• 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

  • “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

  • Become a Museum Volunteer

    Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West is recruiting volunteers who wish to help the museum fulfill its role as the storyteller of the American West. Those with previous museum volunteer experience, or a background in education or Western studies, are especially encouraged to volunteer. The museum’s docents lead tours

  • Western Traditions Show Debuts

    The new year brings a new show for museum guests to enjoy. “Western Traditions” features Ermal Williamson, an award-winning John Wayne impersonator, and Paula Williamson, a Patsy Cline tribute artist and national yodeling champion. The show takes place in the Virginia G. Piper Theater on scheduled performance dates. The “Western

  • “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

  • Meet the Cowboy Artists Saturday, Nov. 7 at Opening Day Events

    Museum visitors on Saturday, November 7 will have a rare opportunity to meet and mingle with 16 Cowboy Artists of America attending the opening day of CAA’s 50th anniversary exhibition at Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. To celebrate CAA’s golden anniversary and the artists’ contributions to fine art

  • Cowboy Artists of America 50th Anniversary Exhibition Opens Saturday, November 7

    Fifty years ago, four prominent Arizona artists who shared a fervent desire to authentically preserve and perpetuate the culture of Western life in fine art formed the Cowboy Artists of America (CAA). Since that time, CAA’s distinguished artists have become recognized as the leaders in the field of Western representational

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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