Once Upon a Time…the Western: A New Frontier in Art and Film
Here's an amazing coffee book for any western enthusiast looking for more western themed novelties to add to their collection. This is an absolute must have for collectors, enthusiasts, drifters, vagabonds or super fans western weirdos. Mine is currently on order and I can't wait to get my grubby hands on this collectors item.
Once Upon a Time…the Western: A New Frontier in Art and Film, edited by Mary-Dailey Desmarais and Thomas Brent Smith, is a beautifully designed, highly graphic coffee-table book with three dozen essays and interviews thoughtfully edited by the curatorial team of Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Curator of International Modern Art Desmarais and Denver Art Museum’s Director of the Petrie Institute of Western American Art Smith. You can pick up your copy now via Amazon.
The Western is the quintessential American epic—a mythic story of nation building, triumphs, failures, and fantasies. This book accompanies the first major exhibition to examine the Western genre and its evolution from the mid-1800s in fine art, film, and popular culture, exploring gender roles, race relations, and gun violence—a story that is about more than cowboys and American Indians, pursuits and duels, or bandits and barroom brawls. From 19th-century landscape paintings by Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Remington to works by Andy Warhol, Ed Ruscha, and Kent Monkman; from the legends of “Buffalo Bill” Cody and Billy the Kid to John Ford’s classic films and Sergio Leone’s spaghetti Westerns and recent productions by Quentin Tarantino, Ang Lee, and Joel and Ethan Coen, The Western observes how the mythology of the West spread throughout the world and endures today.
Once Upon a Time…the Western is a lush collection of images, artwork and stills from 175 years of Western cultural history—American and Canadian—that reproduces the vibrant palate and intellectual experience that a visitor to the exhibition experiences in person, which I did at its premiere at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in October 2017. Beyond the beauty of the Western art, cultural ephemera and cinema stills, Once Upon a Time…the Western’s essays and interviews—from a virtual who’s who of Western art curators and cinema historians from the United States and Canada—illustrate, expand and elucidate our understanding of the 2017-’18 joint-museum exhibition. The inclusion of interviews with John Ford, Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino are invaluable to the Western cinema fan, as are the essays on John Wayne, Sergio Leone, Akira Kuroasawa, Sam Peckinpah and Andy Warhol. Desmarais and Smith state in their introduction, “…we hope that, together, the essays assembled here tell a story—one that provides a multifaceted picture of the nexus of art, ideology, and history at the heart of the Western genre.”
The book seems to be a lot more detailed than most coffee table books currently on the market, Mary-Dailey Desmarais and Thomas Brent Smith were intent on making a book that was not just beautiful but also educational.