Booth Western Art Museum is one of 10 museums from New York to Montana set to simultaneously host the National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West exhibit.
The Booth's exhibit is set to open Oct. 27 and end March 10. It's organized by the National Museum of Wildlife Art in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and Museums West Consortium and presented nationally by the Mays Family Foundation and locally by Showcase Photo & Video and Nikon.
"We are very excited to partner with other members of the Museums West Consortium to open this nationwide National Geographic exhibition," Executive Director Seth Hopkins said in a release. "The photographs mesh the past and present together very beautifully, which is something we try to promote here at the Booth.”
Greatest Photographs of the American West illustrates the extremes to which photographers push themselves to achieve original photographs. The oldest image in the exhibit is an 1873 stereographic image of Colorado’s Mountain of the Holy Cross by William Henry Jackson, shot after hauling hundreds of pounds of photography equipment up the 1,500-foot ascent. Other photographers in the show have endured similar hardships, from dangerous aerial maneuvers to hours and hours of waiting for the right moment.
While capturing extreme perspectives of the West, these photographs also create an accurate and compelling pictorial history of Western expansion, including Native American culture and conservation efforts. A National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West companion book, featuring 125 photographs that have been rarely or never published before, will be on sale at the Booth Museum store.
Prior to the exhibition opening Saturday, Oct. 27, the public is invited to attend the annual Art History Symposium, which this year focuses on photography. Four lectures make up the symposium, taking place on Friday, Oct. 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In addition to National Geographic photographer Peter Essick, other speakers include Mark Osterman, process historian at George Eastman House, who will discuss the field techniques used by early Western photographers. Michelle Anne Delaney, director of the Consortium for Understanding the American Experience, Smithsonian Institution, will talk about the work of Ruth Casebier and other photographers in relation to promoting Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. Bob Yellowlees, owner of Lumiere Fine Art Photography Gallery, will present Collecting Photography 101.
The Photography Symposium is free for Booth members and included with regular admission for not-yet members.