In the early 1970’s, local artists of note decided to have an Art Show open to the public, and were offered the upper floor of the Lodge at Fort Robinson for the inaugural event. Although the show enjoyed good attendance, the room was uncomfortably warm and space was limited.
Retired General Robinson met with Park Superintendent Vance Nelson after viewing both the Park and the Show, and suggested that military horses should be honored and remembered in a more public way. He suggested that the Vet Hospital could serve as an Art Gallery for a few days each year.
It took some time to clean up the building, and for a time only the east part of the hospital was used for the Art Show. As the Show grew, the rest of the building was also cleaned up to accommodate expansion.
In February 1972, Fort Robinson Centennial, Inc. was registered with the State of Nebraska and was identified on April 11, 2016 by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) corporation.
As the Show blossomed and gained a following, its name became the Western & Wildlife Art Show.
The WWAS is held annually July 2-4 in the Historic Fort Robinson State Park Veterinary Hospital, leased through "History Nebraska" Nebraska State Historical Society (formerly Nebraska Museum Board), and through the hospitality of Fort Robinson State Park.
A tradition over the Fourth of July holiday each year, the WWAS brings in 2500 -3000 visitors to see and purchase juried fine art from up to 25 artists. The Show is free to the public.
The Western & Wildlife Art Show Board of Directors is always searching for new artists to join this prestigious show. It can be contacted through this site at any time.
Source: Vance Nelson, former Superintendent of Fort Robinson State Park.