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American West photography exhibition opens in 10 museums - and online
Rodeo, Nebraska, 1998 (© Joel Sartore/National Geographic Stock)
JACKSON HOLE, WY.- The exhibition National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West opened in 10 museums across the country. Featuring 75 iconic images of the West selected from among thousands in the National Geographic archives, the exhibition – already innovative in its simultaneous opening in so many U.S. venues – also connects with audiences at a website, www.photographsofthewest.org, and via social media.

“Visitors to the exhibition can further connect with the exhibition by visiting the website, which includes additional images, photographer interviews and interactive features,” says Jim McNutt, president and CEO of the National Museum of Wildlife Art and a key exhibition organizer. “The website is also a way for people who can’t attend the exhibition to participate virtually, and the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram social media options allow a real-time conversation to develop about the American West and the medium of photography.”

Rather than presenting the photographs chronologically, exhibition curators ultimately opted to organize the images around the themes of “Legends,” “Encounters,” “Boundaries,” and “Visions.” The broader themes allow the complexity of the West to emerge as historical photos from the likes of William Henry Jackson and romantic images of cowboys are juxtaposed with more contemporary realities of drought, development and the forward march of technology.

Social media connections to the exhibition can be found on Facebook at “National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West;” and on Twitter and Instagram at @photosofthewest. Start a conversation with #AmerWestPhotos. A video introduction to the exhibition is available here, and a companion book to the exhibition, National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West: Capturing 125 Years of Majesty, Spirit and Adventure, is available at participating museums and through National Geographic Books.

Participating museums include the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., and nine members of the Museums West consortium: Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, Ga.; Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyo.; Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Indianapolis, Ind.; Gilcrease Museum, Tulsa, Okla.; National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, Okla.; National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson Hole, Wyo.; Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, N.Y.; C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Mont.; and Stark Museum of Art, Orange, Texas.

The exhibition is organized by the National Museum of Wildlife Art in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and Museums West.





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