John Mix Stanley
John Mix Stanley (1814 – 1872) had an ambitious exhibition program and enviable exposure through illustrations used in vital government reports on western exploration—a gig that many of the artists of the day would have "given their eye teeth for." So, how can it be that the life and work of this major figure in 19th-century American art has remained largely unexplored? Two words: fire and vanished. On September 1, 1854, Stanley’s "Western Wilds", a highly praised exhibition of a 42-scene moving panorama, opened in Washington, DC, and soon after, Baltimore, New York, and London. The panorama later vanished, though, and historians have been unable to locate it. (How could one lose a 42-scene moving panorama??) Then, on January 24, 1865, fire consumed more than 200 of Stanley’s works then housed at the Smithsonian. Later that year, a fire at Barnum’s American Museum in New York City destroyed the greater part of his original western collection. All told, in the decades since, these losses left people asking, "John Mix Stanley, who?" But no more! Check out our upcoming 2015 exhibition about Stanley at http://centerofthewest.org/explore/exhibitions/upcoming-exhibitions/. It opens June 6!
A Buffalo Bill Center of the West Virtual Exhibit
Curated by: Marg2309