Art Lovers: Don't Miss 'Windows on the West' Show
Vitello, Barbara, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Barbara Vitello Daily Herald Staff Writer
Next month, the Art Institute of Chicago turns its attention seaward with the opening of its Edouard Manet retrospective, "Manet and the Sea" Oct. 20.
That leaves art lovers only 30 days to take in "Windows on the West: Chicago and the Art of the New Frontier, 1890-1940," an exhibition showcasing its outstanding collection of art from the American West.
Chicago, the one-time frontier town, is especially well-suited to host such an exhibition. Emerging as an economic and industrial powerhouse after the great fire of 1871, the city epitomized that Western spirit - brash, adventurous, fearless and forward-thinking - that defined America.
"Windows on the West" examines its impact on frontier art, beginning with the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and the Native American exhibitions that prompted artists to venture westward for inspiration.
It also takes into account patrons like Mayor William Hale "Big Bill" Thompson, who championed Western artists like Frederic Remington and brought their works to the city and modernist Georgia O'Keeffe, a former student at the School of the Art Institute, who maintained ties to Chicago even after she found inspiration in southwestern landscapes.
More than 115 paintings, sculptures, decorative works and prints make up "Windows on the West," including some of Remington's idealized depictions of cowboys and cavalries, O'Keeffe's abstracts, works representing the Native American-inspired Santa Fe school, as well as Chicago Arts and Crafts movement. …