November 16, 2000 -November 3, 2001

Escape to Reality Catalog Cover

The Brigham Young University Museum of Art has the largest Maynard Dixon collection in the world. This exhibition marks the first time the original collection was displayed in its near entirety at BYU. Exhausted from demanding work as an art director for the San Francisco Examiner, Dixon sought respite and tranquility in the arid deserts of Arizona and New Mexico starting in 1900. These relatively remote and undeveloped territories would not become states for another twelve years. On the initial journey, Dixon sketched and painted, marking the beginning of a life-long search for both artistic and personal inspiration within the western landscape and from its Native American inhabitants. The paintings show images from American Indian culture ranging from their earlier peaceful daily activities to the time of the brutal assimilation policy. Dixon represented them as noble, stalwart figures, whose rootedness and harmony with earth contrasted unfavorably with a dominant white culture which seemed to have lost its soul in the drive for material accumulation and industrial progress.

 

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