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Where the Legend Lives

Mission & History

 Overview | Founders


Mission Statement

The Museum of Western Art in the Texas Hill Country is dedicated to excellence in the collection, preservation, and promotion of Western Heritage and the education and cultural enrichment of our diverse audiences


The Museum of Western Art is located in Kerrville, Texas, only a short drive from San Antonio. It sits on prime real estate in the heart of the famed Texas Hill Country. This outstanding facility provides the opportunity for one-and-all to relive Western heritage through great Western art.

 


The Museum of Western Art opened on April 23, 1983, and was first known as the Cowboy Artists of America Museum. In the years since, thousands of visitors have walked the Museum galleries and have seen the West brought to life through the artwork on display. The hardworking cowboys, the Native Americans, women of the West, settlers, mountain men and others are featured through various themed exhibits. Through other displays, the history of famous ranches as well as other diverse aspects of our Western heritage, are shared with an ever-widening audience. In addition, area educators, students, writers, as well as the public make frequent use of the Museum's 3,000 volume Western art and history research library.

The Museum is an architectural work of art in its own right. Its unique design was initiated by distinguished Texas architect O'Neil Ford, renowned for establishing the guiding principles of Southwestern style architecture.

Featuring heavy timbers and rugged retaining walls of stacked limestone, the building's exterior resembles a fortressed hacienda. Heroic and life-size bronzes dot the landscape of the outer grounds. Inside the 14,000 square foot facility, 23 bovedas in the ceiling give visitors a glimpse of artisan work rarely seen today. Floors of end-cut mesquite wood and Saltillo tile are polished to a warm glow, complementing the Western artwork displayed in the galleries. In 2004, the Masel S. Quinn Pavilion of the Western Art Academy was completed and made ready for use in the Museum's art education program.

In preserving and promoting the heritage of the American West, the Museum is committed to exhibiting the very finest artwork including art created by today's best known Western artists. Periodic exhibits feature famous masters of the past. The Museum's goal is to represent authentically the life of the West, in both its historic and contemporary context. This rich cultural heritage is also shared through the display of artifacts from the era, and ongoing Western art and history education programs.

Finally, in all that it does, the Museum serves as a bridge between the past and the present, insuring that the legacy of the American West will be preserved for the future. We invite our guests to be part of that mission. Experience the West as it was and as it is at the Museum of Western Art ... Where the Legend Lives!

 

 

 
       

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Affiliations:  Texas Association of Museums -  American Alliance of Museums

 

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