Indians, Buffalo and Storms
The American West in 19th Century Art
by Toby Faber
Monday 31st January 2022
Artists were never far behind the explorers who opened up the west of America in the 19th Century. Sometimes they painted what they saw. Sometimes they painted what they wished they saw. Either way, painters like Alfred Miller, Frederick Church and Albert Bierstadt have left us a powerful, if romanticised, record of the country and people that the settlers found. Now we can use their pictures to chart the history of the opening of America’s west - the arrival of the railroad, the confinement of native Americans into reservations, and the extermination of the buffalo.
This is a story on a big scale and it seems appropriate that among the pictures illustrating the lecture are some of the largest and most grandiloquent paintings of the era. After a period of deep neglect, they are now very much back in vogue, but whatever one thinks of their artistic merits, above all, they are great fun.
Toby Faber has entertained us twice before with his excellent talks on Faber and Faber and Stradivarius. He is a publisher, writer, and an experienced lecturer and public speaker.