Since opening in January 2015, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West has garnered numerous awards, achievements and accolades, including the designation of Smithsonian Affiliate. To these, it can now add “Best Western Art Museum in the Nation” for its “extraordinary exhibitions and dedication to Western art and culture.”
“We are honored to be recognized along with other well established and distinguished Western art museums,” said Mike Fox, director and CEO of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. “This speaks to the dedication of our outstanding staff and volunteers and the quality of the artwork and Old West artifacts that have been generously loaned to us during our first year and a half of operation. The changing exhibitions and diversity of public programs have helped our guests gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the American West.”
The honor, bestowed by True West magazine, appears in a ranking of Western art museums published in the September 2016 issue. The 63-year-old, national publication is based in Cave Creek, Arizona and presents true stories of Old West adventure, history, culture and preservation.
“Scottsdale’s Museum of the West’s dedication to its mission of preserving and interpreting our great Western art is inspiring,” commented True West Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell. “They keep the spirit of the Old West alive.”
The 43,000-square-foot, two-story museum building was built and is owned by the City of Scottsdale and is managed and operated by Scottsdale Museum of the West, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is located in downtown Scottsdale’s arts district at 3830 N. Marshall Way.
The “top six” museums were selected by the magazine’s editors and Spur Award-winning writer Johnny D. Boggs. They were chosen based on “the extraordinary efforts of the museums over the past year to create and host new temporary exhibits, as well as maintain dynamic permanent exhibitions.”
Other institutions making the list of best Western art museums include, in descending order, the Whitney Western Art Museum (Cody, WY), the Briscoe Western Art Museum (San Antonio, TX), the Tucson Museum of Art (Tucson, AZ), the Stark Museum of Art (Orange, TX), and the C.M. Russell Museum (Great Falls, MT).
Cementing its position as a leading Western art museum, Fox said museum guests in the coming weeks and months can look forward to two art exhibitions of the highest caliber (one featuring contemporary artist John Coleman, opening Sept. 17, 2016, and “The Artists of Taos,” opening January 10, 2017), plus announcements regarding donations of one-of-a-kind collections.