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for people who care about the West

A review of Elevating Western American Art


Elevating Western American Art: Developing an Institute in the Cultural Capital of the Rockies
Thomas Brent Smith, editor.
320 pages, hardcover: $34.95.
Denver Art Museum, 2012.

The Denver Art Museum’s Petrie Institute of Western American Art hosts an impressive collection of historic and contemporary paintings, textiles, prints and sculptures. Elevating Western American Art celebrates the Institute’s 10th anniversary, describing the history of the collection and presenting 30 essays by art historians on everything from specific works to the nature of the power of art itself. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll find yourself eager to visit Denver for the chance to contemplate pieces ranging from Albert Bierstadt’s classic mountain landscapes to Daniel Morper’s tonal urban scenes.