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Woolaroc bronze visits NY museum

The original Bryant Baker model of the Pioneer Woman monument is currently loaned to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
The original Bryant Baker model of the Pioneer Woman monument is currently loaned to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Those visiting Woolaroc during the Wonderland of Lights will be able to enjoy the many exceptional displays showcased in the museum, including the Lewis & Clark exhibition, according to officials with the museum.

They may also notice the absence of the original Bryant Baker model of the Pioneer Woman monument. This important sculpture is currently loaned to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to be shown in an exhibition titled, “The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925,” said Woolaroc Museum Director Ken Meek.

The exhibit showcases sculptures by Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, Hermon Atkins MacNeil, Paul Manship and more than 20 other artists, including Bryant Baker’s Pioneer Woman. The first full-scale exhibition of western bronzes, it includes some 60 pieces depicting American Indians, cowboys, cavalry, pioneers, horses, buffaloes and other symbols of the West during the late 1800s and early 1900s.

At the turn of the 20th century, artistic representations of American Indians, cowboys and cavalry, pioneers and prospectors and animals of the plains and the mountains served as visual metaphors for the Old West and, as such, were collected eagerly by an urban-based clientele, according to Meek. Through some 65 bronze sculptures by 28 artists, this exhibition will explore the aesthetic and cultural impulses behind the creation of statuettes with American western themes so popular with audiences then and now.

“In addition to representative sculptures by such archetypal artists as Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, the exhibition will explore the work of sculptors who infrequently pursued western subjects — such as James Earle Fraser and Paul Manship — yet profoundly informed widespread appreciation of the American bronze statuette,” said Meek.

The American West in Bronze, 1850-1925 will be shown at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from Dec. 16 through April 13, 2014 and at the Denver Art Museum from May 9 through Aug. 31, 2014.

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