited viewers to experience the Green River through art, artifacts, and stories, and were on view in the Anne & Charles Duncan Special Exhibition Gallery at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West through October 22, 2023.
Coordinated by the artist, the Whitney Western Art Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, and The Foster Museum, Watercolour Diaries from the Green River was supported by The Foster Museum.
In fall 2022, exhibition curator Karen McWhorter accompanied artist Tony Foster and an international film crew into the Wind River Mountains in west-central Wyoming.
Foster came to paint a large-scale watercolor of Squaretop Mountain, one of the Wind Rivers’ best-known landforms. Squaretop is located near the source of the Green River and as such would represent, in Tony’s painting, the origin of this critical western waterway.
Learn more about another artist’s journey to the Green in 1837. In addition to Watercolour Diaries from the Green River, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West presented Alfred Jacob Miller: Revisiting the Rendezvous—in Scotland and Today.
The two exhibitions ran concurrently from May 20–October 22, 2023, in our Anne & Charles Duncan Special Exhibition Gallery.