In 1973, the National Academy of Western Art (NAWA) was organized to showcase work in the tradition of artists such as Charles M. Russell and Frederic Remington. Awards and cash prizes were given each year, the highest of which was called the Prix de West. In 1995, NAWA was reorganized, and the event was renamed the Prix de West, still focused on promoting the best of Western art.
Now in its fifth decade, the Prix de West Invitational remains the premier Western art show in the world. Each year since 1973, the Museum has acquired the Prix de West Award winner for the permanent collection resulting in a gallery of paintings and sculpture by the finest contemporary Western artists that is second to none.