The new museum, which is located in the Marshall Way Arts District in Old Town Scottsdale, showcases the art, history and culture of the American West. The 43,000-square-foot venue features rotating exhibitions with art and artifacts on loan from some of the world's foremost museums and collections.
Scottsdale's Museum of the West showcases the art and history of the American West — Photo courtesy of Scottsdale's Museum of the West
Visitors can see works of art by Georgia O'Keefe, Fritz Scholder, Charles M. Russell, Will James, Allen Houser and other luminaries who captured the people and landscape of the West.
The Museum of the West is more than just an art museum, though. The venue calls itself a "study in the West," and most exhibits seeks to tell the story, both past and present, of the Western states. One exhibit, Inspirational Journey: The Story of Lewis and Clark, for example, tells the story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition through a series of more than 100 paintings and bronze sculptures.
The museum also houses hundreds of quintessentially Western objects, many of which are on display at The A.P. Hays Spirit of the West gallery. Visitors can see a selection of rare 19th-century saddles and spurs, Texas Ranger badges from the 1890s and rare Colt pistols. The gallery even has a replica of a Western town movie set.
But the story of the West really comes to life inside the museum's multi-sensory and multimedia theater, where visitors can stop in to watch a seven-minute film produced by Emmy & CINE award-winning filmmaker Rees Candee, which captures nearly 14,000 years of history in the American West.
The theater will also host regular special storytelling and live music events.
Lovers of modern design will want to check out the museum and its state-of-the-art, LEED-certified green design, which features an open-air courtyard with a sculpture garden, cactus garden and outdoor amphitheater that will serve as a space for outdoor events.
The museum has also established a new research center that will serve as a clearinghouse for the study of Western American art, culture, history and science. The Learning Center, as it's called, will house the True West Publishers Library and Abe Hays Reference Library.
Scottsdale's Museum of the West is open every day except Monday. Admission is $13 for adults and $11 for seniors and active military. Children under five get in for free.