The American Museum of Western Art—The Anschutz Collection displays over 300 paintings that survey 200 years of westward expansion. To make the breadth of our collection more digestible in a classroom environment, we’ve broken it down into three categories.


The people that inhabited and settled the American Frontier were a diverse mix of cultures and professions. Their experiences together, good and bad, shaped the character of the region.

Artists in the West

Living in the American West


The people that inhabit the Western United States have a special relationship with the natural world around them. The land is imposing and awe-inspiring, the flora and fauna diverse and unique. People here learned to live within the bounds of the natural world, and attempted to master it. Artists took inspiration from what they experienced, and used the environment to create myths, metaphors, and a modern aesthetic.

Making America in Landscape

Artists and Nature


Artists interpreted events or used Western subjects to create visual narratives. Utilizing several artistic techniques and styles, they expressed the drama, action, and emotion of the real or imagined stories of the West.

Art and Literature

Inspired by Actual Events

Illustrating the West