The Stan Kamen Collection of Western Art at Washington and Lee University

In 1986, Washington and Lee University received a bequest of art of the American West from the estate of Stanley A. Kamen, a 1949 Law School alumnus. This collection is on view in the Kamen Gallery of the Lenfest Center, as well as in public spaces throughout the university

A native of New York, Stan Kamen became one of Hollywood’s most successful agents. In 1950, he joined the legal department of the William Morris Agency, the largest and oldest talent agency in the world, and moved to Los Angeles in 1953. During his 36-year career with William Morris, Kamen became its premier agent, as well as executive vice president with responsibility for worldwide motion picture interests, and a member of the board of directors. Best known for making Steve McQueen into a leading man, Kamen represented noted actors including Barbra Streisand, Warren Beatty, Walter Matthau, Joan Collins and Gregory Peck. He also helped develop such major films as Sophie’s Choice, The China Syndrome, On Golden Pond, Reds, Bonnie and Clyde, and Midnight Express, among others.

Kamen was devoted to his family, his alma mater, and the humanitarian causes he served. In 1984, he received the Israel Prime Minister`s Award for his longtime support of that nation. Kamen also provided a trust to Washington and Lee University on behalf of the Lenfest Fine Arts Center project. The Lenfest Theater opened in 1991.

Stan Kamen had a collector’s passion for art of the American West, and he filled his Malibu home and his Beverly Hills office with paintings, prints, and sculpture reflecting his love of horses and the Western landscape. His collection comprises work by noted 19th-century artists, including sculptors Pierre-Jules Mene and Charles Schreyvogel, as well as more contemporary 20th-century artists, including painters and sculptors Michael Coleman, Harry Jackson, Frank McCarthy, and Gordon Phillips. Printmakers represented in the collection include noted Native American artists R. C. Gorman and John Nieto. The collection reflects ideas of American identity, as well as storytelling, mythmaking, and exploration of the American western landscape.

The Death Watch
By Astley David Middleton Cooper (American, 1856-1924)
Oil on Canvas, 23.5” x 45.5”
Signed ADM Cooper in lower right, no date
The Stan Kamen Collection of Western Art at Washington & Lee University, Bequest of Stanley A. Kamen (U1986.1.12)

Mountain Man
By Gordon Phillips (American, 1927-2011)
Oil on Canvas, 17.5” x 23.5”
Signed Gordon Phillips ’73 in lower right corner
The Stan Kamen Collection of Western Art at Washington & Lee University, Bequest of Stanley A. Kamen (U1986.1.13)

A Hot Trail
By Michael Coleman (American, b.1946)
Watercolor and gouache on paper, 11.75” x 5”
Signed Michael Coleman in lower right and dated 1977 (verso)
The Stan Kamen Collection of Western Art at Washington & Lee University, Bequest of Stanley A. Kamen (U1986.1.15)

A Crow Dandy
By Michael Coleman (American, b.1946)
Gouache on Paper, 12” x 5.5”
Signed Michael Coleman in lower right and dated January 1978 (verso)
The Stan Kamen Collection of Western Art at Washington & Lee University, Bequest of Stanley A. Kamen (U1986.1.16)

The Golden Mist
By Frank McCarthy (American, 1924-2002)
Oil on Canvas, 14.25” x 24”
Signed McCarthy 72 in lower right
The Stan Kamen Collection of Western Art at Washington & Lee University, Bequest of Stanley A. Kamen (U1986.1.22)

Navajo Potter
By Rudolph Carl Gorman (Native American, 1931-2005)
Color Lithograph, 91/180 Edition, 21.75” x 29.5”
Signed R.C. Gorman 1981 in lower left
The Stan Kamen Collection of Western Art at Washington & Lee University, Bequest of Stanley A. Kamen (U1986.1.34)

Layover in Town
By Gordon Phillips (American, 1927-2011)
Oil on Canvas, 18” x 29.5”
Signed Gordon Phillips in lower right, dated 1978
The Stan Kamen Collection of Western Art at Washington & Lee University, Bequest of Stanley A. Kamen (U1986.1.45)

Indian Encampment
By Paul Surber (American, b.1942)
Gouache on Paper, 16” x 29”
Signed Paul Surber in lower right corner, no date
The Stan Kamen Collection of Western Art at Washington & Lee University, Bequest of Stanley A. Kamen (U1986.1.53)

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