National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole Celebrates 25 Years with Sculpture Trail Opening, Major Exhibitions

Jackson, Wyoming   April 26, 2012   Entertainment News
(PRLEAP.COM) Jackson Hole, Wyoming April 26, 2012 From a private collector's dream and a rented Jackson Hole storefront to a landmark building, national museum designation, and more than 5,000 artworks boasting familiar names from Audubon to Warhol, the National Museum of Wildlife Art has come a long way in 25 years. In addition to its quarter-century anniversary, 2012 also marks the fall completion of the museum's new Walter Hood-designed Sculpture Trail and some important exhibitions.

The museum's collection began inauspiciously in 1962 with a small painting titled "Favorite Panfish" by Les Kouba given to Bill Kerr by his wife, Joffa. Two years later the couple bought a Carl Rungius piece, "Wanderers Above Timberline" on layaway, and by 1987 they had amassed one of the finest collections of wildlife and sporting art in the country. Together with several others, they opened the then Wildlife of the American West Art Museum in a 5,000-square-foot space on Jackson's Town Square.

Fast forward 25 years, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States so designated by an act of Congress in 2008 and now housed in an architecturally significant stone building on a butte overlooking the National Elk Refuge north of the town of Jackson has established itself as the world's premier collector, exhibitor and interpreter of wildlife art.

Important events taking place during the museum's 25th anniversary year include:

  • "Rugged Impressionism: The Masterful Field Studies of Carl Rungius" (May 1 October 7, 2012)
  • "Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct" (May 10 August 19, 2012)
  • Grand opening of the museum's new Sculpture Trail (June 14)
  • Plein Air Festival (June 16)
  • 25th installment of the annual Western Visions® Miniatures and More Show & Sale (September 14).
  • "National Geographic Greatest Photographs of the American West" (opens October 27)

  • A member of the Museums West consortium and accredited by the American Association of Museums, the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States provides an exciting calendar of exhibitions from its permanent collection and changing exhibitions from around the globe. A complete schedule of museum exhibitions and events is available online at www.wildlifeart.org. The museum is also active on Facebook at wildlifeartjh and on Twitter at @wildlifeartjh.
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