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The Wilbur D. May Museum presents an incredible collection of rare and exotic artifacts accumulated during a lifetime of world travel by Nevada rancher and philanthropist Wilbur D. May. The museum is open year-round and offers many special exhibits and programs throughout the year.


  • Entrance to the museum adorned in foliage.
  • Entrance to the arboretum in the greens, featuring some native species of plants.

The Museum is the end result of a lifetime of collection by Wilbur D. May, who traveled the world collecting thousands of rare and exotic artifacts that he stored in his home. Upon his death in 1982, his collection has been on display. The permanent collection includes:
  • Antique firearms
  • Japanese swords
  • European glass
  • Egyptian tomb items
  • African tribal masks
  • Polynesian carvings
  • American Western art
  • Chinese pottery
  • Exotic taxidermy
  • Saddlery and tack

The Museum also hosts traveling exhibitions, special programs and events year-round.

The museum is on the grounds of The Wilbur D. May Arboretum & Botanical Garden, which serves as a local showcase for plants and wildlife. Built in 1983, it is now home to over 4,000 plant species. The Arboretum is owned and operated by Washoe County and continues to receive funding from the May Foundation as well as other supporters such as the May Arboretum Society and private donations from the community.

"About Us." Wilbur D. May Museum, Arboretum, and Botanical Garden. Accessed April 1, 2015.  https://www.washoecounty.us/parks/maycenterhome/arboretum/about/index.php.