Friday, July 10, 2015

Museum of Western Art, Kerrville, Texas

I have always loved the American West. I read all I can about the West, and I love a good western movie. It didn’t take much to get me to go to the Museum of Western Art in Kerrville.

Located in southeast Kerrville on the Bandera Highway, the Museum of Western Art is a beautiful modern building on a high knoll overlooking the city. It opened on April 23, 1983, and its mission is to collect, preserve, and promote Western Heritage.

Museum, as seen from the parking lot.
As you approach the entrance to the museum, you are greeted by the “Rain and Wind” statue located just outside. That statue, by William Moyers, helps set the tone for the museum.

"Wind and Rain" bronze statue located near museum entrance.
We were warmly greeted by the staff, and a docent led us through the interior halls and gave us a briefing on the building itself and some of the items in the halls. The facility is 14,000 square feet. Among its more interesting architectural aspects are 23 bovedas, or ceiling vaults. Additionally, the floor consists of polished Saltillo tile, which often contains thumb or finger prints of the artisans who made them.

One of the many bovedas located in the museum.
After a brief description of the layout, the docent then turned us loose in the galleries. It is worth noting that no photography is allowed within the galleries, only within the hallways and exterior grounds.

One of the museum hallways. Note wagon at end of hallway. Doors to the right lead to galleries. Also note bovedas in ceiling.
Studebaker wagon and stagecoach at rear of museum.
From time to time, the docent would check on us and give us some insight into the collections in the area of the museum we were currently in.

Although most items are pictures (oil, charcoal, pen and ink, etc.) and statues, there are other items as well, such as barbed wire, a stagecoach, and even saddles. Out the back door is a patio where many of the artists have left their hand and boot imprints in cement, along with their signatures.

Palm and boot prints of artists, along with signatures.

Looking in a northerly direction from rear of museum, which is located atop a hill in southeast Kerrville.

Statue at rear of museum.
Location, hours, and entrance fees are available on the museum's website

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