Willard J. Page Exhibit

With his wife Ethel, he went on-the-road in their “motor home” going from town to town showcasing his wares in the early 1900s.  Willard J. Page traveled the Southwest bringing hustle and a clever marketing scheme that blended his artistic talent with a novel production style and demonstrated passion for capturing the American Wests’s natural beauty.  Setting up his easels on railroad platforms, he would paint his vision of the Southwest in an assembly-line production mode, and sell his “baggage-sized” original oils to train travelers eager to grab a memento of their excursion to the wild, Wild West Territories.

The Motor HomeWith his wife Ethel and in their custom-built ‘motorized coach,’ they traveled from the Tetons to Tucson, the Rockies to the Grand Canyon and all points in between.  They made a life together, and foraged a lifestyle targeting his artistic passion for the Southwest.

The new historic art exhibit features the works of Willard J. Page with more than 40 original paintings by Page, including the Museum’s own “Thumb Butte.”  From mini-sized curios to larger canvasses, these delightful pieces provide a nostalgic look at early Americana.  Curated by Carolyn O’Bagy Davis, the collection is a must-see experience of mutual discovery, looking into the past for both style and substance, and sharing in the future Page captured on canvas.

Sharlot’s Wine Fest

Prescott’s premier wine-tasting event returns to Sharlot Hall Museum for its eighth annual Sharlot’s Wine Fest on Saturday, August 15, 2020, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Join us for the premier wine-tasting event of the year, set against the picturesque backdrop of Sharlot Hall Museum’s historic campus. Enjoy various distinguished wines, craft brews, distilled spirits, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, and elegant tastings from leading local restaurateurs. You won’t want to miss this festive event — the perfect way to enjoy a comfortable summer evening!

Order your tickets early for this limited-admission event (max. 350). Advance tickets will go on sale after March 1, 2020, at the Museum, available by phone at 928-445-3122 ext. 0, or available online.

Prescott Indian Art Market, July 13-14

For more than two decades, the Prescott Indian Art Market has presented some of the finest native American art in the Southwest. Get ready to celebrate the Market’s 22nd anniversary!

It’s Two Days… of spectacular works of Indian art
on the four-acre Museum campus.

Backdrop for the Indian Art Market is the cool gardens of Sharlot Hall Museum.  Comfortably warm temperatures and a steady stream of art enthusiasts enjoy viewing (and buying) exquisite wood and stone carvings, distinctive ceramics… sculptures in stone, leather, and ceramic… gorgeous paintings in acrylics, oil, watercolor… hand-woven baskets, blankets and clothing… distinctive jewelry and much, much more.

More than 102 juried American artists, representing 30 tribes and pueblos, will present traditional and contemporary artwork making PIAM one of the Southwest’s premier Indian-art markets. Featured artist for the 21st PIAM is Diné Navajo Jim Harrison, who captures the beauty of the Arizona and New Mexico night skies NOT with a brush and canvas, but with a dentist’s drill creating exquisite silver jewelry. His work of silver and mosaic inlays of semi-precious stones will be feature July 14-15 at the Indian Art Market.  

If you’re a native American Indian artist interested in exhibiting at the 22nd Annual Prescott Indian Art Market, click here to read instructions on how to apply for participation in the juried show.  If you’re a devotee and art enthusiast of beautiful native art, SAVE THE DATE: JULY 13-14

Railroad Exhibit Opens at Museum

Consider “Meeting the Four O’Clock Train,” the featured exhibit located inside the Lawler Exhibit Center on campus. For almost a century, rail service to Prescott was a critical element to town’s and the county’s existence.

Focal point of this featured exhibit is the HO-scale model train layout of the Prescott rail yard and nearby train depot depicting the 1920s and 1930s, created by the Central Arizona Model Railroad Club (Prescott, AZ).  You’re not going to want to miss seeing this historical perspective of railroading with an emphasis on bringing train travel to Prescott.

FW Tritle, first train to Prescott
The F.W. Tritle was the first train to reach Prescott on the Prescott & Arizona Central Railroad, begun in 1886, but became lost in the history of Territorial lore.

For almost a century, railroad service to Prescott was a transportation mainstay providing either freight service or passenger transport. While it ended in 1983, the lure and lore of train travel continues to pique the interests of visitors and locals.

A railroad line across the northern Arizona Territory was a long-sought dream finally realized in 1882. To the dismay of Prescott residents of the time, it went through Ash Fork – about 50 miles too far north! A spur line finally brought freight to town via the ill-fated Prescott and Arizona Central Railway, and passenger travel was a bonus feature.

The Museum’s new train exhibit chronicles the local boom-to-bust railway legacy – from the Yavapai County bonds that paid for one of the lines and almost kept Arizona from becoming a state, to the many train wrecks and washed out tracks.

A distinct feature of the exhibit is a 12 ft. by 20 ft. HO-scale model depiction of early Prescott and its iconic Depot. Push a button and watch scale-model trains traverse the flatlands and Dells en route to the miniature downtown station and nearby roundhouse. The Central Arizona Model Railroad Club created and produced the train layout on display.

Part of the Prescott & Arizona Central Railroad right-of-way heading north through Willow Lake Park, northwest of Willow Creek Reservoir. (Photo courtesy A. Odell, 2013)

Passenger service to Prescott along the Peavine Trail and skirting Fort Whipple ended in 1962; freight service shutdown about two decades later.  The lore of rail service to the Highlands, however, remains a featured mixture of greed, power, politics and perseverance – all portrayed in the ‘Meeting the 4 O’Clock Train’ exhibit with its interactive games, artifacts and displays. These special features will delight children of all ages.

Admission to the exhibit is included in the daily admission to the Museum, and found in the theater of the Lawler Exhibit Center. Sharlot Hall Museum is located at 415 W. Gurley Street, Prescott (two blocks west of the courthouse plaza). For more information, call the Museum at 928-445-3122.

Footnotes to Bio of Aviator E.A. Love

Ernest A. Love is a true, hometown hero.  One hundred years ago at this time, Love was listed as missing in action (MIA) while serving “over there” during World War I – the war to end all wars.

The Prescott municipal airfield and the American Legion Post are both named in his honor, and parts of his story are featured in the Sharlot Hall Museum “Arizona and the Great War” exhibit.

But there’s so much more, and biographer Alan Roesler, author of the book, “An Arizona Aviator in France: The Life of Ernest A. Love,” will share the story of this early aviator, add background to his biography, and answer questions at a special lecture presentation at Sharlot Hall Museum on Tuesday, October 2, beginning at 4 p.m.

A League of World War I Aviation Historians member, Roesler served as an issue editor of the quarterly aviation journal Over The Front and three years as its managing editor.  His book, “An Arizona Aviator…” now it its third edition, is considered the definitive biography of the young man from Prescott.

His special lecture at the Museum will expand on Love’s story:

  • From being the popular student from Prescott, president of his senior class at Prescott High, and student attending Stanford University when America entered the European war;
  • To his flying 22 sorties (combat missions) in the skies over France during the height of American involvement in war-torn Europed in mid-1918;
  • From the anguish of his family awaiting news of what happened to their brave son until long after the armistice — that 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918; and
  • To the records from a French priest about a mortally wounded American aviator who fell from the skies over Tronville that fateful September day.

Roesler’s presentation is free and seating is limited.  The Sharlot Hall Museum is located two blocks west of the courthouse plaza at 415 West Gurley Street, Prescott.  For more information, call 928-445-3122 or visit www.sharlothallmuseum.org.