67 “The founders’ vision...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.” – Bill Kerr an Oklahoma couple who also had a vacation home in Wyoming. Maggie told her husband “that has to be the Kerrs, they bank with us.” Soon the two couples were adding friends and community leaders to their what-would-you-think-about-an-art-museum conversation. In the late spring of 1987, a 5,000-square-foot museum-in-the-making opened to the public in a leased commercial building on the Town Square. The leaders, while possessing scant practical knowledge, had a deep commitment to what would become one of the premier cultural destinations in the Mountain West. In 1991, the National Museum of Wildlife Art Board of Trustees decided to look for a permanent location. They were fortunate to have Byron Price, who was then Executive Director of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, lend his expertise to the site search. One of Price’s first observations was: “You need to move away from the town square where the Museum will always be confused with the large number of commercial g alleries. The Museum should be a destination.” Board members responsible for evaluating properties heeded that advice and chose a 70-acre tract two miles north of town on the highway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Their selection holds an elevated and commanding view of the National Elk Refuge and mountains beyond. Today, in-person and online visitors from all over the globe find a well-researched and expertly interpreted collection designed to inspire their vision of nature and recall adventures spent with the creatures who call the wilderness their home. The National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States is a unique gift to the world. To learn more about the National Museum of Wildlife Art, view the collection, or plan your visit, please visit WildlifeArt.org. Photographs featured: Joffa and William G. Kerr have devoted a life’s work to the creation and growth of the National Museum of Wildlife Art. Pictured here at the 1994 grand opening celebration, greeting Hillary and Bill Clinton for a private tour in the summer of 1995, and at the 2014 Collector’s Circle dinner.
To see the actual publication please follow the link above