Founded in 1987, the National Museum of Wildlife Art is home to artwork representing wildlife all across the globe. The museum houses work from as early as 2500 B.C. Pieces from notable artists, such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Robert Kuhn, John James Audubon, and Andy Warhol, are displayed for guests to see. The museum has been awarded the Rungius Medal Art Award and The Bull-Bransom Award. The museum prides itself on the appreciation of wildlife and attention to detail in each piece.


  • The National Museum of Wildlife Art is located in Jackson, Wyoming and near Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.
    The National Museum of Wildlife Art is located in Jackson, Wyoming and near Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.
  • A look at how the museum is built into the mountains.
    A look at how the museum is built into the mountains.
  • Richard Loffler's 64-foot-long Sculpture Trail piece: Buffalo Trail
    Richard Loffler's 64-foot-long Sculpture Trail piece: Buffalo Trail
  • Sandy Scott's Sculpture Trial piece: Moose Flats
    Sandy Scott's Sculpture Trial piece: Moose Flats

When the museum originally opened in 1987, it was the American West Art Museum. Ten founding trustees gathered and decided that Jackson Town Center would be an ideal location for an art museum, with its surrounding wildlife and heavy tourism. By 1994, the museum had outgrown its original storefront and relocated. Inspired by the ruins of Slains Castle in Scottland, the new building was built into a bluff known as the East Gros Ventre Butte. Fittingly, the museum overlooks the National Elk Refugee. After gaining Bart Walter's sculpture Wapiti Trail, the museum dedicated it the neighboring refugee.

Although the site is popular with tourists, many schools and educational organizations have incorporated the museum into their curriculum. College-style classrooms inside of the museum can be reserved for meetings, classes, or studio space. The Museum School Programs serve 5,000 students annually, teaching art appreciation, western history, and natural sciences. The program serves students K-12 within the Jackson/Teton area with no admission charge. Furthering their support of learning, the museum offers two highly competitive internship programs. The Education Internship offers a $7,200 stipend for a 12 week internship for a graduate student interested in museum education. The Curatorial Internship also offers a $7,200 stipend for a 12-week program for a graduate student working towards a museum or art related field.

The museum's mission is "to collect, display, interpret, and preserve the highest quality North American wildlife art, supplemented by wildlife art found throughout the world."
There are many different exhibitions and collections displayed. There are around 5,000 cataloged items in this museum collection. The museum has twelve permanent exhibit galleries and opens one or two temporary exhibits each year. The temporary gallery is usually themed around a topic, time period, or artistic style. 
These exhibits display items in print, paint, sculpture, ceramics, and even ancient artifacts. One of the most striking permanent pieces is Robert Bateman's painting "Chief", dedicated to the American Bison.

The Sculpture Trail is a free outdoor collection of artworks which currently stretches 3/4 of a mile around the museum. The trail is ongoing, therefore works will continue to be added as they are completed. Currently, the trail includes the works of Sandy Scott, Dan Ostermiller, Richard Loffler, and Bart Walter.

Every year, the National Museum of Wildlife Art hosts the Western Visions fundraiser, auctioning the artworks to help fund expansion. The 2017 event will be the museum's 30th annual fundraiser. It is a signature event in the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival.

Rich history in the community of Jackson Hole. History. Accessed February 20, 2017. https://wildlifeart.org/about/about-the-museum/history/.

National Museum of Wildlife Art. Jackson Hole Central Reservations. Accessed February 21, 2017. http://www.jacksonholewy.com/things-to-do/arts-culture/national-museum-of-wildlife-art/.

Mangle, Hilary. "From Elk to Elephants." Art & Antiques, vol. 29, no. 1, Jan. 2006, p. 54. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=f5h&AN=19420331&site=ehost-live.