Art Bridges featured on Smithsonian Voices

Who Claims the American West?

Under the stewardship of the Art Bridges Cohort Program, which fosters partnerships among museums to create collaborative exhibitions, the Smithsonian American Art Museum co-curated an expansive, multimedia experience with four museums in fast-growing areas of the western United States: the Boise Art Museum in Idaho; the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham, Washington; the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon; and the Utah Museum of Fine Arts at the University of Utah. For the past two years, the exhibition has stopped at each location; on July 28, it will open at our American Art Museum, its final venue.

The exhibition is curated around three major categories: Boundary Breakers, which examines diverse ways of disrupting the popular understanding of the American West; Memory Makers, which focuses on sharing stories across generations; and Caretakers, with the theme of preserving land and cultures. This stunning collection highlights communities often marginalized or excluded from the vernacular of the West; it features artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, Asian American, Latino and LGBTQ.

Read the Article

Article Information

Published July 25, 2023