Look no further than Western Spirit: Scottsdale Museum of the West, which opened in early January after a long development journey lasting more than 30 years. It debuts as one of the Valley's most unique historical venues, where you can explore the life and work of cowboy-cartoonist Will James or follow Lewis and Clark on their journey across America.
The museum’s cedar and concrete-lined walls are home to more than 2,000 artifacts, paintings and sculptures that celebrate the West, from the first Hohokam dwellings to modern day ranches. At least half the pieces on display were created by Arizona artists, but many hail from decidedly non-Western climes, including the dozens of wagon wheels handmade by Amish communities in the eastern United States that hang from the lobby ceiling.
Every piece in the museum reflects the artists’ passion for accurately capturing the West. For example, painter Charles Fritz literally walked in the footsteps of explorers Lewis and Clark prior to painting “The Captains Lewis and Clark” (pictured right). “In order to ensure accuracy in the paintings, I traveled the entire route of the expedition twice, locating and visiting the sites of noteworthy events in the journals and painting field studies there,” Fritz says.
The museum’s collections, entirely on loan from 30-40 different lenders, will be showcased in exhibitions that rotate every 6-12 months. Western Spirit’s 135-seat auditorium hosts symposiums, performances and classes, along with an 18-minute feature film that uses Ken Burns-style effects on art pieces to tell the museum’s story.
Western Spirit: Scottsdale Museum of the West
3830 N. Marshall Way, Scottsdale,
Admission: $13, adults; $11, seniors and military; $8, students and children ages 6-17; children 5 and younger free.
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Tu-Sa, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Su, open until 9 p.m. for Scottsdale Artwalk Thursdays
The 10 Hottest Neighborhoods of 2020
Our roundup of metro Phoenix’s hottest areas for living and investment... five years from today. ...
21 Cool Staycations
ULTIMATE RESORT AND STAYCATION GUIDE ...
Neighborhoods We Love
Whether you’re relocating or just recreating, the Valley’s diverse and distinctive neighborhoods offer a host of haunts to explore. From family friendly enclaves to hidden historic ’hoods, plus meccas for outdoorsy types, foodies an...
7 Splendid Swimmin’ Holes
We take you on a tour of Arizona’s best shady spots to get wet ...
101 Things to Do in Arizona
Your Arizona membership dues aren't current until you tap our definitive list of uniquely AZ-centric events and experiences. ...