Eiteljorg Musuem Blog

Quest for the West artist Joseph McGurl

by Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art | Aug 20, 2015

Scenes from the old West will come to life in paintings and sculptures that will fill the galleries of the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, with the opening of the 10th annual Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. In one gallery, the only gallery like it in the state of Indiana, visitors can see and be the first to bid on millions of dollars in artwork from 50 coveted Western artists.  Meet Quest for the West Artist Joseph McGurl.

McGurl 2015
Joseph McGurl
Born 1958, in Boston, Massachusetts; lives in Cataumet, Massachusetts

JOSEPH MCGURL is an acknowledged leader in the current American landscape school. He studied with his father, muralist James McGurl, who exposed him to a wide variety of materials and taught him an appreciation of the craft of painting. He studied with Ralph Rosenthal, at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, graduated from Massachusetts College of Art, and studied in England and Italy. To focus on drawing, he sought out and studied figure drawing under Robert Cormier, a devotee of the French Academy methods.

McGurl's paintings have been included in many museum exhibitions. He had retrospective solo shows at the Cape Cod Museum of Art, The Cahoon Museum of American Art, the Saint Botolph Club of Boston, and at the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY. At the Rockwell Museum of Western Art, Corning, NY, he was included in the exhibit, Re-presenting Representation West, 2002. At the Haggin Museum, Stockton, CA, his work was included in Contemporary Artists Paint Yosemite and the Eastern Sierra, 2001.

For McGurl, the process, rather than the product, is the most important part of a painting. For this reason, his studio paintings are developed from sketches painted on location. This gives him the freedom to create paintings based on his imagination, memory, and his sketches. Although the objects depicted in the paintings are elements of the landscape and have a deep personal meaning to him, an equally important subject is an exploration of light, form, space, and color interpreted through paint.

Notable Awards and Achievements:
2013    Art Renewal Center International Salon, First Place Landscape category Guild of Boston Artists, Gold Medallion
The John Singleton Copley Award for Artistic Achievement

Select Publications:
2013    Art of the National Parks: Historic Connections, Contemporary Interpretations by Susan Hallsten McGarry, Jean Stern, Terry Lawson Dunn

Gallery Representation:
Collins Galleries, Orleans, Massachusetts
Helena Fox Fine Art, Charleston, South Carolina
John Pence Gallery, San Francisco, California
Palm Avenue Fine Art, Sarasota, Florida
Tree’s Place Gallery, Orleans, Massachusetts


Revolver, Ouray, Colorado
2015, Oil on canvas, 18 x 24 inches

I painted many plein air studies of this classic western town over a period of several days and was intrigued by the changing light in the valley as it corresponded to the revolving earth. The painting’s smoothly rendered sky contrasting with the textured land forms relate to the respective ethereal and solidly rugged qualities of those elements.  As well as relating to the revolving earth, “Revolver” can also refer to the classic firearm of the American West. 


Celebrate the best of the West and meet 50 of the nation's top Western-theme artists during the 10th anniversary opening weekend festivities for the Quest for the West® Art Show and Sale, Friday, Sept. 11 through Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015 at the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art in downtown Indianapolis, IN.

Only registered guests may participate in opening weekend activities. Register now to join in the fun, make new friends, socialize with artists and seasoned and fledging art collectors, enjoy fine food and purchase art for your new or established art collection. For your convenience, four Marriott Place hotels are located directly across the street from the museum.

Register to participate in opening weekend festivities by purchasing a weekend individual or couples package.  If you are unable to attend but wish to buy art, you may purchase an absentee buyer registration to participate in the sale. Absentee buyers must submit purchase instructions and a credit card number to the Eiteljorg Museum by Thursday, September 3, 2015.  Please check the Absentee Buyer box.

  $250 Member; $300 Non-member
Package includes one Quest catalog and one bid book per registrant, plus participation for one in all Quest events.

$450 Member; $500 Non-member
Package includes one Quest catalog and one bid book per couple, plus participation for two in all Quest events.

Are you unable to attend the sale, but interested in purchasing art? Absentee buyers may participate in the sale by purchasing a bid book and catalog for $150. Additional bid books are available for $150 each. Limit three bid books per registrant. Absentee Buyer Instructions (Click to download)


For registration-related questions, or for credit card registration by phone, please contact Kay Hinds at (317) 275-1341 or e-mail Your Quest catalog and bid books will be distributed when you check in at the registration desk on opening weekend.



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