“Art” does not leap to mind when one hears the words “Jackson, Wyoming.” Nevertheless, just outside of town is a gem of a museum with a scenic setting, a fine restaurant and a thoroughly diverting collection. Visiting the National Museum of Wildlife Art makes for a wonderful change of pace from exploring the outdoors.
Rather than making the five-minute drive from downtown Jackson to the museum, we rented bikes from Hoback Sports and pedaled up a dedicated path sandwiched between Highway 191 and the National Elk Refuge. The route was paved and essentially flat, making the sunny ride both beautiful and easy, with only the whooshes of passing cars disturbing the tranquility.
After locking our bikes, we walked up the hill to the museum, a low-rise building of rough-hewn stone that blends well into the landscape. Monumental bronze sculptures decorate its grounds, which have panoramic views of a broad valley bisected by a crumpled ribbon of a stream. I especially liked the group of bronzes by Todd McGrain representing various birds driven to extinction, and the “Spirit Totems,” by Herb Alpert, who is better known as a musician. His line of abstract poles cut a striking and enigmatic profile against the landscape.