BIG HORN, Wyo. (June 10, 2015) — The Brinton Museum opened its new state-of-the-art Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building June 15, according to Ken Schuster, chief curator and executive director of the museum. Located on the 620-acre historic Quarter Circle A Ranch in Big Horn, 12 miles south of Sheridan, the new 24,000-square-foot $15.8-million, eco-conscious building showcases one of the most significant Western and American Indian Art collections in the Rocky Mountain West. It also contains a new museum store, and the Brinton Bistro, which offers indoor and outdoor dining with picturesque, 180-degree views of the Bighorn Mountains.


Inspired by Bradford Brinton’s original collection of American Indian and Western Art and Artifacts assembled in the early 1900s, the Brinton Museum is best experienced by first taking a tour of Brinton’s original ranch house, where his collection is still displayed as he intended. “The Brinton Museum offers an authentic view into the life and lifestyle of a western gentleman and art collector who was a patron and friend of many of the most celebrated 19th & 20th century western artists,” said Schuster.

The new Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building design aligns with the natural geography of the ranch. Nestled into the hillside, it is anchored by a two-foot thick, 51-foot high, 209-foot long arced rammed earth wall, the tallest in North America. The design symbolically defines the space, bringing together the geological and spiritual nature of its Western and American Indian Art collections.

Expansive climate-controlled spaces and new and improved storage are allowing The Brinton Museum to better preserve and exhibit new works and collections by iconic artists, including Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Edward Borein and Winold Reiss, along with the world’s largest Hans Kleiber collection. The Gallatin Collection, recently gifted to the museum by the Foundation for the Preservation of American Indian Art and Culture in Chicago, will also now have a permanent home at The Brinton Museum. More than 60 pieces of the collection will be shown in one of the second floor galleries. 

“Boots, Brushes, and the Bighorn Mountains” is one of the first rotating exhibitions in the new Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building. It includes works by nationally and internationally recognized artists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries such as Thomas Moran, Remington and Russell. More frequent and extensive contemporary exhibits also will show on the third floor, near the Brinton Bistro. “The Light Still Sheds the Dark,” by contemporary American artist Gregory Packard is leading the way featuring a 46-piece collection of vibrant impressionist paintings. Both shows begin June 15 and close September 7, 2015.

Museum hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays