National Western’s lauded and growing art collection is getting a permanent new home. The J. Robert and Katherine Wilson Art Gallery, to be located on the first floor of the Legacy Building at the new National Western Center, will – for the first time ever – allow the entire National Western Permanent Collection to be available to the general public year-round.
Bob Wilson is president and owner of Fort Collins, Colo.-based Columbine Health Systems, a senior-care organization he has led since 1971. His wife Kitty, an accomplished equestrian, competes at the National Western Stock Show. The gift, Wilson said, emerged from their desire to preserve the Western legacy, support Western art, and help ensure the long-term success of the National Western Center. “Sponsoring the new art gallery is a sort of perfect marriage – just like mine,” Wilson said. And while his career has focused on improving the lives of seniors, he has been interested in art since taking an art appreciation course at Colorado State University more than a half-century ago. “It stuck with me and taught me to have a tremendous appreciation for art,” Wilson said.