Museum of Art to open Wild West exhibit for the Olympics


    By Marilyn Lau

    Cowboys and Indians are coming for the Winter 2002 Olympic Games and are taking over BYU’s Museum of Art.

    As part of the Cultural Olympiad, the Museum of Art will welcome 70 paintings and sculptures depicting the Wild, Wild West.

    The exhibit will open Jan. 17, 2002, about two weeks before the Olympics begin.

    The Arts and Culture program is an important part of the Olympics, said Frank Zang, SLOC media relations representative. The Cultural Olympiad is part of the Olympics and will help celebrate Utah, the West, and its culture.

    The “Lore of the West” exhibit will be brought from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and is part of the national art collection.

    The Smithsonian American Art Museum will be undergoing renovations and announced that many of its exhibits would be traveling around the country, said Paul Anderson, exhibit designer for BYU’s Museum of Art.

    Anderson was in Boston when he saw the announcement.

    “It was great timing for us,” Anderson said.

    He said he made a few phone calls and there was a time slot open during the Olympics.

    Anderson said he knew this exhibit would work well with the Cultural Olympiad.

    The Smithsonian was pleased to have “Lore of the West” as part of the Olympics, Anderson said.

    “Paul was at the right place at the right time,” said Marian Wardle, curator for the Museum of Art.

    The exhibit includes prominent 19th and 20th century painters and sculptors who create grand, somewhat romanticized pictures of the West, said Cheryll May, coordinator of Public and Volunteer Programs for BYU’s Museum of Art.

    “This exhibit helps express the strong tie we have to the West as westerners,” said May. “We hope visitors will gain these same feelings.”

    Such artists as Thomas Moran, George Catlin and Fredrick Remmington depict landscapes, Native Americans and early settler.

    “This is first rate American art,” said Anderson. “It is the best exhibit to come to this part of the country.”

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