Moab Happenings Archive
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Exhibition Updates in the New Year
by Moab Museum Staff

December offers Museum staff the opportunity to look forward to the new year, planning future exhibitions and updates to existing exhibits. Many of the stories we share at the Museum can evolve with new information and object loans and gifts from community members, and the current temporary and permanent exhibits benefit from this added knowledge.

Hospital Equipment in the Museum’s Collection, to be featured at the new exhibition at Moab Regional Hospital in 2024.

Future Moab Regional Hospital Exhibit Concepts
The Museum is currently curating an exhibit to be featured at the Moab Regional Hospital (MRH) in 2024. Though Moab’s medical history is extensive, many of its primary figures are still here today—some still even employed at Moab Regional. Museum Assistant Allie Donnell will lead the Museum’s effort and collaborate with MRH CEO Jen Sadoff, Hospital staff, and Museum board treasurer Jeanette Kopell to share stories of Moab’s medical history through the people directly involved, past and present.

Similar to many resources and services in a landscape as wild and isolated as ours, providing and seeking healthcare has posed many challenges. Inspiration ranges from J. W. (“Doc”) Williams, M.D., riding miles on horseback to make house calls, to Hannah Margaret (Simpson) Pittman and Mary Pogue, nurses who hosted 1940s fund drives for polio supplies for children.

The proposed exhibit pays homage to the efforts of many individuals through medical equipment, photographs, and stories from the Museum’s Collection. Community members with personal accounts are encouraged to reach out to to share their stories.

The Medicine Blanket of Charlie Black. Shortly before his death, Charlie Black sold this blanket to Clyde Deal at Goulding’s Trading Post in Monument Valley. When Clyde passed in 2015, he gifted the blanket on to his wife Janet Roper Deal who loaned it to the Museum via David Lyle.

Exhibition Updates in 2024
The Museum’s current design features two galleries with different purposes: the North Gallery features a semi-permanent “exhibit” with stories and objects tracing Moab’s history, while the South Gallery is designed with maximum flexibility for temporary, traveling, community-curated, and “pop-up” exhibits. In 2024 the Museum will begin rotating selected objects and replacing some - some that have been on display before and some that are newly identified and/or researched.

And in the South Gallery, which is currently playing host to The People’s Tapestry: Weaving Tradition in Navajo Culture, Museum staff are finalizing plans to display the Medicine Blanket of renowned Navajo healer Charlie Black.

Per the Museum’s standard protocol, Tara Beresh, Museum Curatorial and Collections Manager will consult with expert weavers, as well as elders and other appropriate members of the Navajo Nation, to craft a story of Charlie and his Blanket that’s as compelling as its design and purpose.

Seasonal Closure: January 2nd-15th, 2024
In line with our ongoing tradition of closing the Museum to the public for two weeks during January of each year, the Museum team aims to utilize this time to shift gears, reflect upon the incredible year we had in 2023, and prep for what’s to come in 2024. Staff are reachable via email and phone throughout the closure as we will be steadily working to reorganize our spaces, catalog, report, and prep. We’ll see you on the 16th of January. Happy Holidays from the Museum Team!

The Moab Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9 am through 5 pm. The current temporary exhibition, The People’s Tapestry: Weaving Tradition in Navajo Culture, will be on exhibit until February 9, 2024. For more information, please visit

And be sure to mention you read about the Moab Museum in Moab Happenings.

Movie & Western Memorabilia Museum at Red Cliffs Lodge

Indiana Jones PosterRed Cliffs Lodge, on the banks of the mighty Colorado River, is home to the Moab Museum of Film & Western Heritage. The lodge is built on the old George White Ranch, a key location for nine of the big westerns including Rio Grande, Cheyenne Autumn, Ten Who Dared, The Commancheros, and Rio Conchos.

The late George White was founder of the Moab to Monument Valley Film Commission, the longest ongoing film commission in the world.

In the museum one can learn more about film locations, how the sets are built, and how the filming process is managed on nature’s own sound stage. On display in the museum are production photographs, movie posters, autographed scripts, props from the many pictures filmed in the area, and displays about the western ranching heritage. For information, call Red Cliffs Lodge at 435-259-2002.

Rio Grande Through the magnificent landscapes of southeastern Utah, writers have been inspired and stories born here. Zane Grey, the famous western novelist, traveled through the area in 1912. His visit inspired him to write his book Riders of the Purple Sage. The book was made into a movie starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, and filmed on locations around Moab.

A partial list of stars that have made movies in Moab
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Henry Fonda, Lee Marvin,
Rock Hudson, Jimmy Stewart, Richard Boone, Anthony Quinn,
Mickey Rooney, Shirley Temple, Kris Kristofferson, Billy Crystal,
Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman, Bill Murray, Jack Palance, Susan Sarandon, Geena Davis, Ted Danson, Tom Cruise, and many more.

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