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Home Places to Visit Museums Western Discovery Museum Near Grand Canyon Celebrates Grand Opening

Western Discovery Museum Near Grand Canyon Celebrates Grand Opening

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The Western Discovery Museum at the Grand Canyon celebrates its official public grand opening today, Sept 13, 2010, and the museum promises visitors a unique view of the West and its legends.

The Western Discovery Museum (WDM) is located in Arizona 's newest incorporated Town of Tusayan near the south entrance of Grand Canyon National Park .

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"We are ecstatic to finally open our doors and share our museum and collections with Grand Canyon visitors from all over the country and the world," stated Museum Director John Dillon. "The founding partners of the museum have spent years on this project to bring a new and inspiring attraction to this very special place. We are very proud of what has been done and thankful to all those who have contributed to this magnificent institution. And it is a wonderful new addition to our fantastic new Town of Tusayan!"

The Founding Partners of the Western Discovery Museum are the Elling Halvorson Family, the Martinson Family Trust, and the Stilo Group, and the museum is managed by the non-profit organization, the Scottsdale Museum of the West. Additional participants joining the founding partners of the museum in the Grand Opening ceremony will include Arizona Office of Tourism Sherry Henry and Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Steve Martin. Western cowboy musicians will also be on hand to entertain the crowd.

The Western Discovery Museum 's inaugural exhibitions invite visitors to explore the twinned threads of observation and imagination, romance and reality that have long been integrated into the fabric of western history and culture.

Guests are introduced to some of the fascinating imagery and icons that have given rise to a vision of the West that have captivated the imagination of thousands of people for more than a century.

As guests enter the museum they are introduced to a brilliant presentation that includes renowned photographers' dramatic modern imagery of the environment, wildlife, and communities of the region. The museum journey continues with an introduction to the 30-year era of the "Wild West" shows, featuring three dimensional displays, historic photographs, and memorabilia from Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley and other personalities of the era.

Visitors will immerse themselves in the storytelling represented in the exhibit, "How the Word of the West was Spread." Oversized graphics depicting dime novels, newspapers such as the National Police Gazette and magazine serials, letters and journals record the real and romanticized west.

The Bison Museum 's Karl May scrapbook in its original German and other precious examples of published works are highlighted. Visual artists who helped to shape the western images are introduced through their creative works, including George Catlin's suite of lithographs, Frederic Remington's sculptures that portray the romance of cowboy life, Dee Flagg's life-size carvings of "Wild Bill" Hickok and Wyatt Earp, and an alabaster sculpture, "Like the Eagle," by Allan Houser, the master Native American artist of the 20th Century.

The Western Discovery Museum 's "historic" saloon is named for the Tusayan Bar, in tribute to one of the area's earliest businesses, and a popular "watering hole" for Santa Fe Railroad employees and local ranch hands. Guests can belly up to the bar or pull up a chair at a table and view some of the great movie westerns of the past and present.

On exhibit through October 2010 is a world-class show entitled "Grand Canyon Grandeur: Early Paintings and Prints of the Colorado Plateau and the Grand Canyon from the A.P. Hays Collection." It offers today's Grand Canyon visitors the unique opportunity to view the canyon and region through the eyes of many respected artists who visited in the 19th and 20th centuries, including Moran, Widforss, Akin, Borg, and more.

The Summer (March 1 - Oct. 31) hours of the Western Discovery Museum are 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., daily, and its Winter (Nov. 1 - Feb. 28) hours are 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., daily. Admission fees are: Adults $8; Youth $5; and children 5 and under are free. Special group rates are available.

For more information, visit the Web site at
www.westerndiscoverymuseum.org .


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