Originally Published: August 6, 2009 9:59 p.m.
Distinguished paintings and sculpture celebrating the heritage, history and legends influencing American Western art will be back in prominence at the Phippen Museum starting Saturday in a new show, "Treasures of the Phippen Collection."
The museum has more than 600 pieces of Western art - oils, watercolors and bronzes and sculptures - in its permanent collection. In honor of its 25th year, more than 60 pieces of the best in the collection that have not been in view for many years will be on display again, said James Ward, the Phippen Museum's events coordinator.
Among the finest examples of traditional Western art that museum visitors can expect to see are works by Ken Riley, Mark Swanson, Robert Woodcock and Frank Polk.
The estate of Gladys Tuttle has provided a selection of Olaf Wieghorst etchings and drawings that have not been on full display for some time and will be on view again, along with Robert Woodcock's popular oil painting, "Perkinsville Station."
The new acquisitions to the permanent collection by George Phippen, a founding member of the Cowboy Artists of America and the museum's namesake, will remain on view along with some of the more familiar pieces. A new donation of work by Ray Swanson, also a Cowboy Artist, will remain for visitors to enjoy as they visit the permanent replica of his studio.
The show runs through Sept. 20. A reception for museum members will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults, and $4 for senior citizens, students and AAA members. Children under 12 are free.
Another highlight of the Treasures of the Phippen Collection show will be a workshop for children, "Map Legends," on Aug. 22. Young artists will have the chance to discover the lost art of mapmaking, while they create antiqued watercolor maps to lost old mines or hidden treasures. The workshop will take place at 1 p.m. in the museum's Cultural Hall.
The museum is gearing up for its fifth annual Fall Gathering fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 12 - an event that will feature a western barbeque dinner, a raffle and traditional western music, along with the induction of five new members into its permanent exhibit.
The highlight of the Fall Gathering will be the raffle, for which artist John Coleman has donated a bronze, "Pow Wow Partners," a little Native American girl holding her doll. The bronze's current value is $2,200. Raffle tickets are $20 each or six for $100 and are available at the museum or on its website, www.phippenartmuseum.org.
The annual Fall Gathering commemorates the original grand opening ceremonies of the museum in 1984. This year's festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets to the gathering are $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Space is limited and the deadline for reservations is Sept. 4. Tickets are available at the museum or by calling 928-778-1385.