Watercolors have been in existence since they were used in China around 100CE, and over time have developed into a distinguished artistic medium worldwide. This media provides artists with the ability to create images quickly as well as provide different degrees of color transparency and opacity. In America in the 19th century, water-soluble pigments were often employed to create studies before making final oil paintings. They also began to be used outside, in plein air, to capture fleeting moments in nature or events. Artists who explored the American West used watercolors while on expeditions, as they were light and transportable; however, by the 20th century, watercolors became a major medium which showcased stylistic diversity. Many artists who lived in or visited the Southwest applied their knowledge of watercolors to images of the landscape and architecture of the region.
This exhibition contains a selection of watercolors from the Art of the American West collection, ranging from the early-to-mid 20th century. Artists slated to be included are Arthur Bowen Davies, Norma Basset Hall, B.J.O. Nordfeldt, Gerry Peirce, Don Perceval, and Stanford Stevens.