With his wife Ethel, he went on-the-road in their “motor home” going from town to town showcasing his wares in the early 1900s. Willard J. Page traveled the Southwest bringing hustle and a clever marketing scheme that blended his artistic talent with a novel production style and demonstrated passion for capturing the American Wests’s natural beauty. Setting up his easels on railroad platforms, he would paint his vision of the Southwest in an assembly-line production mode, and sell his “baggage-sized” original oils to train travelers eager to grab a memento of their excursion to the wild, Wild West Territories.
With his wife Ethel and in their custom-built ‘motorized coach,’ they traveled from the Tetons to Tucson, the Rockies to the Grand Canyon and all points in between. They made a life together, and foraged a lifestyle targeting his artistic passion for the Southwest.
The new historic art exhibit features the works of Willard J. Page with more than 40 original paintings by Page, including the Museum’s own “Thumb Butte.” From mini-sized curios to larger canvasses, these delightful pieces provide a nostalgic look at early Americana. Curated by Carolyn O’Bagy Davis, the collection is a must-see experience of mutual discovery, looking into the past for both style and substance, and sharing in the future Page captured on canvas.