How it All Began ABOUT T HE M USEUM T he National Museum of Wildlife Art “Today...visitors from all over the was founded by a group of friends in Jackson, Wyoming. They were enthusiastic about doing something to culturally enhance their community and had great hopes, much naivete, and little practical knowledge of managing a museum. Their vision, according to co-founder William G. Kerr, was “to create an institutional home which displayed objects portraying wildlife as a means to engage and sensitize visitors to the abundant natural environments of northwest Wyoming and the American West. We believed the Museum had a serendipitous combination of location and mission with real potential to help create more awareness and knowledge of wilderness areas and animals available to the public.” When asked about their personal commitment to animal art, Joffa and Bill Kerr will tell you it all began because of their love for and ability to experience wild places. “We were primed to learn from friends and artist mentors that ‘our kind of art’ was 66 National Museum of Wildlife Art | WildlifeArt.org globe find a well-researched, expertly interpreted collection to inspire their vision of nature...” – Bill Kerr under appreciated and under collected. These were the folks who shaped our journey.” After a few years of visiting Jackson Hole as tourists, in 1979 the Kerrs purchased a mountainside log cabin and started decorating it with paintings and sculpture from their Oklahoma home. Jackson residents Maggie and Dick Scarlett were visiting Denver in 1985 and came across a collection of wildlife art in a private museum across the street from The Brown P alace Hotel. An inquiry revealed that the objects were loaned b y A BOU T T HE M US EUM One of the original architectural renderings of the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
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