Great Falls is host to the Great Western Art Rendezvous this weekend, with artists from all around showing their work and passion. As part of the festivities, a presentation was hosted on Saturday, August 20, 2022, about Maynard Dixon, known by many to be one of America's premier artists of the 20th century, best known for his iconic depictions of the American West.
While Dixon was originally from California, he painted subjects in Arizona, New Mexico before eventually settling in Southern Utah. That was when he gained his signature style of unique compositions, often featuring low horizons and simplified, yet imposing clouds and rock formations in bold colors.
Dixon primarily focused on preserving the image of Native American people, whom he believed were disappearing from the American West.
The seminar was hosted by Dr. Mark Sublette, who explained, "Dixon embraces this modern west, in the 20s which is unique. He does a show in Chicago, and they call him 'The Modern West Artist,' which he replies, back home, they call me a 'buggy and horse guy.' So he has a unique style. He lives in a period from 1875-1946, he sees it all."
in January of 1908, Dixon moved from San Francisco to New York seeking greater opportunities for his illustration work. He established a studio at the Lincoln Arcade on Broadway, which was home to many artists and writers. These artists, writers, actors, Wild West showmen and others with an emotional and intellectual interest in the West and American art used Dixon’s place as an informal meeting location. It was during that time, Dixon met Charles M. Russell at the studio.
"Charles Russell and Dixon have this connection," Sublette said. "It's an intimate connection that a lot of people don't know about. So, it just made sense to be able to talk about someone that I've written books about. I understand the artists and that relation to Charles Russell who is the greatest Montana artist that ever lived."
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