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Myths of the West: Narrating Stories of the Land and People through Wichita Art Collections

August 25, 2022 — December 3, 2022

Myths of the West: Narrating Stories of the Land and People through Wichita Art Collections introduces viewers to diverse narratives of the history of the American West, focusing in particular on the history of the Great Plains and the perspectives of Native American artists, both past and present. The exhibition showcases works held in Wichita art collections, with additional loans from outside of Wichita adding works by contemporary Native artists. Comprised of approximately 80 pieces, Myths of the West questions familiar narratives by juxtaposing works of art that capture them with ones that delve into underrepresented and difficult histories. These include the significant presence of African Americans in the West; the roles available to women on the frontier; and, above all, the dispossession, destruction, and cultural genocide that White settlement brought to Native Americans. Focusing in large part on bringing together works by three generations of Native American artists, the exhibition emphasizes that despite all odds, Native cultures continued to persist and innovate throughout the 20th century and remain a vital part of American life today. 

Exhibition Catalog

View videos about works in this exhibition on the Ulrich YouTube channel

This exhibition and associated programs are generously supported by Art Brdiges; INTRUST Bank; Emprise Bank; and Fidelity Bank. Additional support provided by Don and Ellie Skokan; Keith and Georgia Stevens; and Jeff and Janice Van Sickle. The Ulrich is grateful for the ongoing support of Salon Circle members who make the Museum’s exhibitions and programs possible through their Salon memberships. We also receive funding for general operational support from the City of Wichita and Wichita State University.

Banner: Jacob Lawrence, Black Cowboys (detail), 1962. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Museum Purchase.

Monday-Saturday 11am-5pm 
Closed Sundays, University & Major Holidays | Free Admission | 316.978.3664
1845 Fairmount; Wichita, KS 67260-0046