St. Pete museum created by couple captivated by American western culture displays traditional, modern art

Tom and Mary James have been collecting art in the American West for more than 50 years and turned their passion into the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art.

"The James Museum is a large museum with about 30,000 square feet of gallery space and over 400 works of art on display at one time," explained Emily Kapes, curator of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art. 

The museum has eight major galleries themed by subject. 

"There’s different versions of the West and we explore these at the museum. A lot of diverse stories, and untold stories and unknown facts and celebrating these artists that are just amazing in their field," said Kapes. 

Guests will see the typical cowboys and bucking broncos most people associate with the West, but the James Museum also has galleries full of art by Native Americans from a variety of tribes, pop art by new West artists and historical objects. 

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"We want people to feel like they had a relaxing experience where they have been able to enjoy the art," Kapes shared. 

The James Museum has an upcoming special exhibition later this month called "Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Stories". 

LINK: Learn more about the James Museum at