Ed Ruscha’s Wild West

For 50 Years and Counting, the Artist Has Reinterpreted What the West Means to America

In 1956, at the age of 18, Edward Joseph Ruscha IV left his home in Oklahoma and drove a 1950 Ford sedan to Los Angeles, where he hoped to attend art school. His trip roughly followed the fabled Route 66 through the Southwest, and featured many of the sights—auto repair shops, billboards, and long stretches of roadway punctuated by oil derricks and telephone poles—that would provide him with artistic subjects for decades to come.

Ninety-nine of his works are now on view in Ed Ruscha and the Great American West …

How Americans Fell in Love with the Open Road

As the Automobile Industry Took off, Drivers Discovered the Romance and Freedom of Long-Distance Travel

Tens of millions of Americans have hit the road this summer. The all-American road trip has long been a signature adventure, but once upon a time the notion of your …

The Mythology and Art of the American Road Trip

Ten Artists Designed 100 Billboards Along the I-10 From Florida to California

An art exhibition usually takes place in a gallery, where you go to see work that’s been installed there for a few months. But what if you could see an …

At Home on the Road to Annapolis

How U.S. Route 50 in Maryland Became a Refuge

From the moment I was old enough to drive, I’ve been taking short solo road trips with no concrete destination in mind. Left turn here, right turn there, or sometimes …