Scottsdale’s Museum of the West Receives Southwest Women Artist Collection

Posted By on April 15, 2021
Marjorie Reed, 1915-1996, The White Winter of ‘49 at Sedona, or Sedona’s Deepest Snow, oil on canvas

Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West (SMoW) is the recipient of a gift of a collection featuring over 300 works from 25 gifted women artists.

The Fran and Ed Elliott Southwest Women Art Collection was recently given to SMoW and is one of the largest donations of artworks by women ever gifted to an American institution. 

With efforts by SMoW Trustee Dr. Betsy Fahlman of Arizona State University and SMoW Assistant Director for Collections, Exhibitions and Research Dr. Tricia Loscher, the acquisition of the Elliott Collection, in the fulfillment of the wishes of Fran and Ed Elliott, will spotlight women artists who have been traditionally underrepresented in the art history of the American West.

The Elliott Collection will add to Western Spirit, making it a destination for scholars, researchers, artists, collectors and lovers of art whose curiosity will be kindled by the incredible artistry in these works.

“Remarkably, all of the 25 artists whose works grace the collection have a connection to the state of Arizona, having either resided, studied, or worked in our state,” said Mike Fox, Director and CEO of SMoW. “Our institution is immensely grateful and appreciative of our responsibility to extend the legacy, not only of our friends Fran and Ed Elliott, but the legacy of all the women artists represented in this unparalleled historical collection.”

The Elliott Collection will be enhanced by a significant collection of artworks by Scottsdale’s first professional resident artist, Marjorie Thomas. The exhibition features more than one hundred fifty drawings, paintings, sketches and photos.

“Thomas was a true Arizona art pioneer, having arrived before Arizona’s statehood,” said Betsy Fahlman, Arizona State University professor. “We are thrilled about the donation of this recent gift to Western Spirit.”

The artist’s works illustrated books and calendars, decorated china and glassware, and even became the imagery for jigsaw puzzles.

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