January 2010 Newsletter

January 10, 2010 at 3:46 pm 2 comments

Utah Westerners

Dinner Meeting: January 19, 2010, 6:30 p.m., Alta Club

Donna L. Poulton

Painters of Utah’s Canyons and Deserts

Our own Donna Poulton will tell us about her phenomenal book with Vern G. Swanson, Painters of Utah’s Canyons and Deserts. Donna is Associate Curator of Utah and Western Art at the University of Utah’s Museum of Fine Arts, and she’s working on bringing along her co-author. For more on this great book, see this month’s Bench Press.

Partner’s Night

January will be our annual partner’s night, so don’t forget to include your significant other when you make reservations. Cost of dinner is $35.00 per person. YOU MUST MAKE RESERVATIONS for dinner. For reservations: call Walter (363-1331; e-mail walter.jones@utah.edu

Walter must hear from you by the Thursday before the meeting. If you e-mail him, Walter asks that you put Westerners in the subject line. Walter will confirm either by email or phone with everyone who makes a reservation. If you make a reservation and fail to cancel it by the day of the meeting, you will be charged for the cost of the meal.

Upcoming Programs

Next month Jay Banta will share with us tales of his long career caring for Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge. And in March we’re in for a special treat, when one of Utah Westerners’ finest historians, Steven K. Madsen, will share his experiences researching and writing Exploring Desert Stone: John N. Macomb’s 1859 Expedition to the Canyonlands of the Colorado, the first comprehensive history of this forgotten exploration of the American Southwest.


We’re once again updating our annual directory SO PLEASE check last year’s listing to make sure your contact information is up-to-date. If you need to change you directory information or wants to add or change your mugshot, contact Nelson Wadsworth (801-598-0753 or n.wadsworth@comcast.net) by January 15.

A New Board

January marks the installation of our new board, which now has a total of five new members, including Judy Dykman, Vernon Gorzitze, Oscar Olson, Brent Reber, and Brad Westwood.

Officers for 2010 are Brent Reber, president; Brad Westwood, vice president; Walter Jones, treasurer; Kristen Rogers-Iversen, secretary.  Judy Dykman is membership chair, Oscar Olson is field trip chair, Bob Steensma is publications chair, and Curt Bench is programs chair.

Next Year’s Trek: Hopi Country

Our 2010 field trip will be to Hopi country, by way of Highway 89, and it will take place on June 3, 4, 5, and 6.  If you have any questions or suggestions or are interested in helping out, contact Steve Gallenson at galico@comcast.net or 801 244-8468.

Vegetarian Meals

The Alta Club will prepare specially ordered meals to accommodate your dietary preferences and medical needs. If you would like to request a vegetarian or special meal, make it known when you make your reservation.



By Curt Bench

PAINTERS OF UTAH’S CANYONS AND DESERTS by Donna L. Poulton and Vern G. Swanson. Published by Gibbs Smith, Publisher, 2009. 290 pp., oversize, illus., photos, index. $75.00

For over a century and a half, writers, artists, and photographers have attempted to capture the stunning beauty of southern Utah’s canyon country and desert landscapes in various art forms. The Red Rock country of the Colorado Plateau has long been a magnet for some of the most talented artists of the West: Thomas Moran, William Henry Jackson, Solomon Nunes Carvalho, Alfred Lambourne, Georgia O’Keefe, Maynard Dixon, LeConte Stewart, Everett Ruess, and many more.

Donna L. Poulton and Vern G. Swanson, both respected art experts and authors of several books of Western and Utah art, spent three years finding, viewing, and researching hundreds of pieces of artwork on southern Utah. The result, after careful selection, is a lavishly illustrated volume of the most beautiful and vivid examples of the art of the southern Utah country ever assembled. This large, handsome book contains over 300 color and black and white images which show the various media used by the many artists from oil, watercolor, and acrylic to block print and lithography. The book is divided into three sections: “Utah’s Red Rock, 1848-1970,” “Utah’s Plateau Parks & Monuments, 1900-Present,” and “Utah’s Continuing Allure, 1960-Present.” Informative and insightful text provides background on the many artists and descriptions of their specific work on Utah landscapes.

Having family roots in Springdale and the Zion National Park area, I was particularly pleased to see a wealth of material and images of the area created by a large number of artists, both famous and lesser-known. I learned that Alfred Lambourne was the first artist to explore the Zion region and the first to fully paint the grandeur of the area. There is also much on Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, the Grand Staircase and other monuments, and the many natural arches and bridges in southern Utah.

Donald J. Hagerty writes in the foreword: the authors “have compiled an almost encyclopedic approach to identifying and discussing those artists who have defined and delineated the lithic landscape of Utah’s canyon country from 1848 to the present. . . . No artists—past or present—have been overlooked.”

In a Deseret News interview about the book, author Vern Swanson said that woven into the history of the art is a history of the land and its people. He emphasized that it is much more than just a book of pretty pictures, saying that it will appeal to many people on different levels—those interested in art, those interested in the area, the geography, geology, and the history. He added, “It’s a nice combination of scholarship and beauty. It’s the warp and woof of art in southern Utah.”


Entry filed under: Newsletters, Uncategorized.

Utah Westerners and LinkedIn 2010 Field Trip-A Journey to the Center of the Universe

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Donna Poulton, Ph.D.  |  January 31, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Can we use this forum to ask Utah History questions if we have exhausted all other research avenues?
    Donna Poulton

    • 2. Steve Gallenson  |  June 15, 2010 at 11:27 pm

      Sounds like an excellent idea.


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