• Understanding the Museum’s Eco-Friendly Design

    Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West offers a unique perspective on the importance and application of conservation in Arizona. The LEED® Gold-certified museum building functions as an active teaching tool for all ages, and allows visitors to experience how contemporary architecture can minimize waste. When walking around the museum building and campus, you’ll notice […]

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  • Seeing U.S. National Parks through Artists’ Eyes

    August 25, 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. Museum guests can enjoy images of Yellowstone (the nation’s first national park) and Grand Canyon National Park by artists Thomas Moran and Lone Wolf (aka Hart M. Schultz) in our current exhibitions. “Lone Wolf (Hart M. Schultz): Cowboy, Actor and Artist” is on […]

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  • “A Real Indian Painter Paints Indian Life”

    Lone Wolf (aka Hart M. Schultz; 1883-1970) bridged the diverse cultures of the Old and New West through his compelling life and career as an artist. His experiences as the son of a Blackfeet Indian mother and the prolific western book writer James Willard Schultz allowed him to interpret the West through both Native and […]

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  • CAA Artist Profile: Master Sculptor Oreland Joe

    New Mexican artist Oreland Joe Sr. is the creator of the only stone sculptures in the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA) 50th anniversary exhibition, which is on display at Scottsdale’s Museum of the West through Tuesday, May 31, 2016. His artworks connect with viewers of many cultures and backgrounds by portraying the spirit, history and […]

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  • Prisoners as Craftsmen of the West

    During the 19th and 20th centuries, prisoners made and sold an unusual variety of items. Their handiwork included carved, hammered, braided, painted and whittled objects. Spurs, reatas, belts, bits and bridles were among the many types of exquisite merchandise created and sold by prisoners. Some of the most striking prisoner-made pieces feature colorful hitched horsehair […]

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  • “Spirit of the West” Featured Object: “Ride with Pancho Villa” Poster

    Pancho Villa, of peasant heritage, was the leader of a successful Mexican Revolutionary Army in the North. He shocked the United States when in 1916 he raided Columbus, N.M., killing 18 Americans. Reasons for the raid are disputed. Following the raid, Gen. John J. Pershing, with a young Lt. George S. Patton Jr., unsuccessfully pursued […]

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  • “Spirit of the West” Featured Object: Maggie Wright’s Phillips & Gutierrez Prize Spurs

    Mrs. Ed (Maggie) Wright was a skilled and talented professional rodeo performer, who had a true west spirit for daring stunts. Maggie won the top rodeo event at Cheyenne, Wyoming’s Championship Lady Bronco Busting contest on July 28, 1917. As the top rider she won the spurs now shown in the Hays Collection at Scottsdale’s […]

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  • Award-Winning Design

    “From the curb to the galleries, the facility is beautiful and meaningful.” That is how the American Society of Interior Designers, Arizona North Chapter, recently described Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. The ASID chapter presented the museum with its Enhancement of the Arts Award on August 8, 2015 at its 39th Annual Design […]

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  • National Day of the Cowboy: Will James Tribute

    Will James: “That Cowboy Who Drew Pictures” As a boy, Will James dreamed of becoming a cowboy. At age 15 he left his home near Montreal, Canada and, a few years later, was working for large and small cattle outfits in the American West. In addition, James attended the California School of Fine Arts in […]

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  • Flocks of Sheep Were Once a Common Sight in Downtown Scottsdale

    There was a time when, instead of throngs of winter visitors, the streets of downtown Scottsdale teemed with herds of sheep on their way to Arizona’s high country for the summer, or back home for the winter. Marjorie Thomas was Scottsdale’s first resident artist and an Arizona homesteader who painted desert landscapes, Native people, and […]

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