A Rich Visual Playground

Pictorial storytelling shines at the Coeur d’Alene auction’s offerings of historical Western American art.


At this year’s Coeur d’Alene Art Auction, held in Reno, Nevada, on July 21, collectors found a grand offering of masters and contemporary artists who excel in pictorial storytelling that compels viewers to stop and take notice.

Thanks to the artists who recreated the frontier they saw with their own eyes, and to the pioneers and Indians who recorded their stories as they lived them, history is not trapped in an inaccessible past. Where Western American art excels is when the artist has richly narrated a world teeming with people and incident.

At its worst, western history painting devolves into saccharin nostalgia. At its best, it uses all of the techniques of the illustrator’s and historian’s trades to transport its audience into another place and time, leading them through the eye into a contemplation of the vanished frontier,” wrote William H. and William N. Goetzmann in The West of the Imagination. They add that, for artists of the historical American West, “the West was a panorama that the artist witnesses as it unfolds, the immense saga of many people and many places and many...

The full text of this article is available to registered users of Register now!

Registration is FREE and takes only a few seconds to complete. If you are already registered on, please log in below.

Already Registered?

SUBSCRIBE today and save!

Get instant access to subscriber content on!

When it comes to keeping the lore of the West alive, nobody does it better. True West readers get the no-holds-barred, straight shootin' facts about the West from our staff of experts and historians.

Save up to 67% off the newsstand cover price!

1 year (12 issues) - only $29.95
(Newsstand cover price--$71.88)

For even greater savings:

2 years (24 issues) - only $49.95
(Newsstand cover price--$143.76)

3 years (36 issues) - only $69.95
(Newsstand cover price--$215.64) BEST OFFER!

After subscribing, just come back here and register with us by clicking on the register link below.

True West Site Guide


True West captures the spirit of the American West with authenticity, personality and humor by linking our history to our present. Whether you call it the Wild West, the Old West or the Far West, America's frontier history comes to life in True West, the world's oldest, continuously published Western Americana magazine.

Western movie fans, re-enactors, history buffs and road warriors, we got your history covered: outlaw, cowboy, Indian, lawman, gunfighter, fur trapper, miner, prospector, gambler, soldier, entertainer and pioneer. Check out these True Westerners now!

Product of the Month

The Illustrated Life and Times of Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

"Your book is fascinating, coupling your powerful illustrations [and] tracking...from birth to Tombstone to the legend [Wyatt] had become;...even Wyatt would approve." --By Hugh O'Brian, of the TV series The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp

"Hands down the definitive books on Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday." --By Allen Barra, New York Newsday