The people have spoken! In the January 2018 issue of True West magazine, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West was named the nation’s “Best Western Museum” by its readers. This readers’ choice award builds upon the museum’s previous recognition as the editors’ choice “Best Western Museum” in both 2017 and 2016.
Additionally, the magazine’s editors recognized Rennard Strickland (Osage/Cherokee), as the “Best Western Art Collector” of the year. His collection of more than 5,000 western film posters and lobby cards was acquired in October 2016 as the result of an education and community partnership by Scottsdale’s Museum of the West and the Arizona State University Foundation. A selection of his collection is on display (through September 30, 2018) in the museum’s exhibition The Rennard Strickland Collection of Western Film History.
This recognition follows numerous other accolades and achievements. Since its opening in January 2015, Scottsdale’s Museum of the West has become a Smithsonian Affiliate organization, and is a recipient of the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for being a highly rated Scottsdale attraction. In addition, two of the museum’s 2017 exhibitions (The Taos Society of Artists and Canvas of Clay: Hopi Pottery Masterworks from The Allan and Judith Cooke Collection) were named in USA TODAY travel articles as “must see” exhibitions at U.S. museums.