Scottsdale’s Museum of the West named ‘Best Western Art Museum’

Since opening in January 2015, Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West has garnered numerous awards, achievements and accolades, including the designation of Smithsonian Affiliate.

To these, it can now add “Best Western Art Museum in the Nation” for its “extraordinary exhibitions and dedication to Western art and culture.”

“We are honored to be recognized along with other well established and distinguished Western art museums,” said Mike Fox, director and CEO of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, in a press release.

“This speaks to the dedication of our outstanding staff and volunteers and the quality of the artwork and Old West artifacts that have been generously loaned to us during our first year and a half of operation. The changing exhibitions and diversity of public programs have helped our guests gain a greater appreciation and understanding of the American West.”

The honor, bestowed by True West magazine, appears in a ranking of Western art museums published in the September 2016 issue. The 63-year-old, national publication is based in Cave Creek, and presents true stories of Old West adventure, history, culture and preservation, the release stated.

“Scottsdale’s Museum of the West’s dedication to its mission of preserving and interpreting our great Western art is inspiring,” said True West Executive Editor Bob Boze Bell, in the release. “They keep the spirit of the Old West alive.”

A view of Western Spirit: Scottsdale's Museum of the West. (Submitted photo)

A view of Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. (Submitted photo)

The 43,000-square-foot, two-story museum building was built and is owned by the city of Scottsdale and is managed and operated by Scottsdale Museum of the West, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is located in downtown Scottsdale’s arts district at 3830 N. Marshall Way.

The “top six” museums were selected by the magazine’s editors and Spur Award-winning writer Johnny D. Boggs. They were chosen based on “the extraordinary efforts of the museums over the past year to create and host new temporary exhibits, as well as maintain dynamic permanent exhibitions.”

Other institutions making the list of best Western art museums include, in descending order, the Whitney Western Art Museum (Cody, Wyo.), the Briscoe Western Art Museum (San Antonio, TX), the Tucson Museum of Art (Tucson, Ariz.), the Stark Museum of Art (Orange, TX), and the C.M. Russell Museum (Great Falls, Mont.).

Cementing its position as a leading Western art museum, Mr. Fox said museum guests in the coming weeks and months can look forward to two art exhibitions of the highest caliber (one featuring contemporary artist John Coleman, opening Sept. 17, and “The Artists of Taos,” opening Jan. 10, 2017), plus announcements regarding donations of one-of-a-kind collections.

Scottsdale’s Museum of the West also has received awards and citations for excellence from the American Institute of Architects Arizona, the American Society of Interior Designers/Arizona North Chapter, the American Society of Landscape Architects Arizona Chapter, and Arizona Forward.

In November 2015, the museum was accepted into the Smithsonian Affiliations program. It is also a TripAdvisor top-rated attraction, and a LEED Gold certified building, recognizing the museum’s environmentally conscious design, construction and operation.

For additional information about the museum, visit or call 480-686-9539. For more information about True West magazine, visit or call 888-687-1881.

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