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Traveling Around - Cartersville, Georgia - Booth Western Art Museum

Updated on March 27, 2016
Booth Art Museum - Cartersville, Georgia
Booth Art Museum - Cartersville, Georgia

The Booth Western Art Museum opened in Cartersville, Georgia, in 2003. It expanded quickly and in 2009 doubled its display space to about 120,000 square feet. It is the second largest art museum in Georgia and has the largest permanent exhibition space for Western Art in the United States. It is so large and extensive that we quickly realized we wouldn't be able to see everything in the time we had. We sat down in the The Members' Lounge for a few minutes to examine the map provided and to plan an attack. There are 11 galleries and several sculpture atriums plus sculpture that is strategically placed in the open areas. If time allows, planning can be aided by the information at the Permanent Exhibitions Page on the internet.

We decided that it was important that we understand the general layout of the museum and that we see what we could of the exhibits. As with most major museums, there are usually traveling exhibits being prepared or being exhibited. The current traveling exhibition at the Booth Museum is one about Ansel Adams, his photography, and the photographers that influenced him as well as the one that he influenced.

Our first stop was the Bergman Theatre where we watched a presentation of the work of Ansel Adams and the work done before him and since. Some of the images in the movie were in the galleries where his work was displayed. After watching the movie, we went upstairs to the Special Exhibition Gallery and the Temporary Gallery where his work was displayed. The temporary exhibitions change periodically and there is a schedule at Booth Temporary Schedule. I found the three photos that were a collaboration between Pirkle Jones and Adams for the Smithsonian Institution Travel Issue. To me, they were the most impressive ones in the exhibition.

After spending time on the second floor, we wandered around the museum, trying to see generally what kinds of things were in different places. We wound up back on the first floor at the Plassick Enduring Traditions Gallery and in The American West Gallery which are interconnected.

Although we tried to progress through the galleries so that we could advance to other areas, we found it difficult to be very hurried when we were looking at the work of artists such as Catlin and Remington and Russell. There were a myriad of impressive works that were by artists that were unfamiliar to me. The sculptures and paintings by artists such as Benjamin Wu who created "Goldminers In California 1849" and "Dangerous Trail", a work by William Robinson Leigh claimed our attention.

We were quickly running out of time before we reached the museum's closing hour.

Booth Western Art Museum - Sculpture from "found items"
Booth Western Art Museum - Sculpture from "found items" | Source

We hurried back upstairs and immersed ourselves in the Modern West Gallery. Much of the art was brightly painted and, to me, depicted scenes that almost came alive they were so real.

Occasionally in our exploration of the museum, we'd turn off the flash on our camera and get a picture of something unusually impressive. This statue of a horse made from "found items" fit that category as did a nearby monument on the first floor.

Adjacent to the horse stood a security guard that was so realistic patrons would stop and ask directions before they felt foolish for taking to a sculpture.

There were impressive works of paper sculpture by Allen and Patty Eckman that were so intricate they defied the imagination.

In the staircase area going down to the first floor was an impressive sculpture so impressive that we couldn't resist another picture.


We did explore one further gallery before we ran out of time. It was the Mythic West Gallery and had a plethora of movie posters, advertisements, and other paraphernalia from the motion pictures industry. The posters are full sized movie posters. Actors pictured are sometimes those not thought of in leading roles such as Jay Silverheels (Tonto) or Bill Pickett, a Negro who was a legendary rodeo performer and actor from Texas.

We finished up our abbreviated exploration of the Museum just as it closed. We wished we had devoted at least a full day to the museum. We could have lunched in the bright and airy cafe and we felt like we probably could have even spent more time than that. Visitors should try to do some advance planning if possible to avoid the feeling of not having seen what they really wanted to see.

I made a comment to a museum official that I felt overwhelmed. I think they must hear that often because he not only didn't seem surprised, he kidded me about it.

There is information about hours and admissions at their website.


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