Ellen Noel Art Museum Named New Smithsonian Affiliate

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

ODESSA - A big honor for the Ellen Noel Art Museum.

On Tuesday, the Museum installed new signage designating the Museum as an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, DC.

They're only the second museum in the state with that designation.

It allows the Museum to have greater access to the millions of artifacts in the Smithsonian collection.

The executive director of the Museum, Les Reker, says it will give West Texans the opportunity to see rare pieces of art.

"The Smithsonian developed this program back in 1996 to bring the vast collections of the Smithsonian to America.  Some people can't go to Washington or for whatever reason and so it's sort of the Smithsonian in your backyard. We'll be able to work with them to use items from their vast collections to supplement or perhaps to even build an exhibition," Reker said.

Through the partnership, the Museum has already received a major sculpture that will be shipped and installed soon and will remain at the Noel Art Museum for 10 years.