Visiting Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
Western Spirit: Scottdale’s Museum of the West
As most folks were headed to cooler destinations for the holiday, we thought this might make a wonderful time for a visit. We were right, no crowds!
Opened in January of 2015, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West celebrates the art, history, culture and unique stories of the Greater Western region.
So while you will find quite a number of artifacts and paintings having to do with the Southwest, as the museum’s focus is on the “Greater Western” region, you will find interesting exhibits telling the story of the birth of the whole of the West.
We always recommend docent-led tours when visiting museums, and here you will find three docent-led museum tours regularly offered at 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. All docent-led tours are included with museum admission and are free to members.
This is the tour we decided to explore.
This tour illuminates the history of the early American West through artworks by both historic and contemporary artists. In Courage & Crossroads: A Visual Journey through the Early American West, view a collection that spans over a century and includes the work of western masters Frederic Remington and Charles Russell, Pueblo ceramics and other historic Native American objects, photographs by Edward S. Curtis, and the presentation style pipe tomahawk of Captain Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. In Confluence of Cultures in the American West: A Selection of Contemporary Artists, see how contemporary western artists portray decidedly western themes such as trappers, settlement, exploration, and encounters between Native Americans and the first Euro-American explorers.
While there were quite a number of subjects and visuals we enjoyed on our tour, we both found ourselves fascinated with the rather extensive exhibit having to do with the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Note: click all photographs for larger views.
That was my favorite Lewis and Clark painting, but I also enjoyed this beautiful painting by Lee Teter entitled Blackfoot Migration.
The Rennard Strickland Collection of Western Film History (June 20, 2017 – September 30, 2018)
We also found this exhibit interesting as most baby boomers came to know of the West primarily through the movies we saw as children.
This inaugural exhibition features 118 western film posters and lobby cards dating from the 1890s to the mid-1980s, curated from one of the world’s largest—and most historically important and inclusive—collections of western film graphic arts. The first of many planned exhibitions featuring posters and objects from the collection, it celebrates the American West, cowboys, Native Americans, the history of the movie industry, and the power of the West’s cultural legacies. It also pays tribute to Rennard Strickland (Osage/Cherokee), whose collection of more than 5,000 items was acquired in late 2016 in an education and community partnership between Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West and the Arizona State University Foundation.
Here’s a photo of Carol strolling through the exhibit.
Well, I have a couple dozen more photographs I could share, but I suppose the best thing to do is to go visit for yourself. Here’s the address:
Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
3830 N. Marshall Way
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Website: Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West
Have fun! Oh, this would be a wonderful experience to share with your grandchildren when they’re in town. 😀
Note: building exterior photograph courtesy of Scottsdale’s Museum of the West.
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