William Ranney was one of the first American artists to capture the legendary characters, events and spirit of the American west. One critic pointed out that he was the only artist who had the first hadn't experience to paint scenes of the west. Where did he get that experience? Texas of course! Ranney had served in the Texas Army from May through November of 1836. After this time in Texas, Ranney returned east and became a prolific painter of the things he had seen. he also produced a large body of genre paintings that began to shape the collective identity of America. He painted the American revolution as its history was just being formed in the minds of his audience. He painted the early trappers and mountain men that blazed the trails for western expansion. He captured many scenes of the pioneer families that truly settled the west and fulfilled the manifest destiny of America. Learn a little about William Ranney and the shaping of the American identity in the latest episode of Wise About Texas.