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Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined

Throughout the nineteenth century, as Americans pushed west toward the Pacific, they were fascinated by westward expansion in North America. Printed imagery—lithographs and engravings—played an important role in the dissemination of knowledge and understanding of the West and its inhabitants. Now visitors to Clay County Museum's new exhibition, Imprinting the West: Manifest Destiny, Real and Imagined, opening September 1, 2020, will see 48 hand-colored engravings and lithographs that explore these depictions and the influence the artists had on the perception of the wild west.
In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson purchased the expansive territory, known as Louisiana from Napoleon, King of France. This transaction extended the young country’s boundaries by 828,000 square miles, including all of present-day Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and parts of Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. The Louisiana Purchase set the stage for exploration, migration and settlement, in addition to struggle and conflict. Convinced that God wanted the country to extend to the Pacific Coast—the idea called “Manifest Destiny”—scores of Americans, including painters and printmakers, moved west.
The westward expansion in the nineteenth century was closely intertwined with the experiences of the native peoples. The exhibition’s artists, including George Catlin and Frederic Remington, sought to document the indigenous people of west along with migration to the west. Artists often accompanied governmental geographical surveys and created images to illustrate official publications. Others sold engravings to popular periodicals, such as Harper’s Weekly, or to the mass market.
Art;Lithographs;Drawings;West;Museum;Manifest Destiny;Exhibit;
Event Info: (785) 632-3786
Ages: All ages
Price: Free
Event Website:
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 • Tue 10/20/20 at 1pm-5pm 

Clay County Museum
address  518 Lincoln Ave.
 Clay Center, KS  67432
phone (785) 632-3786
hours Tue.-Sun. 1-5 pm