The Museum of the Southwest’s five-acre campus is comprised of four buildings totaling over fifty thousand square feet of space, including more than sixteen thousand feet of galleries and a collection comprised of more than 1,700 works of art and approximately 45,000 archaeological items
Collection highlights include Casas Grandes pottery, contemporary southwest artists, screen prints of native dance, Curtiss photographs, small scale bronze works depicting western themes and larger scale outdoor pieces, paintings by most of the founding members of the Taos Society of Artists and several other generations of Taos artists, and 20th century Navajo weavings.
Founded in 1965, the museum moved into the historic Turner Mansion in1968. 1988 the Turner Mansion and Stables were recognized as national historic landmarks and were listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Although some spaces have been adapted for use by the Museum since 1968, including two additions, many details that illustrate the care and thought given to this home by its original owners have been preserved. The furnishing and décor are gone, but many of the original architectural features remain.
Whether you go or not, Museum of the Southwest: Selections from the Permanent Collection (2017) is the first catalogue of the permanent collection of the Museum of the Southwest. The volume’s introduction details the history of Midland and the genesis of the Museum of the Southwest, celebrating its fiftieth anniversary in 2016. With a focus on the art of the American Southwest, 70 essays accompanied by striking images present this West Texas institution’s collections. Artists include Norman Rockwell, Albert Bierstadt, John James Audubon, Rosa Bonheur, and the Taos Society of Artists. Many entries document the art of members of the Texas Regionalism movement of the 1930s and ’40s, as well as contemporary artists working in the Southwest, and several focus on a new collection of Kentucky Derby objects.
Lavishly illustrated, Museum of the Southwest: Selections from the Permanent Collection (2017) also offers readers new research and scholarship—most of the artwork and artifacts featured have never previously been published.