Feb 28 - Desert Caballeros Western Museum

We needed to get out of the house and explore something today. One of the places we continually hear about from other explorers is the "western museum" in Wickenburg. So, we made the 12 mile drive from our park into town this afternoon and found the museum.

Officially titled the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, we found a delightful collection of Southwest art and western artifacts, tastefully displayed, in a comfortable facility that, some might argue, would more likely be found in a much larger city than Wickenburg. In any case, it was a great way to spend the afternoon.

One exhibit I'd like to highlight was a retrospective of Mary - Russel Colton's work, most of which was done in the first half of the twentieth century. She was a unique and talented individual, one of very few women artists of the time who appreciated the deserts of Arizona. I'm not talented at explaining art, but what I saw of her work I very much enjoyed. Besides being talented she worked hard with the native Hopi and Navajo indians to preserve their own artistic methods, materials, and way of life. Unfortunately, her last 30 years were marred by declining mental abilities, perhaps due to early onset Alzheimers??

"Best Friends" by George Molnar.  Must see it up close to appreciate it.
 Among the paintings in the museum's permanent art collection was one by George Molnar that positively blew me away. Titled "Best Friends" it was done in 1987. It's an "oil on canvas", but is so finely detailed and shaded that it appears to be a photograph. Just stunning. It will forever remain a mystery to me how anyone can, with paint, create images with that kind of fine detail, shading, and emotion. Click on either this... or this... link and peruse some of his work. If you think it looks good on a computer screen, you would be amazed to see it for real.

The museum also had a large collection of western artifacts and, on the lower level, a "streets of early Wickenburg" exhibit. You can stroll around early Wickenburg, drop into the general store, the saloon, or into the homes of some residents.

On the lighter side, I was amused for a period of time looking through all the cattle brands from this part of Arizona. The one that really caught my eye... the one I wish I could say I came up with... that some might say fits me to a "T", is this one:

And what brand is that you ask?? Well, that'd be the Lazy SOB.


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