Originally Published: March 12, 2009 8:38 p.m.
The Phippen Museum celebrates its 25th anniversary by paying homage to the artist who started it all.
"Remembering George" honors George Phippen with a special exhibit of his work through his career until his death in 1966.
Remembrances written by Phippen's Cowboy Artist peers like John Coleman and Bill Nebeker displayed throughout the exhibit describe how Phippen inspired them.
Featured work includes art from the 2008 Annual Cowboy Artist show at the Phoenix Art Museum and other pieces provided by private collectors.
Phippen's works like "The Walker Party" (borrowed from the Prescott Public Library) and "Tying a Knot in the Devil's Tail" hang alongside pieces by other founding Cowboy Artists Joe Beeler, Charlie Dye and John Hampton at the show's entrance.
Other pieces include "Caught Napping," a humorous portrayal of his friend and fellow artist Joe Beeler.
Lining the wall of the Cultural Hall in the back room are new paintings by Ray Swanson, CA, donated by Beverly Swanson, and early drawings by Phippen brought out from the museum's permanent collection.
Phippen moved to Tucson in 1940 to start an art career before being drafted into the Army.
He eventually settled with his family in Skull Valley, where he established a foundry.
Phippen and co-founders Beeler, Dye and Hampton conceived of the Cowboy Artists while meeting at Bird's Oak Creek Tavern in Sedona in June 1965, with the idea of creating art committed to the subject of ranching life.
Following Phippen's death, a group of local Prescott artists inspired by Phippen formed a group with his widow, Louise Phippen, to establish a museum in his name.
The annual Phippen Memorial Day art show and sale started with that effort, raising funds culminating in the non-profit memorial foundation that continues to support the Phippen Museum.
The Cowboy Artists of America group currently consists of 23 active members in addition to 28 deceased artists.
"Remembering George" shows through July 26.
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