The West as America

Above: Unidentified photographer, Charles Schreyvogel Painting on the Roof of His Apartment Building in Hoboken New Jersey, 1903.

“ the embracing factor of our investigation...Ideologies, like myths. are based on a historical agenda that can be made to reveal itself. When viewed through a new perspective, images often yield this agenda—one taken for granted and therefore never acknowledged by nineteenth-century viewers.”

Organized by National Museum of Art Curator William Truettner, the exhibit contained 164 paintings, prints, sculptures, watercolors, and photographs. The show ran for several months in Washington, D.C., before heading to Denver and St. Louis.

Exhibit label 1 | label 2

Catalogue Contributors:

Foreward by Elizabeth Broun, Director, National Museum of American Art

"An Overview of Westward Expansion," Howard Lamar

“Ideology and Image: Justifying Westward Expansion,” Introduction, William Truettner

Chapter 1: Prelude to Expansion: Repainting the Past, Truettner

Chapter 2: Picturing Progress in the Era of Westward Expansion, Patricia Hills

Chapter 3: Inventing “the Indian,” Julie Schimmel

Chapter 4: Settlement and Development, Elizabeth Johns

Chapter 5: “The Kiss of Enterprise”: The Western Landscape as Symbol and Resource, Nancy K. Anderson

Chapter 6: “Doing the ‘Old America'”: The Image of the American West, 1880-1920, Alex Nemerov



Ideology and Image
Prelude to Expansion
Picturing Progress
Inventing the Indian
Settlement and Development
The Kiss of Enterprise
Doing the Old America
Views and Reviews
Mary Wood  |  ARTH 958  |  September 2004