To begin with, I was amazed at the size of this museum at 220,000 sq feet. It houses more than 28,000 Western art works and artifacts that celebrate the Western Pioneers. There are numerous galleries and exhibits that give you a glimpse into and appreciation for the Western lifestyle.
Some of these galleries include:
Native American--featuring clothing and tools and explaining different tribes' motifs. American Cowboy--a tribute to the working cowboy and ranching life showing saddles, an extensive barbed wire selection, and other equipment. There is a Rodeo Gallery, Western Performers Gallery, American Firearms and other Art Galleries.
Besides the prized permanent art collection of paintings and sculptures, they had the Prix de West Art Exhibition and Sale on display (around June thru Sept. every year). This showcases paintings, bronzes and works in stone by the country's finest contemporary Western artists. The art is amazing and overwhelming, and almost brought me to tears. I was even tempted to spend a few thousand dollars to purchase one, but settled on a $65 book that shows them all.
The museum is for all ages, and even has a Children's Cowboy Corral and reproduction of a 1900's town. The restaurant was terrific and moderately priced. Because the museum is so large (I didn't include everything), the museum suggests itineraries for the amount of time you have.
This is a fabulous museum--very informative, beautiful, and fun. I'm saving up for next year's Prix de West!