New museum delivers taste of the Old West

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By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Some of the Wild West's culture and history is now on display at a new museum in Scottsdale,  a locale that has been called "The West's Most Western Town."

"Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West" opened January 15, 2015.

The museum, owned by the city of Scottsdale, will boldly immerse its guests in the essence of the American West, past and present, through artworks by renowned artists, historic artifacts of the Old and New West, interactive exhibits, multi-media productions, and an ongoing schedule of fun, educational programs and public events.

"Western Spirit is destined to become a second home for western American art connoisseurs and enthusiasts, as well as anyone who has ever been fascinated by the story of the American West," says the museum's director, Michael Fox. "A point of civic pride for Scottsdale, Western Spirit will be a place where people of all generations and cultures can engage in contemplative and enjoyable journeys of self-discovery; a place where Western history can be revealed, today's region better understood, and tomorrow's rich opportunities explored."

Western Spirit stands on the site of the historic Loloma Transit Station (designed by noted architect Vito Acconci) and preserves elements of the station's classic design, now repurposed as administrative offices and an education center.

To this has been added a new 43,000-square-foot, two-story main building. Western Spirit resides on a beautiful campus designed by landscape architects Colwell Shelor of Phoenix, and is adorned with low-water use desert plantings.

Both indoor and outdoor spaces meet the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Standard for sustainability, conserving precious natural resources while also raising public awareness of their vital importance to the western region.

The $11.4 million museum will feature rotating exhibitions of western art and cultural treasures on loan from some of the world's foremost collectors and institutions. With exhibitions constantly changing, there will always be something new to see and experience at Western Spirit.

Interactive games and activities as well as multi-media kiosks strategically located throughout the galleries will engage the interest of children and adults alike, providing insights into the art and artifacts on exhibit as well as topics such as Western geography, history, flora, and fauna.

A partnership with Arizona State University will provide additional resources, enabling the museum to become a communication and learning center for studies of the West. Visitors will enter the museum through the Scottsdale Charros Gateway Foyer, where the artist Maynard Dixon's dramatic 1935 mural Kit Carson with Mountain Men is on display.

Continuing from here on their journey of western discovery, visitors can explore the following exhibitions planned for the museum's opening: Inspirational Journey: The Story of Lewis and Clark.

Museum Hours
Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Scottsdale Artwalk Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Closed Mondays

Admission Prices
Adults: $13.00
Seniors (65+) and Active Military: $11.00
Students (with ID) and Children (6-17): $8.00
Members and Children 5 and under: FREE
For special Group Rates, please contact Guest Services: 480-686-9539

3830 N. Marshall Way and 1st Street (One block south of Main Street)
Scottsdale AZ 85251
Phone: 480-686-9539
Website: www.scottsdalemuseumwest.org