Art: Draw, Pardner

Whittled at, mocked, its history rewritten, the American West has taken a battering in recent years. The myth of the 19th century frontier—brave mule skinners and noble cavalrymen bringing civilization across the Great Plains—is dying out like the buffalo. This discovery, leaving a painful hole in America's stock of self-images, helps explain the recent surge of interest in 19th century frontier art. The latest evidence of it is a delightful show called "The American West," which drew crowds to the Los Angeles County Museum through the spring and will open June 8 at...

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