Scottsdale’s Museum of the West: Confluence of Cultures

Project Overview

CK Valenti Designs was honored to be asked by Mike Fox, Director and CEO, to assist in the revamp and relaunch of Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. In this project, we worked closely with designer Bill Dambrova to create western designs that showcased the style of the museum and its artifacts. For the initial launch in January 2015, we completed several exhibitions, including Confluence of Cultures. 

The ongoing exhibition, Confluence of  Cultures, explores the friendship, tension, and conflict that arose during cultural contact in the history of the American West. On loan from the Peterson Family Collection, Confluence of Cultures includes artwork that depicts mountain men, Native Americans, buffalo, cavalry and settlers. It includes especially commissioned and never seen before paintings by artists Andrew Bolam and John Moyers, as well as contemporary bronzes by Greg Woodard and Michael Coleman.

Many Western artists have been attracted to this period of American history because of its confluence of diverse cultures. This exhibition explores how contemporary artists have illustrated the lives, friendships, and clashes between cultures as they interacted with one another, and the various ways peoples’ lives were forever changed by these experiences.


Modular Walls

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. They were designed and built to be re-configurable for easily changing museum exhibits while providing plenty of surfaces for hanging art. We 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.

Birch Wood Display Pedestals

For the artwork, we custom fit the simple yet elegant birch veneer pedestals with acrylic vitrines, which 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.