The decision to become an artist is not always easy. It took Wilson Hurley decades and two careers before he followed his muse. But his experiences added to his vision, making him one of the most respected landscape artists in the world and perhaps best known for his primordial portraits of the American West. One of Hurley’s most monumental accomplishments is the creation of five unique American vistas, Windows to the West–a series of forty by sixteen foot triptychs–which hang in the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. These classic American works are worthy of the Hudson Valley School of Artists’ maxim: "If you wish to see God’s work, look about you." Hurley was born in Tulsa, the son of a lawyer who was to become Secretary of War in President Herbert Hoover’s administration. Following a military career and a World War II assignment he practiced law in New Mexico, where spectacular views of the West fueled his hobby of painting. Then came the fateful appointment with a dying client, a terminally ill doctor who consulted Hurley about a will. With the knowledge of mortality forefront in his mind, Hurley decided to devote the rest of his life to art. This devotion led him to become one of the leading landscapists of our time, compared to such revered painters as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Cole and Thomas Moran. Hurley is a founding member of the National Academy of Western Art and the recipient of their highest honor, the Prix de West.
A late summer sunset over the Rio Grande River Valley and Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hurley has watched these sunsets from the Sandia Mountains, and says: "...the warmth of the continent drives the rich moist air north from the tropics over the desert. After a day of sunlight the air heats up and in the evening great clouds billow upward to the freezing atmosphere. After the sun goes down, it lights these clouds from below, often casting their shadows on the aprons of ice crystals spreading out above them."
You have to see Hurley´s stunning triptychs of the most majestic of Western scenes, "Windows to the West." Their imposing size and masterful detail and color make these canvases the centerpiece of any room. The latest is the last vestiges of light from a setting sun on a huge mesa of Carmel and Navajo sandstone, highlighted by bands of Moenkopi red shale. This is Monument Valley in Utah, a natural wonder formed by the ravages of wind, rain and time.
You must see this grand work framed at your Greenwich Workshop dealer to appreciate Hurley´s ability to capture truly American scenes from the still-wild West. This majestic Wyoming suite is the first of five suites to be published by The Greenwich Workshop in conjunction with the National Cowboy Hall of Fame. Soon to follow—Monument Valley in Utah, the Grand Canyon in Arizona, Point Lobos in Northern California and the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico.