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Delegation: Jackson museum deserves national prestigious recognition

National Museum of Wildlife Art seeking national designation

February 7, 2006

Washington, D.C. – The Wyoming delegation is working to make the wildlife art displayed indoors in Teton County as renowned as the wildlife roaming outdoors. A bill introduced today by Senators Craig Thomas, Mike Enzi and Representative Barbara Cubin, all R-Wyo., would give an official designation to the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson.

“The museum tells the story of Wyoming; how our relationship with nature has defined our state. It is time that the museum is recognized as the very best repository for art that reflects Wyoming values,” Thomas said.

“This designation would add prestige, status, recognition and also help the museum better reach and contribute to Jackson residents and the entire nation and world. The Jackson community has helped this museum flourish. I am glad to work as a team with the other members of the delegation to help this museum reach new heights,” said Enzi.

"The museum's work is nationally significant and it deserves to be nationally recognized. The museum brings in tens of thousands of visitors and conducts educational programs for schoolchildren all over the country. Wyoming's wildlife is worth the watching, and so is the National Museum of Wildlife Art," said Cubin.

Once a designation is approved by Congress the museum would be part of an elite group of less than twenty nationally designated museums like the Smithsonian museums and the National Children’s Museum.

The National Museum of Wildlife Art was founded in 1987 with a private gift of a collection of art. The museum is accredited with the American Association of Museums and boasts over 2,000 pieces of art portraying wildlife, some dating as far back as 2000 B.C.

The bill is likely to be referred to the Senate National Parks Subcommittee, which is chaired by Senator Thomas.

Enzi said the idea for a national designation was brought to the delegation through the hard work of Margaret (Maggie) Webster Scarlett, a member and past president of the Board of Trustees for the museum.

“Maggie’s talent of bringing people, wildlife and fine art together is in a class all by itself. The museum is the embodiment of world class art, individuals and community support and it is by no accident that 92,000 visitors from all over the world visit the museum every year,” the delegation said.

Representative Cubin introduced the House version of the bill.