Throughout The Brinton Museum, visitors will find some of the most rare and important works by celebrated artists of the American West. The Ted and Katie Meredith Gallery of Western Art holds the crown jewels of the museum’s extensive collection. Inspired by dramatic Rocky Mountain landscapes and the lifestyle of those that inhabited the region, this gallery tells essential stories about life out West. Art will rotate periodically and be drawn from the museum’s holdings of Hans Kleiber etchings, watercolors, and oils; Winold Reiss Blackfeet portraits; Frederic Remington action-packed oils and drawings; Charles Russell watercolors and Bill Gollings oils, among many others. From “Fight on the Little Bighorn” to the “Cowboy and Lady Artist,” the Ted and Katie Meredith Gallery of Western Art brings together the Bradford Brinton Memorial’s best original pieces augmented by valuable individual acquisitions, and the generous gifts of Kleiber’s artwork and archival materials from the John & Virginia Patton Family, Sam J. Scott, and Beverly Kleiber Palmer.
Starting in the early 1900s, Bradford Brinton began assembling an extensive fine art collection featuring works by his favorite Western artists, including Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Edward Borein, Winold Reiss and Frank Tenney Johnson. He also developed a 5,000 volume library including Rex Brasher’s “Birds and Trees of North America,” John James Audubon’s 7 volume quarto edition set of “The Birds of North America.” Historic documents by Washington and William Penn, as well as letters by Abraham Lincoln, John James Audubon and Thornton Wilder augment the collection. Period furnishings from the original owners, William and Edith Moncreiffe, along with fine pieces added by Bradford Brinton including a library nook, gun cabinet, 1926 Steinway Duo-Art grand player piano, and Bradford’s exquisite English and early American dining room set originally housed in his New York Park Avenue apartment are part of the Bradford Brinton Memorial Collection. Most of these pieces are on display, in their original setting, in the Brinton Ranch House. The Brinton Museum holds hundreds of works of Western Art. Some are on permanent display in the historic ranch house and others are rotated and shared with the public in galleries throughout the Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building.
Special exhibits, like Boots, Brushes and the Bighorn Mountains, on display during our first season in the new Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building in 2015, allow The Brinton Museum to reveal curated stories of the American West. This one was designed to reflect upon the importance of remembering where The Brinton Museum started, featuring artists who inspired the museum’s original collection. Works ranged in date from the 1860s to the late 1930s and included art by Thomas Moran, Hans Kleiber, Bill Gollings, Frederic Remington, Joseph Henry Sharp, W.H.D. Koerner and William Henry Jackson, to name just a few. Whether it’s in the quiet valleys of Kleiber’s paintings, the snowfalls and horses of Gollings’ drawings, or the plains and ridges of Sharp’s oils, this special Western Art exhibition reflects the heart of Bradford Brinton’s vision.
The Brinton Collection
The Brinton Museum is built upon Bradford Brinton’s eclectic and extensive collections by his favorite artists, including Edward Borein etchings, hand-colored letters and monotypes; Hans Kleiber etchings, watercolors and oils; and Gollings oils, drawings, etchings and Christmas cards.
Through careful preservation and discriminating acquisition of new pieces, The Brinton Museum is honoring its heritage and the art and craftsmanship of the region.
New acquisitions include:
- The Mercy Stroke by W.H.D. Koerner, purchased entirely with funds raised by The Brinton Museum’s National Advisory Council
- One of every etching Joel Ostlind is producing, nearly 200 so far, funded by the Wallick Family Foundation
- More than 400 Hans Kleiber etchings, water colors and oils donated by the John and Virginia Patton
- Paintings of great historic significance such as John Mix Stanley’s Black Knife, Karl Bodmer’s Assiniboin Woman and Child, Thomas Moran’s Devil’s Tower, to name a few examples.
- Four oils by Catharine Critcher, the only female artist among the original members of the Taos Society of Artists
- Choke Cherry Harvest Along the Pine River, a marble sculpture by Oreland Joe, purchased with funds form the 2016 Brinton Gala fundraiser.