Cu­rat­ing the West

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - Wally Re­ber

What event (gallery show, mu­seum ex­hibit, etc.) in the next few months are you look­ing for­ward to, and why?

I am look­ing for­ward to the fall open­ing of By Western Hands: In­spired Western De­signs.

The pre­miere ex­hi­bi­tion in the new By Western Hands De­sign Mu­seum, By Western Hands, will ex­am­ine the legacy of fur­ni­ture en­tre­pre­neur Thomas Molesworth and his con­tem­po­raries and their in­flu­ence on the mak­ing of mod­ern, Western fur­ni­ture cre­ated by a broad com­mu­nity of crafts­peo­ple, each how­ever in­spired by the West. The ma­te­ri­als dis­played prom­ise to in­clude sin­gu­lar ex­am­ples of Molesworth fur­ni­ture, vin­tage pieces by other builders, and mod­ern in­ter­pre­ta­tions from the col­lec­tions of the Buf­falo Bill Cen­ter of the West’s vaunted Switch­back Ranch Col­lec­tion of Western Dec­o­ra­tive Arts.

What are you read­ing?

I am cur­rently fin­ish­ing Leonardo Da Vinci by Wal­ter Isaac­son.

Then, fol­low­ing the pass­ing of Tom Wolfe, per­haps a reread or two?

In­ter­est­ing ex­hibit, gallery open­ing or work of art you’ve seen re­cently.

I re­cently saw the Chi­huly Col­lec­tion at the Morean Art Cen­ter in St. Peters­burg, Florida. Be­yond the ob­vi­ous ap­peal of the Chi­huly in­stal­la­tion, the build­ing it­self was de­signed specif­i­cally to be­come an en­ve­lope for the ex­hi­bi­tion. To gain an un­der­stand­ing of the cre­ative pro­cesses used by Chi­huly, con­nected to the ex­hi­bi­tion is the Art Cen­ter’s Glass Stu­dio and Hot Shop where glass blow­ers both demon­strate and cre­ate sin­gu­lar pieces.

What are you re­search­ing at the mo­ment?

I con­tinue to be drawn to the sur­vey and study of Western dec­o­ra­tive arts, its de­sign­ers, mak­ers, and yes, the buy­ers. That schol­ar­ship will seek to en­hance the in­ter­pre­tive nar­ra­tive of By Western Hands.

What is your dream ex­hibit to cu­rate? Or see some­one else cu­rate?

A ret­ro­spec­tive ex­hi­bi­tion of the work of artist Olive Fell.

A ren­der­ing of the new By Western Hands mu­seum, which is ex­pected to be com­pleted in 2018 in Cody, Wy­oming.

Cu­ra­tor By Western Hands Cody, WY (307) 250-2228 www.by­west­ern­hands.org

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