From the Museum’s website:
“From the earliest days of exploration the Grand Canyon has inspired artists to capture its beauty and grandeur on paper and canvas. Originally brought along on expeditions to document and illustrate the massive canyon of the Colorado River, artists continued to venture there to recreate the vision that seized their imagination. This exhibit Grand Canyon Grandeur & the Colorado Plateau, currently on display, features the works of 24 artists who endeavored from 1854 to the mid-1930s to reproduce a modicum of the canyon’s magnificence in their 60 works in this display. Many aspired for a realistic interpretation, while others saw the canyon as atmospheric and impressionistic. Among the exhibit’s artists are masters such as Louis Akin, Carl Oscar Borg, George Elbert Burr, Thomas Moran, and Gunnar Widforss.
This exhibit brings together some of the preeminent artists who chose Grand Canyon as their subject. The artworks in this exhibit are from the collection of Mr. and Mrs. A. P. Hays of Paradise Valley, Arizona. Abe Hays and his wife Lalla have collected the works of important western artists for many years and their collections have been shown in major museums in the U.S. and Canada. They have a particular interest in the artists whose best known and accomplished artwork was done in their home state of Arizona.
Grand Canyon Grandeur & the Colorado Plateau (1854 – 1930’s) from the Hays Collection is a magnificent display of not only the glorious beauty of the Grand Canyon but also a history of the documentation of the earliest views of the canyon through the eyes of these outstanding artists. In addition to the creations in watercolor, oil, gouache, photography, etching, etc. are stereographs and documentary photos by unknown photographers, advertisements and other ephemera from this era of Grand Canyon exploration. The owners of the collection believe that it is the most complete, historic and qualitative of any similar subject collection offered to the public to this date.”