Late, great landscape painter Wilson Hurley to be featured in TV narrative “Envisioning the West,” airing Sunday on OETA
Acclaimed Tulsa-born landscape painter Wilson Hurley (1924-2008) will be featured in a television narrative titled “Wilson Hurley: Envisioning the West” airing at 9:30 p.m. Sunday on local PBS station OETA.
Hurley is best known for creating the five massive triptych paintings titled “Windows to the West,” which hang in the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Sam Noble Special Events Center.
The TV program is the companion piece to “Envisioning the West,” an exhibit on view in the museum’s the Atherton Alcove through March 30. The exhibit tells the story of how the Prix de West artist created the “The Wyoming Suite,” one of the “Windows to the West” triptychs.
The exhibit delves into how Hurley’s knowledge of topography and a special easel helped him paint the enormous, beautifully rendered triptychs. It focuses specifically on Hurley’s work on the “The Wyoming Suite,” which depicts the lower falls of Yellowstone Canyon.
The idea to honor the late artist and his immense contributions to art world originated with Gerrianne Schaad, director of the museum’s Dickinson Research Center, and she hired Mary Blood-Suto (formerly McEntire) to produce a TV narrative to accompany the exhibit.
“Hurley was also an author, a lecturer, an aviator, a banker, a lawyer, and a soldier” says Schaad in a news release. “Everything he experienced added a new dimension to his painting and his life.”
Hurley was born in Tulsa but moved as a young boy to Virginia when his father, Gen. Patrick Hurley, became President Hoover’s secretary of war. The family later moved to New Mexico, where he was exposed to great artists, graduated from high school and made his home.
Hurley died in 2008, about a year after being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 84.
Blood-Suto, who attended Putnam Schools and graduated from the University of Oklahoma, has returned to live in Oklahoma City after a 27-year absence, and she was pleased to help share the story of an Oklahoma-born icon.
“It was such an honor to write and produce Wilson’s story and it was a great welcome home,” says Blood-Suto in the release. “I hope the viewers will be pleased and it will inspire them to visit the museum to see more on Hurley and other great artists.”
For more information on the “Envisioning the West” exhibit, call 478-2250 or go to www.nationalcowboymuseum.org.