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Press: Getzwiller entertains crowd at Desert Caballeros Western Museum - Nov 2017

Getzwiller entertains crowd at DCWM

By Patsy Root
Nov 22, 2017

Steve Getzwiller is not only a master collector of Western art, he can keep a crowd entertained and asking for more, just by sharing his experiences as a collector. Eyes are repeatedly drawn to the images of artists Getzwiller has encountered on his quest to acquire unique pieces of art throughout the Southwest. His collection is varied and stunning.

An upright baby grand piano from a bar/hotel in Tombstone joined his collection quite by accident, according to Getzwiller.

“I went in there to pick up the rifle housed above the piano, so I took the piano too,” Getzwiller said.

Most items in his collection have been acquired in a more intentional approach, especially the many unique, handmade Native American rugs displayed in the learning center. According to Getzwiller and his wife Gail, many of the larger rugs on display took over three years to complete, and the Getzwillers developed good relationships with the families who created them over the years.

“They created for us this beautiful little rug,” said Gail Detwiller. “It has roses all around the edges, and starting at the bottom it shows little rosebuds, then as you move around to the top the roses open up and bloom. They said it was like their relationship with us, how it became bigger and blossomed.”

Images of the family members who created many of Getzwilller’s rugs can be seen throughout the display as well as in a continuous video running on-screen at the west end of the learning center.

A large assortment of handmade Native American baskets is placed around the collection, adding color and a feeling of authenticity to the room. Personal family photographs, those on loan from friends and fellow collectors, and various interesting pieces combine for a tasteful expression of art in the southwest over the years.

Gun collectors will be especially interested in the numerous Winchesters in the Getzwiller collection, spread throughout the center in glass cases against the walls, in addition to the large one over the piano.

In viewing the Getzwiller collection, one experiences the sights and sounds, the feel of wind and dust in the desert, yet artfully, relationally, transporting the viewer to ancient and new places in the history of the southwest through the eyes of the people who have made it what it is today, a grand collection.

Getzwiller’s collection can be seen at the Cultural Crossroads Learning Center at 21 N. Tegner Street until June 3.

The center is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-7p.m. For more information call (928) 684-2272 or at info@westernmuseum.org.