"People in a Hard Land: Iconic Images of Life in the Southwest," the second installment of an American West exhibition at the BYU Museum of Art, is now on display thrugh Jan. 19, 2013.
This new exhibition explores subjects in Southwestern art that have appeared with sufficient frequency and poignancy to become truly iconic:
• Pioneers, cowboys and Indians moving across a vast uninhabited landscape.
• Men and women engaged in the hard labor of taming a wild land.
• Western faces: tough, weatherworn, stoic, self-reliant, patient, wise, open and honest.
• People from different cultures living in harmony with nature and each other.
Even today, after more than a century of Western painting, these familiar themes remain among the most popular in all of American art.
What has kept these images so compelling across the decades? Perhaps it is their sense of optimism — that it is possible to make a fresh start in a new land, and that hard work, and determination can yield an independent and satisifying place in an unspoiled world.
This idealization of Western life remains as one of the continuing wellsprings of the American Dream.
Admission is free. The Museum of Art is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday through Friday offers extended hours until 9 p.m. Admission is free. Tours are also available. For more information, visit moa.byu.edu or call ext. 2-ARTS.
Writer: Yvette Arts