Feeling of Humanity

Contemporary Western Art from the Collection of Ken Ratner

Organized by the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, New York with the Mattatuck Museum, A Feeling of Humanity: Contemporary Western Art from the Ken Ratner Collection celebrates the art of the western United States. The exhibition of more than 65 works, including paintings, works on paper, archives and ephemera by thirty artists demonstrates artistic response to the distinctive western landscape and to the unique characters the area has produced.

More about this exhibition

The West has been a defining national symbol during much of America’s history. Although considered a region by Euro-Americans, the West was also a myth, a dream, an inspiration and a destination. As the title indicates, the major theme of the exhibition is “spirit of community.” Drawn from the collection of Ken Ratner, the art integrates a multitude of traditions: landscape, portraiture and character study, animal pictures, domestic and urban scenes and Native Americans.

Mr. Ratner collects works that reflect compassion and understanding—an empathy—for western life: a weathered grain elevator standing tall and proud over the plains, a farmer who pauses for a moment’s rest or a landscape where one feels the deep respect the artist has for the terrain. He looks for western images not only by artists at the big Western Shows, but by women artists and minorities as well.

Image: David Forks, Summer Chisos, 2012, Oil on panel