Sprawling prairies and rocky mountains. Arid deserts and majestic canyons. Coyote bands and buffalo herds. Gun toting cowboys and savage natives. These are the images that shape the mythos of western North America.
While much of this historical narrative is rooted more in folklore than in fact, western lore still resonates in the collective consciousness of Americans and Canadians. A romanticized notion of frontier exploration and settlement shapes the way in which many North Americans conceptualize their own personal identity. How the West was Won explores the interplay between legend and reality in the west. Artist Aimée Henny Brown provides valuable insight into the imagined and the historical west and foreshadows the continued resonance of the frontier narrative. At a superficial level, the cowboy archetype manifests itself in rodeo culture, the Dallas Cowboys, and the Saddledome. However, at a deeper level, these myths have powerful political and sociological implications.
If you haven’t made it down to the gallery to see the show and pick up a copy on paper, you can check out P.J. Kachmar’s essay about Aimée Henny Brown’s show on our website.