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National Museum of Wildlife Art Celebrates 35 Years

May 18, 2022

Jackson, WY: The National Museum of Wildlife Art (NMWA) celebrates its 35th year of operation this May. The Museum first opened on the Jackson Hole Town Square on May 16, 1987, and now resides north of Jackson, directly across from the National Elk Refuge.

In celebration of this anniversary, NMWA will feature a different event or activity each month through April 2023. For May, the theme is “Celebrating our Roots.” A portion of the new Donor Aspen Grove is being planted along the north parking lot above the Sculpture Trail. To sponsor a tree and plant your roots at the Museum, click here. Other events include visitors’ choice voting in July, free admission each day for the 35th visitor in November, and the return of Blacktail Gala in February. View a full list of anniversary events and happenings here.

While the Museum celebrates 35 years, one staff member has personally witnessed 31 of those. Sugden Chief Curator of Education Jane Lavino began working at the Museum in 1991, and currently holds the longest tenure. “The National Museum of Wildlife Art has grown tremendously over the past 35 years,” says Lavino. “I’ve seen the addition of the outdoor Sculpture Trail, the art collection has increased in number and in diversity, we have launched at least three different generations of audio tours in the galleries, including English and Spanish language versions, and held the first ever fully bilingual exhibition in the state of Wyoming (in English and Spanish). The Museum is more accessible and relevant to a wider audience than it has ever been before.”

NMWA is committed to continuing this trajectory of positive growth and impact. Director of Marketing, Madison Webb says, “As the National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States, we have several important obligations. Being as accessible and inclusive as possible is at the top of the list, and so is using our collection to inspire important conversations. Anniversaries are essential milestones to celebrate not only how far we have come, but, and perhaps more importantly, the work we have ahead of us. Through ongoing scholarship, innovative exhibitions, and engaging educational programs, the Museum continues to inform and inspire not just our local community but the nation as a whole.” Internally, staff work diligently to maintain the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) standards, develop new DEAI initiatives, and work with the Jackson Hole community to effectively serve its members. Currently, the community is supported with free First Sunday events (sponsored by Bank of Jackson Hole & Lawrence Finch), free in-person programs for children, and free memberships for local educators.

The community is invited to attend an anniversary kick off celebration from 5-7pm on June 3, 2022. This free event is sponsored by First Republic Bank and coincides with the opening of Bonheur & Beyond: Celebrating Women in Wildlife Art.