Visiting the Phippen Museum in Prescott, Arizona
“The Crack of Dawn on a Cow Ranch”, by George Phippen, c1958
As a baby boomer growing up in the midwest, I never had much exposure to America’s Western Art. In fact, the only exposure I had to the Western way of life was coming through my childhood black and white television set with shows like The Lone Ranger, Bonanza, and The Rifleman.
When we travel, it is our practice to visit the local art museums. And in our recent visit to Prescott, Arizona, we found that Prescott’s only art museum was The Phippen Museum, highlighting the art and heritage of the American West.
George Phippen (1915-1966) died of cancer at the age of 50. However, in his short 20 years as an artist, he left behind some 3,000 works of art.
Phippens excelled not only as a painter, but was also an accomplished sculptor. In both mediums, he is well known for showing his subjects in action. And in his paintings, you will quite often find a campfire, a burning cigarette, and/or a night sky.
George Phippens was the first President of the Cowboy Artists of America, and in 1974, the George Phippen Memorial Foundation was formed to create a centralized venue that would fully support Western Art. With proceeds from years of Memorial Day Shows, the foundation was able to open the Phippen Museum to the public on October 13, 1984.
The Phippen Museum’s permanent collection consists of paintings, etchings, drawings, bronze sculptures, photography, American Indian artifacts and jewelry that date from the late 19th century to the early 21st century. All materials in the collection are created by artists of the American West.
We spent a couple of hours exploring the Phippen Museum and would encourage you to explore some of America’s finest Western Art.
Link: The Phippen Museum