Western art - equine art
"Heading Home" by Lori Putnam

“Wonders of the West” at Customs House Museum & Cultural Center, celebrates America’s Western culture through scenic landscapes, crafts by Native American artisans and a tribute to the Acme Boot Company. The exhibition is sponsored by Heimansohn Steel & Salvage.

From the museum:

The extensive exhibition includes a selection of artworks loaned by the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, GA, as well as pieces from many well-known Tennessee artists including David Wright, Lori Putnam, and Michael Griffin. More than 100 pieces depict magnificent landscapes, cowboy culture and wildlife of the West through both large and small paintings, photographs, sculptures, artifacts, and western-themed memorabilia.

Terri Jordan, Curator of Exhibits at the Museum, explained the broad range of artwork on display: “This exhibition of art and artifacts exemplifies the romanticism of America’s love of the West. I am very appreciative of the collectors and artists we have been fortunate to work with, allowing us to bring their many unique pieces in ‘Wonders of the West’ to our audience. We’re especially excited to have David Wright’s oil painting ‘Bent’s Fort Arrival’ in the show,” Jordan explains. “Wright’s talent for realism is matched by his ability to capture light in dramatic fashion. His works are truly magnificent.”

Western art
“Bent’s Fort Arrival” by David Wright

In addition to breathtaking art, the exhibit also showcases many Native American items that represent the distinct artistic styles of different tribes. Visitors can view an authentic Crow elk tooth dress, a Cheyenne child’s vest, and Santee Sioux men’s leggings. Other pieces on display consist of ceremonial rattles, wedding baskets, storyteller dolls, jewelry, and pottery.

There is also a display dedicated to the former Acme Boot Company, known as “The World’s Largest Boot Maker,” once headquartered in Clarksville for six decades beginning in the Great Depression. For nearly 60 years, Acme Boot was a major supplier of western boots. Several Acme Boot art-centered marketing pieces are on display as well as the Tennessee boot from the company’s state boots collection.

Wonders of the West will be on exhibit through July 21 in the Museum’s Kimbrough Gallery.

In addition to reserved time tickets, guests are strongly encouraged to wear face masks or coverings and to maintain a six-foot distance between other guests while in the Museum. Hand sanitizing dispensers are located throughout the facility for guests to use at their convenience.

Located in the heart of Historic Downtown Clarksville, Tennessee, the Customs House Museum & Cultural Center is the state’s second largest general interest museum with over 35,000 square feet of exhibit space, and houses hands-on activities and special events. Membership and admission information can be found at customshousemuseum.org.

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