Western History & Genealogy Blog

Western Art

Creative Types: Need Project Inspiration?

Thomas Moran, August 1915. By Henry Havelock Pierce. X-22164
How Long is Always, 1969. Watercolor by Jo Polseno. C75-7 ART
Dessert toast recipes from Toast and Its Various Uses: There's a Difference in Bread, 1924

You may love your neighborhood DPL branch, but it might be time to branch out!  

Did you know that DPL’s Central Library has a Western History/Genealogy Department on Level 5?

Spectacular Book Covers of the 19th Century

Ballads of a Cheechako

Eye Catching Book Covers of Yore

They say "Don't judge a book by its cover," but book makers have always known that platitudes aside, the cover of the book is often what catches people's interest and influences their decision to m

Thomas Moran and Chromolithographs of the American West. Join WHG and DAM for two events!

Mt. of the Holy Cross by Thomas Moran
Thomas Moran at Shoshone Falls

Join the Western History and Genealogy Department (WHG) of the Denver Public Library and the Denver Art Museum (DAM) for two events that celebrate the artistic discovery of the American West.

The Art of Exploration

CG4311 1877.U5 1881 Sheet XVII
CG4311 1877.U5 1881 Sheet XX
CG4311 1877.U5 1881 Sheet XVII
CG4311 1877.U5 1881 Sheet XVII
CG4311 1877.U5 1881 Sheet XVII
WHJ-10222
Z-6627
CG4311 1877.U5 1881 Sheet XVII
CG4311 1877.U5 1881 Sheet XVII

Historic Hayden Survey of the West Goes Digital

The storied Hayden Geological Survey of 1871 not only vastly expanded our knowledge of the American West with a detailed and precise atlas of the territory, it joined the talents of some of the gre

Book Plates: Not the Kind You Think

"Reading" by Paul O. Zelinsky

Children's Book Illustrators Honor Libraries and Reading

For the Second Annual Booklover's Ball in 1999, the Denver Public Library Friends Foundation commissioned twenty three acclaimed children's book illustrators to design ceramic plates celebrating li

Digital Archiving in the 21st Century! (or at least in the early part of it...)

Digital Transitions--RCam, with Phase One P65+ digital back
Ability to capture incredible detail!  (We promise we're not counterfeiting!)
Detail from Robinson's Atlas of Denver 1887, Plate 13

After nearly three years of research, planning and developing strategy-- (alongside a strenuous attempt to stay on pace with sprinting technology) the Imaging Services Lab of DPL's Western History and Genealogy department is at long last moving into the next phase of its evolution, and the 21st Century.

When our program began not-so-long-ago in 1996-- I doubt very much that those involved could have conceived of the changes-- and new sets of challenges-- that technology would deliver in ten years'

The Land of Lost Souls: Otto Kuhler's Paintings on Permanent Display

The Graves of Aguilar. Otto Kuhler. 1 painting: oil on canvas; 17 x 23 in. 1963
Decay at Delagua. Otto Kuhler. 1 painting: oil on canvas; 17 x 23 in. 1963
Coal Trains of Trinidad. Otto Kuhler. 1 painting: oil on canvas; 17 x 23 in. 1963

With the restored Graves of Aguilar

In 1964, Otto Kuhler dedicated a series of twelve paintings to “the broken bodies still lying under the barren hills” of what had been Southeastern Colorado’s mining country.

Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California

Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California by Justin Van Hoy. Pasadena, CA: Ammo Books. 2012. Front Cover.
Milk and Honey: Contemporary Art in California by Justin Van Hoy. Pasadena, CA: Ammo Books. 2012. Back Cover.

Retna’s art combines English and Spanish gang letters and the letter forms of Hebrew, Arabic and other alphabets into haunting paintings of calligraphic letters bleeding into one another, los

Helen Chain's Art Sketches

Helen Chain
Opening page
Helen Chain's Art Sketches
Helen Chain's Art Sketches
Helen Chain's Art Sketches

Western History Art Treasure

Helen Chain was an early Denver artist, coming with her husband James to the Colorado Territory in 1870.  James and his partner owned the Chain and Hardy Company, binding and selling books, st