Two new exhibitions at the Harwood Museum of Art in Taos complicate the rich history of the cowboy in the American Southwest.
Outriders: Legacy of the Black Cowboy
October 15, 2022–May 7, 2023
William Herbert “Buck” Dunton: A Mainer Goes West
October 29, 2022–May 21, 2023
This fall, the Harwood Museum of Art investigates the symbol of the cowboy and the mythology of the West through two exhibitions: Outriders: Legacy of the Black Cowboy and William Herbert “Buck” Dunton: A Mainer Goes West.
African Americans have been an integral part of the history of the Southwest since before the Civil War. However, their stories have largely been expunged from the cultural imagination. Outriders: Legacy of the Black Cowboy draws attention to the contributions of these African Americans through historical photographs sourced from national archives and contemporary artworks by seven Black artists: Kennedi Carter, Praise Fuller, Alexander Harrison, Ivan B. McClellan, Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe, Ron Tarver, and Nate Young.
Outriders expands our idea of what constitutes an American icon and legacy, thus complicating a narrative woven deep into our popular culture. This is a breakthrough exhibition for the Harwood, which throughout its 100-year history has rarely shown artists of African ancestry.
Meanwhile, William Herbert “Buck” Dunton: A Mainer Goes West romanticizes the geography and cultures of the Southwest. Dunton, originally from Maine, came to Taos in 1912 at the encouragement of Ernest Blumenschein and was a founding member of the Taos Society of Artists, an important painting group that helped define the American West.
This traveling exhibition, co-organized by the Harwood Museum of Art and Phoenix Art Museum, includes dynamic paintings of cowgirls, herders, and Western families that add new dimension to the mythology of the West.