Wyoming History In Art

The Wyoming Historical Society, and its fundraising arm, the Wyoming Historical Foundation are excited to announce the release of its latest book, Wyoming History in Art, a full-color book featuring thirty paintings of important people and events in Wyoming history by the late artist Dave Paulley. In 1989 the Society and the Foundation commissioned the artist to create thirty original paintings in celebration of Wyoming’s centennial. The works include expeditions as early as 1742, all the way through the 1940s. Giving a voice to the paintings featured in the new publication is a written narrative of each of the paintings by historian and author Dr. Jeremy Johnston.

Rick Ewig, Wyoming historian, said in his foreword of the book “Dr. Jeremy Johnston, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, has written fascinating vignettes with information about the subject of each painting. In the essay of the Pony Express we not only learn about the short-lived history of what is considered a romantic episode of the American West, but we also hear from Mark Twain during his travels across the 1860s West as he describes those who were Pony Express riders. The essay by Johnston accompanying the painting titled Whoop Up Canyon illustrates the Native American petroglyphs depicting hunting in the Paleo-Indian period. Johnston also discusses North America’s indigenous population, and the effect Euro-American settlement had on the native American Population.” Ewig added, “Not only did the Society and the Foundation add to the artistic legacy of Wyoming’s history with the original paintings and Paulley’s artistic interpretation of those thirty events, but with the exciting and informative extended essays in this book, the Society has compiled an interesting study of so many facets of Wyoming’s history.”

The artist, Dave Paulley, was a Wyoming native, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, and taught himself how to paint! He died in October 2020. The original paintings were recently donated to the American Heritage Center in Laramie where they will be appropriately cared for and available for the public to enjoy.

A limited number of Wyoming History in Art books have been printed and are available to vendors and individuals by contacting the Wyoming Historical Society at 307-322-3014, or via email to executivedirector@wyshs.org or info@wyshs.org. .  All proceeds benefit the long-term sustainability of the Society.   Additionally, you too can own a print of any of the paintings listed below.  Please contact Society headquarters for pricing which includes a beautifully vibrant print, and shipping/handling.