The volume features 140 color and black-and-white illustrations, ranging from prehistoric rock art to modernist painting, and from charismatic wildlife scenes to classic landscape. They demonstrate the preponderance of Indians and wilderness in the region’s art and explore the work of individuals as diverse as Edward Sheriff Curtis and Ansel Adams. Focusing on those whose art has defined the region, Flores tells how painters like Maynard Dixon interpreted the Northern Rockies and describes the contributions of women artists Fra Dana, Evelyn Cameron, and Emily Carr. A final essay, “What Was Charlie Russell Trying to Tell Us?” critically examines the legacy of Montana’s cowboy artist.
Conversational in tone and as informative as they are entertaining, these essays provide rich vistas of their own. Visions of the Big Sky does for the region’s art what The Last Best Place did for its literature.