Booth Western Art Museum
501 Museum Drive
Cartersville, GA 30120
Who would have guessed the state’s second largest art museum can be found in Cartersville? It’s also home to the only Western art museum in the Southeast and the largest collection of Western art created by living artists in the country. Only a short jaunt from Atlanta, Cartersville’s Booth Western Art Museum is well worth the drive.
Booth Museum, which is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, was started by a local family and others who have been Western art collectors for many years. It opened in August 2003.
Worth noting is the facility, itself. Constructed of Bulgarian limestone, the building’s basic shape is described as a “modern pueblo.” Inside, the glass elevator, which has real weights, is one of only two like this in the country.
The museum contains seven permanent galleries: American West Gallery, Cowboy Gallery, Mythic West, The Reel West, Sagebrush Ranch (hands-on gallery for children), James and Carolyn Millar Presidential Gallery (contains original Presidential letters) and War is Hell (contains artwork about the Civil War by living artists). The museum also houses temporary exhibitions, which change about every three to four months. In addition to the artwork, the museum houses a 140-seat theatre and a research library.
The Booth is a wonderful place to introduce children to art and the museum experience without breaking the bank. A special Family Guide provides tips on how to make the most of your visit. Saddlebags containing activities for children and families are also available for guests to check out from the reception desk. Furthermore, kids will love climbing in, on and around Sagebrush Ranch, with its stagecoach, life-size horse, chuck wagon and more.
Start your visit with the Orientation Video, and then try to catch the daily highlights tour at 1:30 p.m. This docent-led tour guides through several galleries providing information about the museum, the artwork and many of the artists. Highlights tours typically last 45 minutes to an hour. Want more information about the artwork during your visit? Try the audio tour.
There is not a bad time of year to visit the Booth Museum. Visit www.boothmuseum.org/calendar.htm to see what’s happening. In general, the museum hosts monthly and annual events, including:
- Art for Lunch – first Wednesday of each month at 12:15 p.m.
- Children’s Saturday – second Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. to Noon
- Western Movie Sunday – second Sunday of each month
- Thursday Evening lecture or entertainment – third Thursday of each month at 7:00 p.m.
- Southeastern Cowboy Gathering – 2nd weekend in March, featuring an artist, a Western entertainer, chuck wagon cooking contest, Dutch oven cooking contest, fiddle contest, cowboy poetry workshop, family entertainment, and children’s activities
- Southeastern Cowboy Festival & Symposium – 4th weekend in October, featuring an artist, a Western entertainer, Western marketplace, Indian dancing, living history (Civil War, pioneer life, Native American), re-enactments of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, cowboy music and poetry, children’s activities, old time medicine show, food vendors, and more
Booth Western Art Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Thursdays from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.; and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. It is closed on Mondays, as well as New Year’s Day, July 4th, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Admission fees are reasonable compared to other attractions of the Booth’s caliber: Adult entry is $8.00; Seniors (65 and over) entry is $6.00; Students or Groups of 15 or more are $5.00; but Children 12 and under, as well as Active Military Personnel and Museum Members, are admitted for Free. The museum accepts cash, personal checks and major credit cards.
The Booth is located at 501 Museum Drive, Cartersville, 30120. To get there, take I-75 to exit 288 – Main Street/Cartersville and turn west onto Main Street; travel approximately 2 miles to Gilmer Street (before you cross the railroad tracks); turn right on Gilmer Street; go two blocks and the museum will be on your left; free parking in the Tabernacle Baptist Church parking lot on Gilmer Street.
A Café offering light lunches and snacks is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Museum Store is open during all museum hours. Note that photography is not allowed inside the museum except in Sagebrush Ranch.
For more information, visit www.boothmuseum.org or call 770-387-1300.
Photos courtesy of the Booth Western Art Museum