Moab Happenings Archive
Return to home

Two Moab Museum Exhibits in Two Locations
by Moab Museum Staff


As the seasons shift and weather cools, the Moab Museum is delighted to announce two new exhibits: each exploring a different facet of Southeastern Utah’s storied past.

Block Prints by Everett Ruess, a traveling exhibition from the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, will be opening at the Moab Museum on November 10th, with a special opening for Museum Members at 6:30pm. Ruess, a young artist and writer, mysteriously disappeared near Escalante in 1934 when traveling through Southeastern Utah. His block prints and writings reflect his deep love for the places he explored, and he’s become a folk hero and inspiration for conservationists today. These evocative prints in this traveling exhibition chronicle his travels across the West–including throughout the deserts and canyons of Utah and Arizona.

The exhibition, which will be on display at the Moab Museum in the heart of downtown through February, will be accompanied by hands-on programs to bring Ruess’s art to life. Throughout November and December, visitors to the Museum will have the opportunity to experiment with printing hands-on, using historic type from the Times-Independent’s original letterpress to print their own bookmark or postcard in the spirit of Ruess’s creative legacy.

The Museum is also pleased to announce a semi-permanent exhibition entitled Spirit & Grit, which has recently opened at the Dead Horse Point State Park visitor center. Spirit & Grit tells the story of settlers who pieced together a hardscrabble living in early Moab, from the 1870s onward. Despite significant challenges with farming, ranching, and mining in the formidable desert landscape, the area had two advantages that other places in the American Southwest did not: comparatively abundant water and relatively richer soil for agriculture. Visitors to Spirit & Grit experience a window into the lives of some of these early settlers through this immersive satellite exhibit.

Spirit & Grit, an extension of stories told at the Moab Museum, was curated by Tara Beresh, Moab Museum’s Curatorial and Collections Manager, in collaboration with the Moab Museum of Film and Western Heritage (MMFWH) and with assistance from lifelong Moabite and local historian Mark Beeson. Featuring historic photographs, objects, stories, and a life-sized cow camp, the exhibition paints a vibrant portrait of ranch life in the area of Canyonlands at the turn of the twentieth century. It is expected to be on display through fall, 2023.

This season, visitors and locals alike have opportunities to experience stories of Moab’s past both within and beyond the walls of the Moab Museum. Don’t miss the opportunity to view both Spirit & Grit at Dead Horse Point State Park and Block Prints by Everett Ruess at the Moab Museum beginning this month!

The Moab Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tracing the Story of William Grandstaff will be on exhibit through October. To learn more about Museum membership, programs and exhibits, and to read the Museum’s blog and explore online archives and collections, please visit

118 East Center Street, Moab, UT • 435-259-7985

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.

Return to home