Victoria on April 1st, 2010

Denver’s Westword magazine selected the three Allen True’s West exhibits to receive its Best Historic Show – Solo Award (The three shows closed on March 28 and most of the paintings, sketches and illustrations are being packed to begin touring as one smaller exhibit to eight venues over the next two years.)  Below is what appeared in Westword:

“Though they are neighbors, the Denver Public Library, the Denver Art Museum and the Colorado History Museum rarely cooperate on programs — but Allen True’s West, highlighting the career of one of Denver’s most important artists, was one of those rare win-win-win collaborations. True’s chosen subject was the way the American West was rapidly changing before his eyes, and the trajectory of his career led him from charming book illustrations (shown at the DPL) to powerful easel paintings (at the DAM) to the most significant work of his lifetime, his stunning murals (at the CHM). It took a lot of walking to see it all, but given the high quality of True’s work on display, the extra effort was definitely worth it.

The Delaware Art Museum presents On Assignment: American Illustration, 1850 – 1950, featuring over 50 paintings and drawings from the Museum’s nationally recognized collection of original illustrations, on view now through January 2, 2011. These works demonstrate the range of styles and subjects that characterized illustrations in American books and magazines from the mid-19th to the mid-20th century. Included in the exhibit are three Allen Tupper True paintings:

Sometimes the faithful “bronc” grows cantankerous, 1907

Sometimes the faithful “bronc” grows cantankerous, 1907, from “The Mountain Pony,”  in Outing Magazine, May 1908. Oil on canvas, 30 x 20 inches.  Gift of Frank Eaton True, 2005

Pack Train on a Downhill Rocky Slope, 1907

Pack Train on a Downhill Rocky Slope, 1907. Oil on canvas, 30 x 20 inches. Gift of Frank Eaton True, 2005

The Orphan-Hold Up, 1907

The Orphan, 1907, from The Orphan, by Clarence E. Mulford (New York: The Outing Publishing Company, 1908). Oil on canvas, 30 x 20 inches. Gift of Frank Eaton True, 2005

Illustration differs from traditional painting in that it was work produced “on assignment,” or at the request and to the specifications of a particular editor. The original illustration, usually a painting or sketch, was reproduced in abundance. While working to fill specific needs, illustrators nevertheless exhibited enormous originality in their ability to dramatize a scene and capture the imaginations of diverse readers.

On Assignment offers illustrations from a variety of genres. Howard Pyle’s painting He lost his hold and fell, taking me with him (1909) comes from “The Grain Ship,” a thriller that appeared in Harper’s Monthly Magazine in March 1909. Bertha Corson Day, a student of Pyle, illustrated children’s stories, and two of her works from Where the Wind Blows are included. Gayle Porter Hoskins, who continued to live in Wilmington after studying with Pyle, has several works in the exhibition, largely from western stories. Western illustrations by Allen Tupper True are also featured. Other genres represented in the exhibition include humor, literature, fashion, sports, and silhouettes.

The conservation of the paintings by Allen Tupper True in this exhibition was made possible by a generous contribution from the Delaware Art Museum Council. Founded in 1967, the Museum Council is a volunteer organization that raises funds to help support Museum programs.

About the Delaware Art Museum

The Delaware Art Museum, located at 2301 Kentmere Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806, is open Wednesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Sunday noon – 4:00 p.m. Admission fees are charged as follows: Adults (19 – 59) $12, Seniors (60+) $10, Students (with valid ID) $6, Youth (7 – 18) $6, and Children (6 and under) free. Admission fees are waived every Sunday thanks to support from AstraZeneca. For more information, call 302-571-9590 or 866-232-3714 (toll free), or visit the website at

The Colorado Broadcasters Association has presented KBDI PBS – Colorado Public Television’s documentary Allen True’s West the 2009 Award for Excellence for best Mini-Documentary or Series.  For those who live in the Denver area, you can see the program when KBDI rebroadcasts it on Tuesday, March 23 at 9 pm on Channel 12/12.1

The DVD of Allen True’s West is also available for sale on this site. If you wish to buy the PBS program, please go the the main menu and click on “THE DVD” and at the bottom of the page is a BUY button that links you to PayPal.

Victoria on March 7th, 2010

John Andrews has written in the March 7th  issue of the Denver Post his impressions of the current exhibit (closing March 28) of True’s work at the Denver Art Museum.  He certainly has an interesting perspective. Here is the link to his article:

Victoria on February 8th, 2010

Denver’s PBS station KBDI-12’s  original production Allen True’s West, can now be watched online. The program showcases the life and art of Colorado’s foremost muralist, Allen Tupper True, whose later work captured the character of a region in transition from wild frontier to the modern West. Allen True’s West complements the on-going exhibitions of True’s works at the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Public Library, and the Colorado History Museum.
Watch online, anytime at:

Jimy Valenti has written a feature article about Allen True’s Colorado State Capitol murals  in the February 5, 2010 issue of The Colorado Statesman.  He interviewed “True historian” Jim Barrett; Peter Hassrick, Director Emeritus of Denver Art Museum’s Petrie Institute of Western American Art; and his granddaughter  and co-author of True’s biography Victoria Tupper Kirby. The article notes that during his life time, True was “the most famous artist in Colorado” but his name was largely forgotten after World War II. Due to the three concurrent exhibitions in Denver, the PBS special and the recently published biography, True is regaining recognition in Colorado.   Kirby was quoted as saying she hopes that the three-year traveling exhibition, which will be seen in eight venues beginning the end of April 2010 , will bring wider appreciation for his works and help preserve his extant murals.

To read the entire article, go to:

Victoria on December 23rd, 2009

The Winter 2010 issue of the University of Chicago’s Critical Inquiry journal lists the Allen True biography on its “Books of Critical Interest List.” Critical Inquiry is an interdisciplinary academic journal devoted to publishing the best critical thought in the arts and humanities.

The Denver Post announced on December 20, that Colorado Public Television KBDI-Channel 12 has scheduled two additional broadcasts of “ALLEN TRUE’S WEST.”  This is due to the heightened interest in True after the news earlier in the week that the bank building in which sixteen of True’s Indian Memories murals has been sold and will become a hotel. The additional air dates are: Saturday, December 26 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, December 27 at 9 p.m. The program will also air, as originally scheduled on Sunday, December 27 at 7 p.m.

ALLEN TRUE’S WEST, a KBDI-12 original production, showcases the life and art of this twentieth-century American original, who captured the character of a region in transformation – from wild frontier to modern West in murals, easel paintings and illustrations.

Victoria on December 16th, 2009

On October 11, 2009, the Denver Post announced that Allen Tupper True: An American Artist was the fourth best-selling Nonfiction Paperback, according to reports from Denver’s Tattered Cover Book Store, Barnes & Noble in Greenwood Village, and Boulder Book Store and Borders Books in Lone Tree, Colorado. This was the week when co-author Victoria Tupper Kirby was at Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver’s LoDo district for a book talk and signing and the three exhibitions on True’s work opened at the Denver Art Museum, Main Public Library and Colorado History Museum.

Stonebridge Companies has bought the former Colorado National Bank building at 17th and Champa in downtown Denver and will convert it into a hotel, adding several floors to the existing six-story structure.

The very good news is that the President and CEO Navin Dimond plans to preserve Allen True’s sixteen Indian Memories murals that grace the lobby. These murals are considered to be some of True’s finest works and will add beauty and historic gravitas to the hotel lobby. According to Denver Post reporter Margaret Jackson, Dimond also plans to install a bar in the mezzanine area so that patrons will have an eye-level view of the murals.

In the December 15 Post article, Dimond said it will probably take two years before a hotel opens in the building. Stonebridge is working with architect Jim Johnson on plans for the neoclassical building, which had three floors added to it in 1963.

The building is considered a contributing structure in a historic district, said Annie Levinsky, executive director of Historic Denver, to the Post. “We’re particularly excited about any proposed use that preserves the lobby space and the Allen Tupper True murals,” she said. “A hotel will provide a way for the public to continue to enjoy them.”

To read the entire Denver Post article and view the photo slide show, go to: