This is the final installment of a series focusing on things to do while visiting our neighbors to the northwest, Cartersville, Ga.
Brief video tour of the museum:
Even before you step into the Booth Western Art Museum, larger-than-life bronze sculptures greet visitors throughout the wooded campus. Located only a couple of blocks from downtown Cartersville, the 120,000-square-foot Smithsonian-affiliated museum was named “Best Art Museum in the US” by USA Today in 2020. Deservedly so.
In addition to an extensive collection of Western art, including works by Frederic Remington, Ansel Adams and George Catlin, the museum offers temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
The highlight this spring is “Through the Years: Kenny Rogers’ Photographs of America,” a collection of works created by the late singer/songwriter and former resident of Georgia. From landscapes to celebrity portraits, Rogers’ works prove that he had a depth beyond the words of his songs.
His portrait of Dolly Parton captures her gentility and poise. His self-portrait shows a man dedicated to his art, posing in front of an imposing butte. The exhibition showcases 60 of his photographs in the first-ever presentation of his works since his death in March 2020.
Permanently on display
Museum designers and curators take advantage of every space in the 8-gallery facility. At any given time, more than 50 percent of the permanent collection are on display.
Galleries with permanent exhibitions include the:
- American West Gallery, with more than 100 paintings and sculptures curated around themes
- Frank Harding Cowboy Gallery pays tribute to cowboys and cowgirls, through paintings and sculptures
- Neva & Don Rountree Heading West Gallery hearkens back to the early days of the frontier showing mountain men and fur trappers. An original stagecoach from 1865 stands in the middle of the space.
- War is Hell Gallery focuses on the Civil War through contemporary art
- Native Hands Gallery’s more than 150 artifacts of Native Americans represent tribal cultures, from clothing to tools.
- Modern West Gallery brings together examples of stylistic changes in Western art over the past 50 years.
Another Booth Museum highlight is the Carolyn & James Millar Presidential Gallery. It features one-page signed letters from each of the American presidents beneath their portraits. The Commanders in Chief mural of three paintings measuring 14-by-20 feet each depicts nearly life-sized full-length portraits of US presidents from the past two centuries. Created by Ross R. Rossin, his works are also part of collections at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Rossin is currently adding presidents of the 21st century to the murals.
The Booth Museum offers virtual and online tours of its galleries, as well as online lectures and other programming. Schedules, admission prices and hours are listed on the museum’s website at boothmuseum.org.
Upcoming Events at the Booth
- Through July 10: “Through the Years: Kenny Rogers’ Photographs of America,” Booth Museum, Cartersville.
- April 6: Dolly Parton/Kenny Rogers Tribute Concert, The Grand Theatre, Cartersville. Singers Karen Hester and Dave Karl recreate the music of these two country greats.
- March 8-April 10: Middle, High School art exhibition.
- April 12-May 15: Primary, Elementary Schools art exhibition.
- March 24-July 31: Sweet Tea VI: Toast to Texas. Exhibition of private works from Texas collectors.
Photos: courtesy Booth Western Art Museum; Dolly Parton photo: courtesy Kenny Rogers Estate