Wickenburg’s West: Adaptation / Reinvention / Transformation


Quayle Family Gallery

Ongoing in the Quayle Family Gallery

In 2013 we marked the 150th anniversary of Henry Wickenburg’s discovery of the Vulture Mine, and the quiet beginnings of the city that bears his name. To celebrate this milestone, the Desert Caballeros Western Museum unveiled a new exhibition devoted to the extraordinary history of Wickenburg, from its beginnings as a mining camp to its importance in the development of Arizona commerce.

Titled Wickenburg’s West: Adaptation/Reinvention/Transformation, this comprehensive exhibition is on view in The Quayle Gallery. Located in the heart of the museum on the main floor, the gallery was made possible through a generous donation from Corinne Quayle and the Quayle Family Foundation, who asked that the space be devoted to Wickenburg’s storied heritage.

Take a look at more than 150 years of Wickenburg history and you’ll see the classic stories of the American West: Indigenous peoples, mining, agriculture, dude ranching, advances in transportation, tourism, and rodeo. The displays in Wickenburg’s West will take up these themes and show how they move through time, from the Vulture’s discovery in 1863 to Wickenburg’s popularity among team ropers in 2013. They will also reveal how Wickenburg has adapted to change throughout history, and has continually transformed itself to meet every modern era that includes even a Tesla charging station about a two-minute walk from the museum.

The Quayle Gallery features five large display cases filled with artifacts and photographs from the Desert Caballeros Western Museum, the former Phoenix Museum of History, the Tempe History Museum, private collectors, and other institutions across the nation. This is a lively area with videos, children’s interactive programming, and the guidePORT ™ audio tour. Displays won’t be static – changes will be made on a regular basis to keep them fresh and interesting to first-time and repeat visitors alike. Lynn Downey, whom many of you know from her frequent visits to Wickenburg, is the guest curator for the exhibition. Lynn authored the Arcadia book on Wickenburg in 2012 and is especially well-versed in Vulture Mine history. She worked closely with the Museum staff to present a fresh look at our town’s colorful story.

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