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When the George Phippen, the first president of the Cowboy Artists of America passed away in 1966, he left a group of artists wanting to create a facility that represents artists specially artists in the American West. Because of the happening, the George Phippen Memorial Foundation was formed, and in 179 they were able to form a specific venue that would be a mean to support art coming from the Western part of America.

With the help of dedicated volunteers, the Phippen Memorial Foundation started to organize fundraising activities to help the formation of the museum. In 1974, the very first annual Memorial Day Show was held at the Prescott Public Library exhibiting the talents of the exceptional western sculptors and painters.

Because of the generous donation of a parcel of land of the James Family Trust to the foundation, they were able to begin the construction of the building for the Phippen Museum. Because of the fundraising programs from the Memorial Day Shows and the donated land, on October 13, 1984 the Phippen Museum was opened to the public. The Museum today offers educational programs to schools and special groups from all over the country.
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