American Landscape: Contemporary Photographs of the West
 American Landscape: Contemporary Photographs of the West presents work by fourteen photographers who have explored the geography, history, and culture of the West over the past three decades, including Barbara Bosworth, Peter de Lory, Joe Deal, Steve Fitch, Emmet Gowin, Eric Paddock, Mary Peck, Edward Ranney, Mark Ruwedel, Joni Sternbach, Martin Stupich, William Sutton, Terry Toedtemeier, and William Wylie.

American photography underwent a profound shift in the 1970s. No longer able to reconcile the heroic vistas typified by Ansel Adams’ views of the High Sierra with the realities of their contemporary surroundings, photographers began to acknowledge the urban and suburban landscape, recording its difficult failures as well as its day-to-day joys.

Since that time, a following generation of artists has created a direct and clear-eyed appraisal of the American West that incorporates the entire landscape — picturing not only its topography, but also the evidence of exploration, settlement, and development. Their work is not without the lyricism and elegance that has always characterized American landscape photography, but they are more likely to engage a local view — a highway crossing, the footprint of an abandoned factory, or the watershed of a river — than the distant and mythic horizon. Several of these artists have concentrated on the subtle terrain of the Great Plains — the ”West” that settlers first knew after crossing the Missouri River. Depicting the landscape with a formal language that is often restrained and spare, these images also reveal the influence of the West’s earliest photographers, who first described this territory in the 1860s and 1870s.

American Landscape: Contemporary Photographs of the West acknowledges our mark on the land and our place within it. The built environment — from nineteenth-century engineering projects to twentieth-century earthworks — is understood not as an intrusion, but as an equally important element of the landscape. But there is also the pleasure to be found in the late afternoon sun coursing across the prairie, or the graceful profile of a ridge seen through a car window. Together, these artists find a balance between our desire for wilderness and open space with the realities of the modern West and the complex legacy of our past.

keyword: JAMLAND

What's Pictured: (Above, Top to Bottom) William Wylie, Looking North, near Udall Natural Area, 1996, gelatin silver print, courtesy of the artist; Martin Stupich, Theodore Roosevelt Dam, Salt River, Arizona, 1988, inkjet print, courtesy of the artist 

Mark your calendar for these exhibition-inspired
public events:

Curator Gallery Talks
Thursdays, September 22, October 27, January 5;
6:30 pm
View the exhibition with Toby Jurovics, Joslyn’s Chief Curator and Holland Curator of American Western Art.
Admission: Free for Joslyn Members; free with regular Museum admission for the general public.

Along the Elkhorn River: Understanding our
Local Watershed
Saturday, October 1; 1–3 pm
Join Toby Jurovics, Joslyn Chief Curator and Holland Curator of American Western Art, and Professor Alan Kolok, Director of the Aquatic Toxicology Laboratory, University of Nebraska at Omaha, and Interim Director of the Center for Environmental Health and Toxicology, University of Nebraska Medical Center, in a discussion about the Elkhorn River watershed. Speakers will address the natural and cultural history of the river and ecological studies taking place at the Elkhorn River Research Station. Following the discussion, Dr. Kolok will lead a tour of the research station for interested participants (space is limited; registration online in September for a place on the optional tour).
Admission: Free for Joslyn Members; free with regular Museum admission for the general public.
This event is sponsored by Joslyn Art Museum, University of Nebraska at Omaha – Service Learning Academy, and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Prints in Landscape: A Three-Film Series
Tuesdays, November 1, 8, 15
Film Streams, in partnership with Joslyn Art Museum, will present three films about the modern West on the first three Tuesdays in November. Each screening will be introduced by a curator, critic, or artist. All screenings begin at 7 pm.
  • November 1: Rancho Deluxe (1975; Jeff Bridges, Sam Waterston, Slim Pickens, Elizabeth Ashley, Harry Dean Stanton)
  • November 8: Lone Star (1996; Chris Cooper, Matthew McConaughey, Elizabeth Peña, Kris Kristofferson)
  • November 15: The Last Picture Show (1971; Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Ellen Burstyn) 

Admission: Regular Film Streams ticket prices. Visit For more about the films and post-film discussion hosts, click here.

Artist Panel Discussion: American Landscape
Sunday, November 13; 1–3 pm
Join Steve Fitch, Martin Stupich, and William Wylie as they discuss their photographs in the exhibition American Landscape. Introduced and moderated by Toby Jurovics, Joslyn’s Chief Curator and Holland Curator of American Western Art, the afternoon will conclude with a gallery walkthrough with the artists.
Admission: Free for Joslyn Members; free with regular Museum admission for the general public.