June 30 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
An illustrated lecture entitled “Through European Eyes: Imagining the American Frontier West” will be presented by curator Lee Silliman at Park City Museum Education and Collection Center located at 2079 Sidewinder Drive on June 30th from 5-6 p.m. The public is cordially invited to this event at no charge. Please register for the lecture. Lee Silliman will also be available to talk to guests and explain more about his exhibit Viewed from Afar: European Prints of the American Frontier West, 1759-1908 at the Park City Museum Tozer Gallery located at 528 Main Street from 2-4 p.m. on June 30th.
This presentation will focus upon the British, French, and German perceptions of the Trans-Mississippi West of the nineteenth century. The people of these three nations were eager to learn more about this strange landscape and indigenous people who inhabited it. Silliman’s talk will first discuss the art depicting the West that was created by American and European artists who actually visited the region. From these artworks, derivative imagery—some accurate, some fanciful—flooded the continent’s illustrated newspapers and books. Literature, both European’s travel accounts and western fiction, also played a role in the creation of the western mystique. As communication technology improved by the late nineteenth century, Europeans were becoming acutely aware of events transpiring in the American West soon after they occurred. Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show—with “real” cowboys and Indians–toured many European cities over the years and thereby fostered truth and myth about the American West. A bibliography of recommended reading will be available for distribution at the conclusion of the presentation.
Lee Silliman is a retired educator and former part-time museum employee living in Missoula, Montana. Since early childhood he has nurtured a strong interest in the art and history of the frontier American West. His interests have spawned many articles and the editing of five books. He has presented conference lectures, taught workshops, and led four educational group tours. Since 1988 Silliman has assembled and circulated numerous fine art exhibits which have been displayed in more than one hundred venues throughout Montana and ten other states.
Register for this lecture