The Ernest Warther Museum promotes, protects, and celebrates its singular collection through a means of engaging, connecting, and inspiring visitors to the world of an artist and create personal connections to art in unmeasurable ways. As a museum that owns the home, studio, and collection of a single artist, EWM is one of the few museums in the world that captures the depth and sincerity of an artist while simultaneously bringing to life not just the works in the collection but the spirit of the artist himself as he lived.
The Ernest Warther Museum & Gardens is built around the original location of Ernest and Frieda's home, his original workshop, and the first museum which opened on May 10th, 1936 in their backyard. Beginning in 1913, Ernest Warther began a life of sculpting the history of the steam engine through hand carvings. Those carvings began filling the modest family home until 1936 when there just was not enough room any more. From 1936 to 1962, the carvings remained in the one room museum in the backyard, admitting visitors from all over.
When Dave, Mooney’s youngest son, returned from World War II, Dave started to see the appreciation and admiration visitors had for this small museum and the history of the steam engine nestled inside its walls. Thus, Dave devised a plan to create a larger museum. On June 8th, 1963, The Ernest Warther Museum opened the doors of a multi-room facility at the edge of the original Warther property on Karl Avenue. Mooney was still carving at this time and would continue to create works for almost another decade, until he passed away exactly ten years from the opening on June 8th, 1973. With additional carvings and content, Dave recognized the need for another expansion, with a grand opening on June 8th, 1988. In Dave’s lifetime, he would bring one more expansion to the museum, making its facility over 6,000 square feet of exhibit space with a full theater to tell the story of his father.
Today, the museum is owned and operated by third and fourth generation family members to share, educate, and delight visitors with the works compiled and created by both Ernest and Frieda Warther to invoke passion, determination, and admiration for the beauty of their art. We are currently working on a multi-year expansion project that will bring to life new exhibits, fully opening our archives, and creating richer exhibits on Frieda Warther as well. Our museum will over double in size in the next few years to fully capture the lives of the Warther Family.