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The West on Horseback


January 19 – July 31, 2021

Boyle Gallery

An image of Martin Grelle 's "Goin' for Supplies" painting
An image of Holly Roberts "Blind" painting
Image of Rygh Westby's "October Snow" oil painting

This exhibition explores various representations of an iconic and enduring symbol of the American West: the horse. In the 19th century, some artists from the East ventured westward to work as cowboys and ranchers. Collectively, they created a romanticized vision of the region through beautiful landscapes and rugged scenes of ranch-life, often featuring wild stallions or their equine work partners. The use, companionship, and admiration of horses in the West has remained a constant, though many contemporary artists working in the region recontextualize the creatures within the modern landscape. The assemblage of these images complicates the idea of a single, unified Western vision as contemporary works challenge the viewer’s preconception of the horse and the West itself.


Funded through the generosity of the Roy & Caryl Cline, Dave Bostrom, and the UW Board of Trustee’s Strategic Projects Funds.



Martin Grelle (American, b. 1954), Goin' for Supplies, oil on canvas, 20 x 29 inches, gift of the E.G. Meyer Family, 2020.6.14  

Holly Roberts (American, b. 1951), Blind, 2013, acrylic paint, photograph on panel, 28 x 37 inches, gift of  the artist, 2017.14.6 

Rygh Westby (American, b. 1949), October Snow, 1981, oil on canvas, 19-1/2 x 29-1/2 inches, gift of Mr. Al Wolfe and Dr. Helen Wolfe, 1982.119 


The West on Horseback Digital Gallery Environment

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A virtual experience of "The West on Horseback" on view at the UW Art Museum through July 31, 2021.

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