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The result of this binary experience, represented by the Second School of Paris, is unsurprisingly varied and filled with contrasts. This may be seen in the diversity of the loans made by the foundation to the highly anticipated exhibition Paris pese a todo. Artistas extranjeros, — 1.

Curator, Professor Serge Guilbaud, specializing in the artistic exchanges between France and the United States, selected eight iconic works from the collection for the exhibition in Madrid. This school, open to artists from more far-flung horizons, welcomed artists from China like Zao Wou-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun , who arrived in France in and , respectively. The exhibition features one work by both artists: They both show, each in their own way, the influence of Eastern culture on Western abstract art, which, at the time, was the dominant trend in Paris.

Artists from the four corners of Europe rubbed shoulders on both banks of the river Seine, including atypical figures like Portuguese artist Helena Vieira da Silva Her Paris, la nuit , dating from , a veritable star-studded nocturnal hymn to the French capital, subtly echoes the solar composition of Dutch artist Geer van Velde , simply titled Composition.

He was decorated with the Croix de Guerre French military medal and became a naturalized French citizen in More than any other painter from the Second School of Paris, Hans Hartung embodied the bond, as deep as it was fruitful, that all these foreign artists enjoyed with their country of adoption. The Harwood, Hafen, and Dallin families ventured to the West by wagon train in the s as part of the Mormon migration.

Yet it was their male counterparts who more readily embraced their frontier identities and the nostalgic image of the Wild West Doss They took part in a culture that was deeply rooted to the outdoors and possessed a frontier skill-set. To a man, they were hunters, trappers, and fishermen South ; Francis 4. They learned to shoot and were skilled with a bow and arrow. Dallin, in particular, was an accomplished archer.

Not only did they learn to ride but they also acquired connected skills. At age twelve Harwood made harnesses, whips, and saddles Harwood They knew how to use a rope and could lasso horses and steers Proctor 78; Carraro 64; Goodrich ; Harwood Of this group Solon Borglum was the one most rooted to this culture. For all of these artists, the connection and closeness to the horse would find its way into their art.

Fraser remembered hearing the tales of the old trappers, and Proctor befriended a trapper named Antelope Jack Clark 48; Proctor 8. It was, however, their connection to Native Americans that left the largest impression.


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As children, the Borglums and Proctor had Indian playmates Davies The same is true of Dallin, who rode ponies, played games, and shot arrows with Ute and Paiute boys near his home Downes These interactions with Native Americans would reappear in their sculpture. As a young man he was shot at by Texas cattlemen who were angered by the fencing of what was once the open range.

His home in Cozad was set ablaze by arsonists in a conflict over the location of the county seat. And, most ominously, at sixteen his father shot a former employee in the head at the local grocery and dry good store with a small-caliber pistol concealed in his boot Perlman 4.

The man later died of his wound weeks after the family went on the run and changed their identities. Rather it was a place replete with complexities and contradictions, and a broad cast of different types. By the time these artists left their childhood homes they clearly knew the latter. Their formative experiences would become an important resource as they made their way abroad to Paris, a city that was more foreign to them than Tombstone, Deadwood, or Dodge City. Like those who talked of the American West as strange, yet enticing, western artists spoke of Paris in similar terms.

In a myriad of ways, the capital of France was a world apart from the one they knew. Now they were in the most sophisticated and elegant city on earth.

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During their travels and training nearly all of them experienced and lived in many of the largest and most cosmopolitan cities in the United States. Most had already received art training at various centers around the United States before they arrived in Paris. Yet Paris was different; its scale was grander and its sites more spectacular.


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It was still that way a decade later. The full embrace of the visual arts may have been shocking for these young men especially in comparison to the paucity of art on display in the West. The only sculpture Proctor knew in his youth were cigar store Indians Proctor Now he could experience the most extensive and accessible collections in the world. As budding artists eager to see as much as possible, they frequented the Louvre and Luxembourg museums. They took advantage of other opportunities. They struggled to learn French and to adapt to a new culture. Eventually, however, they adapted and began to indulge themselves.

Many commented on the experience of eating raw oysters Weller 95; Seifrit, The only two possessions that Solon Borglum claimed to have brought with him to Paris were his Nebraska oil-lamp and an Indian blanket Carraro In his spartan apartment in the Latin Quarter, he lived as simply as he did on the ranch, surviving on oatmeal and crackers, the same foodstuffs that got him by on the prairie Goodrich ; Davies They observed the rage and political and social violence of the Dreyfus Affair that embroiled the city for much of the second half of the s.

Observing these acts was an affront to their deeply rooted love of the horse. In one altercation with a French soldier he rushed for his revolver before he came to his senses, not wanting to spend the rest of his life in a French prison. Through their previous experiences in the States, they were familiar with practice or rigor of the academic training.

Yet they found their studies in Paris more demanding and challenging than anything they experienced before. To meet the challenge, they were diligent, often beginning their studies in the morning and returning later in the afternoon to work with live models. This pattern was established early with the western artists.

Henri came to Paris in The following year Harwood and Dallin began their studies at Julian, and were soon joined by Clawson. Proctor came to Paris in with Solon Borglum and Fraser soon to follow. They also sought additional training from independent artists like the animalier Emmanuel Fremiet Olpin Studying in the famed academies and private studios was trying. Julian annually trained around two thousand students from all over the western world in its four branches across Paris.

From the perspective of the westerners, their fellow students, the French in particular, were wild and crude, especially to their seemingly vulnerable nude models South Undoubtedly the pious nature of their purpose made them easy targets, but they were not alone in their disgust. One evening as he performed his task, his peers bound him.

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To his great surprise, what seemed to be a blazing red iron turned out to be a brand painted vermillion; to his relief, it left a temporary mark and nothing else. Through their efforts and under the tutelage of their instructors, their skills progressed rapidly and even those with previous successes in the United States like Proctor found that their abilities were improved. They competed for and often won the concours , the award for best drawing of the day, and many of their submissions were accepted at the annual Salon.

Indeed, what was once home for these artists was a topic of great interest in the French capital. French audiences had long been interested in the western frontier Goetzmann and Goetzmann Anderson, , 18, More than ten thousand people attended the opening performance Rydell and Kroes The Native Americans in the troop caused a sensation wherever they went. They climbed the Eiffel Tower to much fanfare.

Touching them became a popular sport among young Parisian couples, believing that physical contact would assure fertility Rydell and Kroes While there, he often worked alongside Rosa Bonheur who was greatly interested in Buffalo Bill and even painted a portrait of the famed scout astride his speckled white horse named Tucker. Clawson was a grandson of Brigham Young, who was well known on both sides of the Atlantic as the leader of the Mormons and their efforts to colonize the Great Basin in the American West. The artists stood out in other ways. While sketching animals at the zoo, Proctor and Solon Borglum swapped stories of their frontier days as if they were sitting around a campfire on the range Davies Borglum filled his studio with all manner of western objects, moccasins and beadwork, cactus, firearms, weapons and whips, a dog, and a saddle that his father sent him from Nebraska Goodrich ; Davies They were not alone in pining for the West.

On the train to Paris, Mark Twain, a far more famous product of the U. As Nancy Anderson has shown, despite their earlier popularity, western subjects were growing out of fashion in the United States at that time Anderson It hung in the Salon despite being rejected by the U.

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This was true to a degree with some of the western artists across the Atlantic who distanced themselves from the West. Although always interested in U. In J. Featuring a young Breton girl quietly peeling vegetables in a light-filled farm home, it could not be further removed from his western roots Figure 3. In choosing his subject matter, Harwood clearly had his ambitions rooted to a more established route.

Harwood, Preparations for Dinner, Ironically it was in France that he and his peers learned how to paint landscapes and not in the more sparsely populated, dramatic scenery of the West.

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Hafen later parlayed this interest into images of tree-lined streams in his native Utah and the pine forests of the Wasatch Mountains, creating scenery that was more tame than rugged. Undoubtedly, they benefited from the tradition of Antoine-Louis Barye, Fremiet, and others who were known for their exploration of wild beasts and mortal combat. Much like Benjamin West who, decades earlier in Rome, purportedly declared that the Apollo Belvedere was like a Mohawk warrior, these young men would see American ponies in their equine models and cowboys and Native Americans when sketching from life in the studio Taft Shortly after his arrival in Paris, he submitted a painting to the Salon of an old mare protecting her colt from three ravenous wolves.

To the surprise of his U. His small bronze, Mort du Chef Death of the Chief; c. By crafting imagery filtered through their own experiences, these artists availed themselves of the deeply rooted interest in the West. They attempted to sculpt the world they knew, bringing the idea of the West into a tangible, physical object. Being removed from the West only seemed to increase their interest in its portrayal. Their past helped give their work an air of authenticity while, at the same time, their art was propelled by a nostalgia for the West many feared was fading away.

Solon Borglum, Bulls Fighting , Cast Their cultivation of the masculine type came at a potent period when French culture was reassessing their own virility. Solon Borglum was particularly active in the portrayal of the cowboy. In an age in which the preeminent western trope was already seen as mythical, Borglum crafted an image of the hardy, picturesque, hero of the West Frantz and Choate 69; Dippie 3. As a former cattle rancher, he identified with the type. This is most visible in his dynamic bronze Lassoing Wild Horses , which was finished and cast in Paris Figure 5.

In his depiction of the dramatic event, which was derived from personal experiences in Nebraska, Solon captured true-to-life details like the clothing of the cowboys and their technique in subduing the wild horse. However, this is more than a depiction of an event he might have witnessed in the West; it is a celebration of the cowboy hero. In this work two cowboys struggle to contain their prize amongst a flurry of racing forms and protruding human and equine limbs.

Solon Borglum, Lassoing Wild Horses , Alexander Phimister Proctor, Indian Warrior , These artists were not the first to take up this subject, but they would become the most recognized creators of Indian subjects. Its claim to authenticity was an important aspect of its success. Photograph, Robbins Library, Arlington, Massachusetts. From his experience in Utah, Dallin saw cowboys as brutes full of bluster and horseplay Francis Native Americans, on the other hand, he believed, were gentle, dignified, and graceful Francis ; Ewers Accepted as a plaster cast into the Salon, it was critically acclaimed by French critics and touted by the Chicago Herald as the first distinctively American sculpture exhibited in Paris Craven ; Taft ; Francis The subject harkens back to a childhood memory of witnessing peace talks between local Utes and U.

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Army officials. Following this success and taking advantage of accessibility of Paris bronze foundries, Dallin created a second equestrian group titled Medicine Man See Figure 9. Moreover, Medicine Man seems to address his audience with his outstretched arm and plaintive features that resonated with its audience. It was accepted into the Salon of and esteemed by French artists, critics, and the general public.

Since they knew the realities of their former homes, they knew the fate of the buffalo and were particularly sensitive to the plight of the Native American. They looked to these subjects not as entertainment but as an opportunity, they believed, to preserve their presence. As Burns has shown, his works should also be read as a critique of western expansion and a not-so-subtle challenge to U.

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Later, it was altered and enlarged to a monumental scale as a centerpiece plaster of the Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco in , when it became his most recognized work Figure 8. Parker Gilbert Gift, Morris K.


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Jesup and Benefit Funds, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Situated along the Seine, the Exposition was attended by millions of visitors during its seven-month engagement. Seventy U. Proctor deserves most of America. Proctor is essentially and racially American. Lantern slide 3. Brooklyn Museum, Goodyear Archival Collection. They too adored the Frontier and were caught up in its romance, which, for many, pulsated through their work.

Most did not return to the West, finding better art markets in larger metropolitan areas like New York City or Boston. While he never completely severed ties to his native home, Dallin chose to live and work in Arlington, Massachusetts, and, like Proctor and Solon Borglum, continued to find inspiration in western subject matter.

Harwood eventually relocated to California in search of greater opportunities and Hafen, who probably had the strongest ties to his homeland, died in Indiana still attempting to make a living as a professionally trained painter. Emblematically, Gutzon Borglum received more acclaim for creating Mt. Rushmore in the sacred Black Hills of the Lakota than he ever received for his work of the West. Like their earlier peers they encountered a challenging yet exhilarating new environment.

Following his teacher J. Another westerner to arrive in the French capital was Thomas Hart Benton, namesake of his great-uncle—the staunch proponent of Manifest Destiny. He became enveloped by the city and its bohemian lifestyle. He also forged a new identity as an artist Wolff After three years he returned home to a more civilized frontier Wolff Shaped by their formative years in the West, artists like Harwood, Hafen, Dallin, Proctor, Solon Borglum, and Henri, navigated a new frontier in pursuit of academic training and artistic success.

In Paris they experienced a foreign land fraught with challenges and open to opportunity.