A visit to the Booth Western Art Museum turned out to be an unexpected highlight of my East Coast trip.
Story and photos by Katie Frank
Cartersville, Georgia, might not seem a likely town for the country’s largest permanent exhibition space for Western art, but it is. During a recent trip to the Peach State to gather stories from local craftsmen and trainers, I scheduled time to stop at the museum I’d heard so much about. Looking back, it was wise to allot a full day since the mass amount and variety of exhibits pulled me into each gallery, leaving me pleasantly lost among the coveted treasures.
The 120,000-square-foot limestone building was built in 2003 and is relatively new in terms of museums. It is home to breathtaking oils, watercolors and sculptures by iconic artists such as George Catlin, Frederick Remington and Charles M. Russell. The new 40,000-square-foot Modern West Gallery, which houses more than 100 pop-culture pieces, was added in 2009.
“Why are you in Georgia?” everyone asked, alluding to the fact that there are more breeches than chinks in the outskirts of Atlanta. True, it took some digging to find Western subjects to interview. It was like an underground market though, and once I located one cowboy, the others came out of the woodwork.
Similarly, the Booth Western Art Museum was hidden on a tree-lined side street in Cartersville, but once you knew about it, it was clear as day. Like the cowboys in the paintings, the museum is the backbone of the community and stands to enrich, influence and quietly leave an impression on those who find it.
For more information on the Booth Western Art Museum, visit boothmuseum.org.