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The American West, to most of us who immigrated here from somewhere else, has always been more than a geographical location. It is a state of mind, the idea of Eldorado, of boundless opportunity, a place to lead a new and luckier life under that “Big Sky.” It is a vast and dangerous country whose size alone guarantees the possibility of success in one part of it after failure in another, an exploitable wilderness for anyone with the stamina to knock around in it. To those individuals who came west with an optimistic attitude and an itch for adventure, like the passenger in this painting, the endless horizons and the desolate spaces are the stuff dreams are made of.

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