Laura Wilson takes us into a West defined by diverse communities outside the suburban middle-class. This exhibition of seventy-one photographs introduces us to worlds that are hard-bitten and fiercely independent. Framed equally by beauty and violence, the images reflect the artist’s challenge to today’s homogenized America.
Dallas collector Trevor Rees-Jones first became interested in art and the American West when visiting the Amon Carter Museum of American Art as a young boy.
Years later that experience led Rees-Jones to gather one of the finest private collections of art of the American West, spanning the eighteenth century through the 1920s, including paintings, watercolors, sculpture, and photographs. The selection of the Rees-Jones Collection on view marks its debut showing in a museum.
Texas Folk Art features the spirited work of some of the state’s most original painters and sculptors, including H. O. Kelly, Reverend Johnnie Swearingen, Velox Ward, and Clara McDonald Williamson, among others. Developing their own styles, these artists were unfettered by the conventions of academic training and traditional guidelines of art making. Lively storytelling was their primary focus, and they used any pictorial means necessary to create animated narratives about working, playing, and worshipping in Texas.
Over the last five years, the Amon Carter has focused on acquiring photographs that examine our nation’s enduring ideal as a land of opportunity. This exhibition, drawn from these new holdings, reveals how artists have mutually embraced and questioned that belief. In addition to highlighting the museum’s increased interest in contemporary photographers like Katy Grannan and Laura Letinsky, Focal Points includes significant new works by iconic figures like Alfred Stieglitz.
Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum explores the “self-taught” artist as an elastic and enduring phenomenon with powerful and profound implications that have changed over time. More than 100 works of art are on view in this groundbreaking exhibition that highlights the roles of folk and self-taught artists as figures who are central to the shared history of America and whose contributions to the national conversation are paramount.