Past Exhibitions

Prix de West 

June 10 – August 7, 2016

2015 Prix de West Purchase Award Winner Andrew Peters of Council Bluffs, Iowa The Lake of Glass Oil, 30” x 40” Chosen by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for its permanent art collection.

The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum hosts its prestigious invitational art exhibit of over 300 Western paintings and sculpture by the finest contemporary Western artists in the nation. The exhibiting artists bring a diversity of styles to this prestigious art exhibition. Works range from historical pieces that reflect the early days of the West, to more contemporary and impressionist works of art. Landscapes, wildlife, and illustrative scenes are always highlighted in the exhibition.

Click here to view artwork included in this exhibit.








Conflict Cast in Bronze
January 17 – May 2016

ConflictsThis exhibit, curated from the Museum’s Dickinson Research Center and through loans from Prix de West artist Glenna Goodacre, focuses on the Vietnam Women’s Memorial – the initial idea, a decade long fight for Congressional approval, and Goodacre’s work sculpting the iconic image. A related video, funded by the A. Keith Brodkin Contemporary Western Artists Project, focuses on the emotional impact of the Memorial.

Funded by the Museum’s A. Keith Brodkin Contemporary Western Artists Project.





Revision: Contemporary Navajo Weavings from the Pam Parrish Collection
August 28 – May 8, 2016

This exhibition will showcase 22 of the more than 60 major weavings donated to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum over the past three years by Pam Parrish.  Represented in the exhibition will be examples of Two Gray Hills, Teec Nos Pos, Yei, Storm Pattern, Wide Ruin, Ganado, and Sampler weavings by some of the top contemporary weavers of the late 20th century including Edith John, Nora Shorty, Rena Begay, and Larry Nathaniel. Also included in the exhibition will be a small number of paintings from the Arthur and Shifra Silberman collection of Native American fine art depicting various aspects of Navajo culture.   This exhibit runs Aug 28, 2015 through May 8, 2016 in the museum’s Silberman Gallery.



Native American Bolo Ties: Vintage and Contemporary Artistry

February 5 – May 8, 2016

3682-2 Figure 56 Madeline Beyuka (Zuni). Zuni olla maiden in channel inlay, 1970s-1980s, 5 ½” height, with Bennett Pat. Pend. fitting. Hallmark is stamped “MB” in Gothic print. The ornament can be removed from the cord and used as a pendant.
Madeline Beyuka (Zuni). Zuni olla maiden in channel inlay, 1970s-1980s, 5 ½” height, with Bennett Pat. Pend. fitting. Hallmark is stamped “MB” in Gothic print. The ornament can be removed from the cord and used as a pendant.

Arizona’s official state neckwear, the bolo tie, has reappeared from its exile in grandpa’s dresser drawer to enjoy a fashion comeback. Explore this uniquely Western sartorial adornment’s history and revival in a wonderful and fun new exhibit. The bolo ties included come from the Heard’s permanent collection of more than 170 bolo ties and from the promised gift of Chicago collector Norman L. Sandfield. His collection consists of more than 1,000 bolo ties, scarf slides and ephemera, many of which will be on display. This exhibition was made possible by the Virginia M. Ullman Foundation, and organized by the Heard Museum, Phoenix, Arizona.












Riding The Whirlwind: Weather In The West
February 5 – May 8, 2016

Organized by the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, learn how the often brutal environment of this region with its dramatic blizzards, violent thunder storms, floods, droughts, tornadoes, and hurricanes has shaped, and continues to shape, the history of the American West. Broadcast the weather in front of a green screen, and try the many interactive stations throughout the gallery, specially created for kids of all ages.





The Cowboy Returns: Photographs by Bank and John Langmore
February 5 – May 8, 2016

John Langmore, 06 Ranch. Alpine, Texas (2014). Gelatin silver print.

The Cowboy Returns: Photographs by Bank and John Langmore is a nationally traveling exhibition, organized by the Briscoe Western Art Museum. The exhibit shows an intimate view of the cowboy over two generations in a collection of 100 black-and-white plus color photographs. The images depict the iconic cowboy’s gritty reality of working and living in the American West.  The exhibit includes select work from Bank Langmore—considered a preeminent photographer of the American cowboy in the 1970s—and his son, John Langmore, a celebrated artist in his own right, who spent the last three years photographing many of the same people and ranches his father documented over 40 years ago.





Philip R. Goodwin: America’s Sporting & Wildlife Artist, A Private Collection
February 19 – May 8, 2016

Philip R. Goodwin 3
“Surprised,” by Philip R. Goodwin (1882-1935), oil on canvas, 1930. Private Collection.

Philip R. Goodwin was a precocious child, painting and drawing from a young age. At age 11, he sold his first illustrated story to Collier’s. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, the Art Students League in New York City, the Drexel Institute in Philadelphia, as well as under famed illustrator Howard Pyle at the Howard Pyle School. At the age of 22, in 1903, Goodwin illustrated Jack London’s Call of the Wild and later Theodore Roosevelt’s African Game Trails as well as posters, calendars, and other advertisements. In 1904, he opened a studio in New York, where he created illustrations for Collier’s WeeklyEverybody’s MagazineOutdoor Life, and McClure’s Magazine, as well as covers for The Saturday Evening Post. He was an avid sportsman and outdoorsman and befriended Charles Russell, N.C. Wyeth, Carl Rungius, Theodore Roosevelt, Will Rogers, and Ernest Seton Thompson. Rungius taught Goodwin an appreciation for hunting in order to become closer to wildlife subjects. Traveling on many sketching expeditions together, Goodwin influenced Russell’s painting techniques and use of color.

This exhibition has been organized by the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Canyon, Texas. Goodwin’s work is recognized in many private collections and museums, including the American Museum of Natural History, the Charles M. Russell Museum, the Thomas Gilcrease Institute, the Brandywine River Museum, the Glenbow Museum, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, and the National Museum of Wildlife Art.


Cowboy Artists of America 50th Annual Sale & Exhibition
Traditional Cowboy Arts Association 17th Annual Exhibition & Sale
October 10 – January 3, 2016

Learnin’ the Ropes
Learnin’ the Ropes Oil, 36” x 44” by Jason Rich

The Cowboy Artists of America celebrate their 50th anniversary. Representing the vanguard of the Western art revival that began in the 1960s, they continue to set the mark for those who carry on the legacy. More than 100 paintings, drawings and sculptures on display and available for purchase. The Traditional Cowboy Arts Association provides a unique blend of artistic expression.







Small Works, Great Wonders Winter Art Sale

November 13 – December 1, 2015

Spring Branding by Jill Soukup. Oil on canvas, 17” x 13 ¾”
Spring Branding by Jill Soukup. Oil on canvas, 17” x 13 ¾”

This is a wonderful opportunity to begin or enhance your Western art collection. Designed with both new and experienced art collectors in mind, this event features paintings and sculptures by Museum Prix de West artists and other specially invited artists. A highlight is that purchasers get to leave with their art in hand upon purchase.

Unsold art will remain on display and available for purchase through December 1, 2015.








Remembering Chris LeDoux
July 25, 2015 – October 25, 2015
LeDoux on Guitar

Chris LeDoux (1948-2005) was inducted into the Museum’s Rodeo Hall of Fame in 2006 after a career as a world champion bareback rider. His legacy endures through his success as a cowboy, music entertainer, songwriter and artist. A decade after his death, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum pays tribute to this American icon through an exhibition developed to showcase his personal  memorabilia, some never before displayed to the public. Included are two bronze sculptures LeDoux created, Wild Horse Fit and Eyeball to Eyeball. Both are on loan to the exhibition from his friend and fellow musician Garth Brooks. The temporary exhibition opens during National Day of the American Cowboy on July 25 and will be on display through October 18th, 2015.

End of the Trail:  A Centennial Celebration
August 14 – October 25, 2015

EOTCelebrating the unique history of this seminal sculpture on the 100th anniversary of its creation, the exhibition draws from the archives of the museum’s Dickinson Research Center. It will provide an overview from the sculpture’s creation by American artist James Earle Fraser and display at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco, to its life at Mooney Grove Park in Visalia, California, and to its eventual home at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. The exhibition will include numerous photographic images of Fraser, documents, newspaper articles and other materials related to the monumental sculpture. Also included in the exhibit will be images and video clips documenting moving the statue from California into the museum’s Payne-Kirkpatrick Memorial Building in 1968 and to its present placement within the new entrance of as part of the 1993 Museum expansion.  This exhibit will run from August 14 through October 25, 2015 in the museum’s west hallway.

Coyote Songs – Desperado Dreams: the Art of Robby McMurtry
September 12 – May 10, 2015

Joe RiderOklahoma artist Robby McMurtry  (1950 – 2012) was a multifaceted individual. An illustrator, novelist, mentor and playwright, he also was art teacher to countless youths through his work with various Indian youth programs in eastern Oklahoma. McMurtry’s works tell stories of people and places, of  history and dreams. McMurtry was of  Irish, Cajun and Comanche descent and drew inspiration from the Native American artists who were his friends and mentors. This exhibition is a 20-year overview of his body of work illuminated in some 35 paintings and drawings spanning from 1973 to 2012.

Madonnas of the Prairie: Depictions of Women in the American West
February 13 – May 10, 2015

MadonnasHosted by the Museum and organized by the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas, this exhibit features more than 100 works focusing on women in the late 19th century through the present as seen through the talents of multiple artists. The works honor women who stood bravely through a myriad of difficulties, tragedies and losses to help build this nation.



Ansel Adams: Masterworks — From the Collection of the Turtle Bay Exploration Park
February 28 – May 10, 2015

anselThe Museum hosts a collection of 47 works by renowned photographer Ansel Adams which he called “The Museum Set.” The exhibit includes many of his most famous and best-loved photographs, which encompass the full scope of his work: elegant details of nature, architectural studies, portraits and breathtaking landscapes.