The Museum of the Southwest has a unique and exciting permanent collection. Amongst its holding is artwork from the Southwest ranging from ancient to contemporary. The archaeology collection consists of approximately 45,000 artifacts. The art collection comprises over 1,700 objects which include paintings, prints, sculpture, drawings, photographs, textiles, ceramics, basketry and mixed media works.
Included in the Museum of the Southwest Archaeology Collection is the largest archaeological surface collection in Texas. Bud Bissell collected these artifacts throughout his lifetime. The collection comprises of lithics, pottery shards, manos and metates.
Projectile Points from Edwards Plateau
After his famously successful The Birds of America, John James Audubon undertook the large task of documenting the quadruped mammals. Nearing the end of his life, his son John Woodhouse Audubon helped his father complete the task and later published the works. These lithographs represent various species, many of which are now extinct.
John Woodhouse Audubon
Nine-Banded Armadillo, Male
Audubon Acquisition Fund
Karl Bodmer traveled on the Missouri River expedition with Prince Maximilian in 1832. During this trip he created watercolor paintings depicting the people and landscapes. Upon his return to Europe, he worked with an engraver and made his images into aquatint engravings. These prints were later published in a book about the expedition.
View of the Stone Walls on the Upper Missouri
Bodmer Acquisition Fund
A remarkable collection of Casas Grandes pottery was donated to the Museum of the Southwest by Dr. Kirby Tarry. The Casas Grandes culture thrived in northern Mexico from 1150 to 1400 AD. Their painted ceramics feature abstract geometric designs as well as birds and serpents.
Casas Grandes Culture
ca 1100 – 1300 AD
Gift of Dr. Kirby Tarry
Throughout the years, the Museum of the Southwest has acquired artwork by contemporary southwestern artists showing the depth and changing styles of the Southwestern art. Artists within this collection include Roger Peters, Woody Gwyn, Allan d’Arcangelo, John Fincher, Inukai, Helen Gerardia, Barbara Cleary, Future Akins, Willard Nash and Barnaby Fitzgerald.
Acrylic on Canvas
Gift of Carol and Dwayne A. Chesnut
Woody Crumbo was a Potowami native who used his experience as a dancer to create screen printings and etchings reflecting native life.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Ed A. Vogler
Edward S. Curtis documented all the native groups of North America starting in 1906. His photogravure prints detail the lives and environment of native peoples.
Edward S. Curtis
A Chief of the Desert – Navajo
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. William D. Kennedy
The Museum of the Southwest was originally founded as a general museum collecting art, history and science. The history collection ranges from Spanish colonial armor and weaponry to frontier blacksmithing tools.
Museum Acquisition Fund
Joseph Imhof began his career as a printmaker in New York City before moving out west. His paintings and drawings reflect the intense study of individual faces of the native peoples that he encountered.
Untitled (female Indian with hair up)
Charcoal on tissue paper
Gift of Bill and Mary Cheek
Born in Sweetwater, Texas and recipient of the Guggenheim fellowship, Merritt Mauzey was a strong proponent of the lithography technique. His works often show the people and landscapes of rural Texas.
Gift of the Artist
The Museum of the Southwest’s pottery and basketry mostly consists of modern ceramics from the southwest including Maria Martinez, Golden Rod and works from Mata Ortiz.
Mata Ortiz Pot
Gift of Jerry Boyd
Working as an architect before expanding into abstract photography Burton Pritzker’s work mostly deals with capturing light and using interesting and unconventional shapes.
Gelatin Silver Photograph
Gift of the Arist
The Scharbauer Collection features 247 objects relating to the history of the Turner Mansion and the family’s love of horse racing. Part of the collection features trophies from the thoroughbred pursuits of Juliette and Fred Turner, Jr., including their 1959 Kentucky Derby trophy won by Tomy Lee. Other trophies, paintings and awards relate to Dorothy and Clarence Scharbauer, Jr.’s quarter-horse and thoroughbred racing passion.
Items accessioned into this new collection include 70 trophies, 25 plates and awards, 12 plaques, 28 art items (comprised of paintings, sculptures and prints), a 16-piece set of personalized Pickard china, jockey silks, horse racing blankets, mint julep cups, and even a rose blanket won by Alysheba at the 1987 Kentucky Derby. In addition to these accessioned items, a paper archive and a small memorabilia archive were established with this generous gift from the Scharbauer Family.
Alysheba Kentucky Derby Trophy and wooden case
Gold with jade base
Gift of the Scharbauer Family
The sculpture collection is comprised of small scale bronze works depicting western themes and larger scale outdoor pieces.
Gift of Mary B. Kennedy in memory of John W. Blanton
Steaming from a large collection donated by Mr. and Mrs. Fred T. Hogan, the Museum of the Southwest holds paintings by most of the founding members of the Taos Society of Artists. The collection has also grown to include artwork by several other generations of Taos artists.
Eanger Irving Couse
The Purple Shawl
Oil on Canvas
Gift of Fred T. and Novadean Hogan