Did you know Bob Nelson, the owner of Manitou Galleries, is also the Founder and CEO of the Nelson Museum of the West?
Located in Cheyenne, Wyoming, the Nelson Museum of the West is home to more than 14,000 Western, Native American and American Military artifacts. The museum features more than 11,000 square feet of rotating and permanent exhibits that tell the story of the American West, from early human settlement to today - as history continues to unfold.
Permanent displays include the United States Cavalry, the studio of artist Burt Procter, a 19th century Wyoming Cattle Baron's room, Fine and Fancy Firearms, high art of the Plains Indians, trophy animals of the world, Historical Firearms, and many more. The Museum presents new rotating displays on an annual basis.
A very important subdivision of the Nelson Museum of the West is the Military Memorial Museum, located in the same facility. The Military Memorial Museum pays tribute to the contributions and sacrifices made by our soldiers for our country, and provides an important record of the American Military. The collection began with the goal of acquiring uniforms, saddles, firearms and sabers depicting all of the enlisted and officers of the U.S. Cavalry from the Civil War to 1943 when the horse Cavalry was disbanded. The Museum has met the goal and expanded the collection far beyond the Cavalry. The collection is now inclusive of other branches of service in the Army including artillery, infantry, medical and Army Air Corps. Special collections of 1902 and 1938 Dress uniforms are also included. Recently acquired have been numerous uniforms worn by the Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and numerous uniforms worn by the Chiefs of Staff of the U.S. Army.
The entire collection is the result of Bob Nelson’s decades long pursuit of acquiring some of the best art and artifacts to tell the story of the American West and our military. The museum is designed to show a broad spectrum of Western cultures. Cowboy, Charro, Art, Native American and Military aspects of the west were carefully studied and needed artifacts put on a list for acquisition. The collection grew through the 1970s, 1980s and in 1998, the museum was opened to the public. Many Collections are very deep. Our collection is very wide! Each spur, saddle, firearm and artifact was added to the collection for a purpose. Each was added to make the story more complete.
We hope that you take a visit to the museum. You are sure to learn something and leave with a greater appreciation of the American West, and our country’s history.
Collector's Eye: With two galleries, two auctions, one store and a museum to run, Bob and Charla Nelson are collector's to their core.
The bright notes of a mariachi band waft down Palace Avenue, past the New Mexico Museum of Art, it's Pueblo revival style architecture a blend of Pueblo and Spanish influence and the perfect compliment to the music. You can hear the guitarron and the brass horns all the way to the historic downtown plaza, drawing seekers every First Friday to Manitou Gallery. From a second story portal on the front of one of their Santa Fe galleries, the musicians bring brightness and joy to those who come for the art.