Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Award-winning film on western artist Maynard Dixon to show at BBHC
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center presents the award-winning documentary, Maynard Dixon: Art and Spirit, on August 8 and 9 in the Coe Auditorium. Showings are at 1 and 3 p.m. on August 8 and at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. on August 9. The feature-length film about Dixon, known for his ability to capture the brilliant southwestern sunlight in his paintings, won the 2008 Spur Award for Best Documentary from the Western Writers of America. The screenings are included with regular admission to the historical center.
The film’s producer and director, Jayne McKay, hosts each screening and takes questions from the audience after the film. “I’ve always felt that Dixon is truly one of the finest American artists who ever painted in the West,” says McKay. “Artists all revere Dixon and credit him as a genius for his understanding of light and his ability to mix colors that are so accurate on canvas.” She will sell copies of the documentary following the screenings.
Art and Spirit chronicles the life and art of Dixon and was written by McKay and Daniel Dixon, the artist’s son. It is narrated by Oscar-winning actress Diane Keaton, herself a collector of Dixon’s work. John McEuen, a founding member of the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and a Grammy-award winner, wrote and performed the film’s soundtrack. Singer/songwriter Don Edwards brings Dixon’s own words to life.
Over four hundred of Dixon’s works appear in the documentary, as well as portraits of the artist by photographer Ansel Adams and family photos taken by Dixon’s second wife, documentary photographer Dorothea Lange. Rare audio by Lange also enriches the film. She once said of her husband, “When he was with the cowboys, he was the sophisticated artist; while when he was with the artists, he was a cowboy.”
Two of Dixon’s paintings appear in the Whitney Gallery of Western Art’s online collection here. Click on “Artist,” then Dixon’s name to view.
Start any journey into the American West at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, open daily 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through September 15. Devoted to western cultural and natural history, the center is comprised of the Buffalo Bill Museum, Whitney Gallery of Western Art, Plains Indian Museum, Cody Firearms Museum, Draper Museum of Natural History, and McCracken Research Library. For general information, visit www.bbhc.org or call 307.587.4771.