VERNON — The Red River Valley Museum has been named one of the top 10 best Western museums in the U.S. by True West Magazine. The full list will appear in the September issue along with the feature "Museum of the Year." The magazine will be available at newsstands today.
The announcement of the honor was made by Vernon Mayor Jeff Bearden during the opening of the Art of the American West art show at the museum Saturday. The event ended a full day of activities to celebrate the National Day of the Cowboy. The art show is in association with the Western Trail Art Association.
Bearden said the honor was a tribute to the visions of several people, including former museum directors Ann Huskinson and Mary Ann McCuistion and present director Sherry Yoakum.
Yoakum said it was a great honor to receive the award. She said McCuistion had spent many hours providing background information, a mission statement and descriptions of displays and plans when applying for the nomination.
The magazine praised the museum for its innovative displays and focus on the Old West.
The museum will soon begin phase one of the Western Trail Heritage Center to be added to the facility.
Saturday's events began with a number of activities at the Museum of the Western Prairie in Altus, Okla., then moved to the Doan's Crossing area on the Red River and finished at the museum in Vernon.
The art show in Vernon includes a wide variety of work from paintings, sculptures, handmade American Indian headdress, unusual jewelry items and other silver work all pertaining to the American West.
The exhibit will conclude on Sept. 8 to coincide with a "Stroll and Roll" event featuring 27 area museums. The all-day event is open to the public at no charge from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at all the participating museums.
Other museums participating in that event include the Eisenhower Birthplace, Frontier Village Museum, Katy Depot, and Perrin Air Force Museum all in Denison; The #905 Rock Island Railroad Museum and Stephens County Historical Museum in Duncan, Okla.; the Clay County 1980 Jail Museum in Henrietta; the Jack County Museum in Jacksboro; the Muenster Museum in Muenster; the Paducah City-County Heritage Museum in Paducah; the Lamar County Historical Society Museum and Sam Bell Maxey House Museum in Paris; the Hatber Wildlife Museum, Sherman Jazz Museum, and Sherman Museum in Sherman; and the Hotter'N Hell Clubhouse, Juanita Harvey Art Gallery, Kell House Museum, Kemp enter for the Arts, Museum of North Texas History, Riverside Cemetery, Wichita Falls Art Association, Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU, Wichita Falls Rail Road Museum, Wichita Falls Travel Information Center and WWI Call Field Aviation Museum in Wichita Falls.
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