Docent-led Tours

Want an insider’s view of the museum?

Take advantage of our docent tours which are FREE with admission!
Every Tuesday through Sunday at 11:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:15 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. No need for a reservation, unless you have a group of 15 or more. See our GROUPS PAGE  for more details.

11:15 AM:

Western Perspectives Tour: Explore the Canvas of Clay: Hopi Pottery Masterworks from the Allan and Judith Cooke Collection. It features more than 65 of the finest examples of Hopi pottery, spanning six centuries. Then, see the west from a whole new perspective at Beauty Obsessed: Gilbert Waldman Collects the West. Hand selected from Waldman’s private collection, 50 works feature landscapes, wildlife, and diverse cultural perspectives across New Mexico, Arizona, the Northern Great Plains and Mountain West.


12:15 PM:

Reimagined West Tour – Of Spirit and Flame: John Coleman Bronzes from the Collection of Frankie and Howard Alper displays over 20 works by the award-winning sculptor and painter. Enjoy the stories of Native American culture and Coleman’s artistic process, then continue your journey with

The Abe Hays Family Spirit of the West Collection featuring revolvers, rifles, saddles, knives, holsters, spurs, chaps, badges and more. While all 1400 Old West artifacts from Scottsdale gallerist Abe Hays capture part of our history, many are exceedingly rare.

From there, your docent will take you to Photographs by Barry M. Goldwater: The Arizona Highways Collection, which features the largest collection of photographs by Senator Goldwater and include intimate family photos and personal items.


1:15 PM:

Old West to New West Tour – Meriwether Lewis’ presentation style pipe tomahawk, Kit Carson’s messenger pouch and other rare Native American objects serve as the centerpiece of this story of America’s West in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In Courage & Crossroads: A Visual Journey through the Early American West also showcases more than 100 paintings and sculptures by artists ranging from Thomas Moran and Alfred Jacob Miller to Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, and vintage photographs by Edward S. Curtis add to the narrative.

Then, head over to Paul Calle’s Life of Exploration: From the Mountains to the Moon. Calle (1928-2010), is best known for painting and drawing the historic American West featuring mountain men, fur traders and Native Americans, as well as NASA artwork and postage stamp designs including the iconic 1969 First Man on the Moon artwork and stamp.

All docent tours meet in the main lobby.

Before your tour, catch a short film in the theatre!