Architecture in Art Postcard

Architecture in Art
March 8 through July 13, 2014
Members Preview and Opening Reception, March 7, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Phippen Museum members free, guests $10

Architecture in the Western United States is as diverse as American society itself, shaped over time by numerous internal forces, external factors and regional influences. As a whole, it represents the rich, unique and innovative traditions of the West. From kivas and teepees to shacks and log cabins, buildings of the early West were created from the resources immediately available. But as the nation grew and railroad lines were established, settlers would send east for exotic lumber, glass windows, fancy fixtures and all the resources necessary to build a ‘modern’ and civilized life in the West.

prairie barn

Stopover, watercolor, David Halbach



Will James:
Cowboy Artist and Author

February 1 to June 15, 2014

Will James is the focus of a new exhibition at the Phippen Museum that explores his fascinating life as a Western artist and writer. On view, Will James: Cowboy Artist and Author provides a rare opportunity for visitors to appreciate the artistic skill and literary talent of the author of such great American classics as Smoky the Cowhorse and Lone Cowboy.

Born in Montreal as Joseph Ernest Nephtali Dufault, James is perhaps one of the finest cowboys of all time. He broke mustangs, was a top cow hand who could rope and ride with the best of them, ran his own spread east of Billings, Montana . . . and he was a best-selling writer and illustrator of at least 24 books about ‘cowboying.’ But the greatest fiction he ever told was the story of his own life (which ended early at age 50). The secret of his real identity James kept to his death. Not even his wife was aware of it until a dispute arose over the estate. It forced James’ brother, Auguste, to prove that Ernest Dufault and Will James were the same person.

However, Will James continues to appeal to a large audience who grew up reading his stories of adventure in the West. And new generations of horse fanciers and cowboy fans are also learning to appreciate his amazing talent.

two cowboys on horseback

Untitled, oil, Will James

cowboy on bucking bronco

Stay With It, graphite, Will James



Solon H. Borglum Collection

The Phippen Museum is especially proud to be the new home of the Prescott Area Arts Trust’s collection, which includes sculptures, furniture, paintings and other objects and memorabilia from Borglum’s life. A renowned sculptor from the late 1800s and early 1900s, Solon’s reputation as an artist was unfortunately eclipsed by his older brother, Gutzon Borglum, who designed Mount Rushmore. However, Solon’s realistic sculptures of Native Americans, cowboys, and North American wildlife won him tremendous accolades in 19th century Europe, and the title, “Sculptor of the Prairie.” In the early 20th Century, Solon began to focus on creating monuments like Prescott’s Captain William Owen O’Neill Memorial, now more commonly referred to as the “Rough Rider Monument.”

Solon Borglum