Maura Allen

“People often ask if the images I paint are from another century, from a bygone era. This is the West today, I say—a place where neighbor helps neighbor, where the day doesn’t end when the sun goes down.”

– Maura Allen, “Today’s West” | SouthwestArt Magazine

Since the 19th century, realistic landscapes, portrait paintings and life-like bronzes by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell have defined the Western art genre. While Maura Allen’s work starts with the realistic through her photography, the result is a dramatic departure from the genre’s traditional roots.

The dominant theme of Allen’s work is life and landscape of the American West. The mythology of the West-solitude, strength, discipline, individualism, pride and promise-provide a source of imagery and inspiration. To create her work, Allen draws on more than 20 years’ experience in black and white photography. Like a journalist, she photographs in order to capture moments and elements that portray current day life. Using the serigraph (silkscreen) printmaking process, Allen is able to stretch beyond the photographic media and work on a variety surfaces, layer images and incorporate color and create rich textures.

Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Allen now lives with her husband, a furniture maker, in Colorado.


I studied Classical Studies (Latin) at Stanford and learned how literature, politics, religion, science, sports and more interplay within a single culture. I quickly realized the same holds true in the American West.

The way story and cinema, song and symbol, landscape and legends combine and contribute to our real and imagined view of the West is my focus. Native Americans, Lewis and Clark, Remington, Russell and dime store magazines were our first Western storytellers and shaped our views. Song, photography and film soon added to the mix — and mythology. Real issues — water, land and livestock, rodeo and ranching, traditions, family and the environment — play out every day in America’s West. How the real and imagined collide and coincide is the center of my work.

I start each piece on location, looking directly into the sun. Ranches, rodeos, and vintage Main Street are my stage. With details obscured, I look for strong, iconic silhouettes. In my studio, working on wood panel, glass and steel, I combine “Old West” elements like vintage wall paper designs, typography and other symbols with those modern day Western moments resulting in a confluence of old and new, historic and modern.


New Frontier. Curtis Arts & Humanities Center – Greenwood Village/Denver (2017)
Western Heroes of Pulp Fiction. Tucson Museum of Art (2015 – 2016)
Cheyenne Frontier Days Western Art Show. Old West Museum, Cody WY (2015 – 2017)
Cowgirl Up! Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ (2012 – 2017)
Corps of Discovery: On the Trail with Lewis & Clark (solo show). Pearce Museum,
Corsicana, TX (2014)
The New West. Denver Arts Commission, Denver, CO (2014)
A New Look at the West. Pearce Museum, Corsicana, TX (2014)
Collecting the West. Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ (2011)


Cheyenne Frontier Days 2016 | Show Poster
Museum Purchase Award | Desert Caballeros Western (2014)
Tin Star Award | Pearce Museum New Look at the West (2014)
Artists’ Choice Award | Cowgirl Up! (2013)
Rene di Rosa Award of Merit
Hearts of San Francisco | Artist Grant


Desert Caballeros Western Museum, Wickenburg, AZ
Pearce Museum, Corsicana, TX
Ritz-Carlton Hotels, Bachelor Gulch, CO
Yellowstone Club, Big Sky, MT
Hilton Hotels, Philadelphia, PA
Inverness Hotel, Denver, CO

Artists’ Choice Award | Cowgirl Up! (2013)

SouthwestArt Magazine | “Meet the Artists” (2012)

Rene di Rosa Award of Merit

Hearts of San Francisco | Artist Grant