Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West was recently named one of the best museums in the West by True West magazine for the eighth consecutive year.
Delighted with this honor, the museum team plans to bring new exhibits and make the good times last.
“It’s absolutely remarkable, you know, given that we’re still relatively young and growing and to receive this kind of honor is a testament to all the hard work of the many people who have dedicated their lives and put their hearts into bringing us the great collections and exhibits that we have,” said Dr. Patricia Loscher, Deputy Director of Collections, Exhibits and Research.
“Every story the exhibits tell has many, many people behind it, from the teams who design and install the exhibits to the people who collect them, people have been passionate about the stories we tell,” she added.
“Visitors who come here want to see something and take something away from the West – whether it’s the historical past or the present, or in some cases the future – and so it’s really exciting to be able to tell these stories about the great American West in so many different ways.
Loscher has launched a few contemporary exhibits, the most recent being an exhibit called “Kids In Focus.”
“We have a big show right now that just opened called ‘Kids in Focus’ with a local organization and their kids, who took the pictures and reflected on their lives and it’s a great exhibit on display upstairs in our gallery,” Loscher said.
Along some of the museum walls leading from the display case of 1,400 saddles, spurs, cowboy gear and other Old West artifacts to the gift shop are paintings by female artists from the late 1800s and the early 1900s.
“Right now, we have a teaser exhibit of western women from the collection of female artists Fran and Elliot,” Loscher said. “This teaser show features approximately 20 works of art and will be part of a much larger exhibit of these female artists from late 1800s and early 20th century Arizona who painted here.
This exhibit is the first of its kind and is also one of, if not the largest collection of female artists in Arizona.
The full exhibition in 2024 will feature nearly 300 paintings and sculptures made by women, some of which are inspired by Indigenous artwork.
Loscher says she can’t wait to open this exhibit, explaining, “I can’t wait to put it on and 2024 seems so far away. It’s not, but it’s a great way to show off at least some of that work.”
The museum will also add new pieces of Hopi pottery created by Nampeyo – a famous Hopi visual artist considered the “Matriarch of Hopi Pottery” – donated to the museum to its famous clay canvas: Masterpieces of Hopi Pottery from The Allan and Judith Cooke Collection which will be added to the gallery.
The museum has also added an exclusive book to its gift shop titled “The Call of Beauty: Masterpieces of Nampeyo”, which focuses on the artist’s life.
The Paul Calle exhibit, which shows painted images of NASA’s first man on the moon, is one of those cleared for a new installation. Paintings of fur traders and Native Americans will be replaced by an exhibit of photographs taken by famed photographer Scott Baxter of western ranches.
With exciting exhibitions on the horizon, Loscher is optimistic about the future.
“I think it’s a wonderful reminder that we always strive to be the westernmost city in the West in terms of the ideologies and mythologies of the American West and what the West means to many. of people,” she said.
“I think throughout the museum we find little gems and ways to talk about them and through our docent program we find ways to connect the story here in Scottsdale to love the larger Western view of the ‘West.”
Information: Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is located at 3830 N. Marshall Way. scottsdalemuseumwest.org 480-686-9539