CK Valenti Designs was hired by Mike Fox, Director and CEO of Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, to create birch wood display pedestals and cases to showcase the museum’s western-themed artifacts. Western Spirit: Scottsdale’s Museum of the West, which opened in January 2015, presents western art and culture through participatory exhibitions, images, and narrative, and educates and inspires guests from all over the world. In order to appropriately emphasize the important artwork, CK Valenti Designs fabricated hundreds of birch wood display pedestals and pieces for the museum, including birch pedestals with and without vitrines and museum display cases.
Designer Bill Dambrova completed all the design work and incorporated western designs into the pieces in order to accurately reflect the style of the museum and its artifacts. Mr. Dambrova designed pieces using different wood species, plastics, glass, metals, aluminum, and steel.
For the artwork, we custom fit the simple yet elegant birch veneer pedestals with acrylic vitrines. And the vitrines fit into a birch veneer inset deck on the top of the pedestal. All pedestals include an under-mount structure for strength and adjustable levers with non-marring pads. Lastly, we finished them with a satin clear coat.
The museum display cases are vertical acrylic barriers, installed to protect artifacts. For maximum enjoyment, we designed the barriers to be as unobtrusive as possible. In addition, they are mounted on custom column and deck structures with MDF back boards. The acrylic can be removed to access the artifacts, which is essential since the museum features regularly changing exhibits.
Fabricating the modular walls was one of our favorite parts of this project. There were lots of details to be worked out due to the massive size and quantities of the pieces.
Modular walls were designed and built to be re-configurable for changing museum exhibits and provide the surface for hanging art displays. We also fabricated the walls with an interior truss design to minimize weight and maximize strength. Each wall is stacked two high, has built-in casters for easy movement, and is finished with latex paint.
Beside displays, CK Valenti fabricated several additional designs. Our favorites include a “hitching post” saddle corral made from 5″ diameter pine logs with custom milled notches and platforms. The stanchions are designed to match the saddle corral style and used to cordon off areas and are topped with a steel ball and joined together with cowboy rope.
At the entrance hall of the museum, CK Valenti fabricated a blank map of the United States. It features a projected image and can be changed as needed for new displays.
In the upstairs gallery, Douglas fir I-beam inserts with custom engraving match the concrete stamping outside of the museum; we added the inserts to the vertical steel I-beams to warm up the art space. There are also western town platforms and displays to complete the Old West feel of the museum.
Some of the western artifacts on display in the Museum of the West include jewelry, spurs, saddles, guns, bronzes, paintings, and the famous Frederic Remington bronzes. Also among the artwork is a display featuring inspiring people who have made significant contributions to the American West. These images tell individual stories and allow guests to deeper explore the biographical information of each respective contributor to American history.
It was an honor to be commissioned to craft the display cases and pedestals that subtly present Lewis and Clark Expedition memorabilia, Native American relics, and a collection of saddles, spurs, and other uniquely western items. These pieces are art themselves, capturing the spirit of the Old West. It is no surprise that our work so beautifully and seamlessly accents the artifacts displayed.