Dietler Gallery of Western Art, Level 2, Hamilton Building (OPEN)
Betsy Magness Galleries, Level 7, North Building (CLOSED)
The Petrie Institute of Western American Art is the national leader in scholarly research and programming in the field of art of the American West. The Petrie Institute is organized to enrich life in the Rocky Mountain region through the study, collection, preservation, and exhibition of art created about the American West, its people, its history, and its landscape.
Our encyclopedic western American art collection is anchored by three extraordinary masterworks—Frederic Remington's bronze The Cheyenne, Charles M. Russell's In the Enemy's Country and Charles Deas's Long Jakes, “the Rocky Mountain Man.”
Level 7 Galleries Now Closed to Make Artwork Loan Possible
Level 7 of the North Building closed on January 29, 2017. This makes it possible for the DAM to loan the artworks in Backstory: Western American Art in Context at History Colorado Center, and is an early step toward realizing the North Building renovation project. Backstory features works from the DAM's western American art collection displayed alongside History Colorado’s collection of western artifacts. The exhibition is on view through February 11, 2018, at History Colorado Center. Present your DAM Member ID card at History Colorado Center for free general admission on these dates*: April 11, July 11, October 10, 2017, and January 9, 2018. History Colorado Center also has free general admission for everyone on the following days: April 30, 2017 (Día del Niño) August 1, 2017 (Colorado Day) November 4, 2017 (After 5 pm for Night at the Museums). *Dates subject to change. Check with History Colorado Center to confirm.
Contemporary western American art is currently on view on level 2 of the Hamilton Building.
The Roath Collection
In 2013 the museum announced a major gift of western American art from Henry Roath. The generous donation effectively doubled the importance of the existing western collections and is one of the most important gifts in the history of the Denver Art Museum.
Along with the collection donation, Mr. Roath made a financial gift to help establish an acquisitions fund to transform the future of the department and collection. The Roath Collection comprises over 50 works by masters of the American West including Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Frederic Remington, and Ernest L. Blumenschein with artworks ranging in date from 1877 to 1972.
Other Notable Highlights
- William Jacob Hays, Herd of Buffalo
- Thomas Moran’s watercolor of the Mount of the Holy Cross
- Albert Bierstadt’s large early canvas Wind River Country
- Charles Bird King’s Eagle of Delight
- E. Martin Hennings’ Rabbit Hunt
The Petrie Institute also holds an impressive collection of contemporary paintings and sculptures.
News & Stories
The Western: An Epic in Art and Film features a stunning collection of works by some of the most well-known western artists including Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, and Charles Marion Russell. More
Bringing together still and moving images, objects of popular culture, and iconic works of art, this exhibition considers the Western and its attendant myths in the context of painting, photography, literature, and film from the mid-1800s to the present. More
Some of the Denver Art Museum’s Petrie Institute of Western American Art’s most beloved paintings and sculptures are now on display at History Colorado Center as part of a collaborative exhibition entitled Backstory: Western American Art in Context. More
See a selection of paintings by early-twentieth century Taos artists including Victor Higgins, E. Martin Hennings, and Walter Ufer, as well as works by other American modernists including B. J. O. Nordfelt, Beatrice Mandelman, and Denver’s own Vance Kirkland. More
Howdy, y’all! Welcome to the Denver Art Museum’s exhibition The Western: An Epic in Art and Film. We hope this video and the following tips help you prepare for and enjoy your visit. More
Set in the West: Telling Tales in Art and Film explores the dialogue between film and fine art, fact and fiction. More
PIWAA has an active publishing program. Western Passages, its signature scholarly series, includes topical essays on the art of the American West by curators and historians. These and other exhibition-related publications are distributed nationally and available for purchase in The Shop.
Mary Dailey Desmarais and Thomas Brent Smith, eds., Once Upon a Time . . . The Western: A New Frontier in Art and Film (Milan: Five Continents Editions, 2017)
Thomas Brent Smith, ed., A Place in the Sun: The Southwest Paintings of Walter Ufer and E. Martin Hennings (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016)
Thomas Brent Smith and Thayer Tolles, eds., The American West in Bronze, 1850–1925 (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2013)
Decades: An Expanded Context for Western American Art, 1900–1940. Vol. 9 of Western Passages (Denver Art Museum, 2014)
Thomas Brent Smith, ed., Rocky Mountain Majesty: The Paintings of Charles Partridge Adams (Denver Art Museum, 2013)
Thomas Brent Smith, ed., Elevating Western American Art: Developing an Institute in the Cultural Capital of the Rockies, Vol. 8 of Western Passages (Denver Art Museum, 2012)
Shaping the West: American Sculptors of the 19th Century, Vol. 7 of Western Passages (Denver Art Museum, 2010)
Charlie Russell and Friends, Denver Art Museum Western Passages, Vol. 6 of Western Passages (Denver Art Museum, 2010)
Joan Carpenter Troccoli, ed., The Masterworks of Charles M. Russell: A Retrospective of Paintings and Sculpture, Vol. 6 of The Charles M. Russell Center Series on Art and Photography of the American West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009)
Carol Clark, Charles Deas and 1840s America, Vol. 4 of The Charles M. Russell Center Series on Art and Photography of the American West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009)
Peter H. Hassrick and Elizabeth J. Cunningham, In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008)
Colorado: The Artist’s Muse, Vol. 5 of Western Passages (Denver Art Museum, 2008)
Heart of the West: New Painting and Sculpture of the American West, Vol. 4 of Western Passages (Denver Art Museum, 2007)
Redrawing Boundaries: Perspectives on Western American Art, Vol. 3 of Western Passages (Denver Art Museum, 2007)
Sweet on the West: How Candy Built a Colorado Treasure, Vol. 2 of Western Passages (Denver Art Museum, 2003)
West Point Points West, Vol. 1 of Western Passages (Denver Art Museum, 2002)
Joan Carpenter Troccoli, Painters and the American West: The Anschutz Collection (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000)
- Thomas Brent Smith, Director and Curator
- Jennifer R. Henneman, Assistant Curator
- Meg Erickson, Curatorial Assistant
- Julianne Maron, Publications and Programs Coordinator
- Lauren Thompson, Interpretive Specialist
- Peter H. Hassrick, Director Emeritus, Director 2005-2009
- Joan Carpenter Troccoli, Director 2001-2005, Senior Scholar 2005-2012
- Ann Scarlett Daley, Associate Curator 2001–2008
PIWAA announces its 12th annual symposium, Beyond America’s Heartland: Regionalism and the Art of the American West, coming January 4, 2018. Expanding upon the well-known artist triumvirate of Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood, this year’s symposium focuses on regionalism and its impact on artists working in the West.
Past symposia include:
2017 Set in the West: Telling Tales in Art and Film
2016 Walter Ufer and E. Martin Hennings: An In-depth Look
2015 Western Character: Expressions of Identity and Place in Portraiture
2014 Journeys West
2013 Decades: An Expanded Context for Western American Art, 1900-1940
2012 Lest We Forget California: Artists in the Golden West
2011 A Distant View: European Perspectives on Western American Art
2010 Shaping the West: American Sculptors of the 19th Century
2009 Taos Traditions: Artists in an Enchanted Land
2008 Heart of the West: New Art/New Thinking
2007 Redrawing Boundaries: Perspectives on Western American Art