“Few museums can boast of exactly the right place where nature, history, and art come together in an idyllic setting. The Brinton Museum on the Quarter Circle A Ranch is one of these places. ” Isabel T. Wallop
The Brinton Museum, located on the 620-acre historic Quarter Circle A Ranch in Big Horn, offers an authentic view into the life and lifestyle of a Western gentleman and art collector, Bradford Brinton, who was a patron and friend of many of the most celebrated 19th- and 20th-century Western artists and avid collector of American Indian art and artifacts.
Opened to the public in 1961, the museum today includes the historic Brinton Ranch House, built in 1892 and expanded by Brinton in 1927-28 to accommodate his extensive collections, the well-kept grounds, gardens and outbuildings such as a carriage barn, saddle barn, milk house, Little Goose Creek Lodge, and a traditional leather workshop. The Brinton Museum’s 24,000-square-foot, eco-conscious building, houses one of the most significant and extensive Western and American Indian Art collections in the Rocky Mountain West. The Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building includes three floors featuring four galleries, a museum store, and the Brinton Bistro, which offers indoor and outdoor dining with picturesque, 180-degree views of the Bighorn Mountains.
At the heart of The Brinton Museum are the art, historic documents, American Indian art and artifacts, books and furnishings that make up the Bradford Brinton Memorial Collection, which showcases the elegant and eclectic tastes of a well-educated Western gentleman. The Brinton Collection is complemented by 19th, 20th and 21st century long-term and rotating exhibitions that have been thoughtfully curated to tell a distinctive story of the American West through historical and contemporary perspectives. Through careful preservation and discriminating acquisition of new pieces, The Brinton honors the art and craftsmanship of the region.
The Brinton Museum exhibits works by iconic artists, including Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, Edward Borein and Winold Reiss from the original Brinton collection, enhanced by acquisitions of important historic works by Bodmer, Moran, John Mix Stanley to name just a few, along with the world’s largest Hans Kleiber collection and archives. In addition, “To Honor the Plains Nations” showcases the highlights of the Brinton and Gallatin Collections’ American Indian art and artifacts in a spiritually engaging exhibition.
The Forrest E. Mars, Jr. Building environmentally-sensitive design aligns with the natural geography of the Quarter Circle A Ranch. Nestled into the hillside, it is anchored by a two-foot thick, 51-foot high, 209-foot long arced rammed earth wall, the tallest in North America. The design symbolically defines the space, bringing together the geological and spiritual nature of its Western and American Indian Art collections.
The grounds of the Quarter Circle A Ranch are designated an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society and are open for bird watching and exploring the property on designated nature trails.
Please visit thebrintonmuseum.org for a full list of exhibits and events. The Brinton Museum is open March 15 through Dec. 23.