Landscapes of Extraction explores the art of mining, the transformative industry of the American West, competing in sublimity and striking color with the natural scenic landscape on its own terms. These landscapes of enterprise altered the natural environment on a spectacular scale, with open pit mines, coal tipples, and oil rigs.
How artists portrayed the mining industry in the American West is explored in the book with four scholarly essays. Artworks were inspired by the multiple landscapes created by large-scale mining, specifically the mines themselves, the towns that grew up around them, and the miners and their families who lived and worked there. The industry shaped communities and landscapes throughout the West: Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and Utah. Landscapes of Extraction explores a powerful regional narrative that is a fundamental element of national identity played out on a vast geographical scale.