The permanent fine arts collection began as a reflection of collecting taste in the Panhandle-Plains region. The art collection is exhibited in seven galleries devoted to Southwestern American art; Texas art; H. D. Bugbee and Olive Vandruff; Frank Reaugh; graphics (prints and drawings); Western American art; and Eastern American and European art. Decorative art objects are exhibited in the south art galleries.
Historic New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado art is the collection's strength with works by artists of territorial New Mexico; members of the Taos Society of Artists; later Taos artists; Santa Fe colony founders; Los Cinco Pintores; and other Santa Fe modernists as well as Hispanic wood carvers and Puebloan painters represented.
The historic Texas collection is the most comprehensive in the state and is exhibited in the only permanent gallery in the state devoted to early Texas art. Texas impressionists and Regionalists are represented from Amarillo to Galveston, El Paso to Texarkana.
Frank Reaugh Gallery
As the Museum is the repository for material relating to Western artist Frank Reaugh (1860-1945), the dean of Texas painters, the over 1,000 Reaugh works of art in the collection are presented on a rotating basis in the Reaugh Gallery.
The museum houses some 3,000 works by Harold D. Bugbee (1900-1963), “the Charlie Russell of Texas,” and his wife, wildlife painter Olive Vandruff (1908-2003). Visitors can also explore a reconstruction of Bugbee's art studio.
PPHM's rapidly expanding prints and drawings collection is exhibited in the Graphics Gallery. Today, the Museum has one of the most comprehensive regionalist print collections in the U.S.
Western American Gallery
Western easel paintings and illustrations by W. Herbert Dunton, Frank B. Hoffman, and N. C. Wyeth, and sculptures by contemporary Western artists, highlight the Museum’s Western art gallery.
Eastern American and European Gallery
European paintings and sculpture include British, French, Spanish, and an Italian Renaissance painting. The Eastern American collection features the Hudson River School, American impressionism, genre art, and portrait painting.
The decorative arts collections reflect the tastes of Texas Panhandle residents from the 1890s to the 1950s. Included are Chippendale and Hepplewhite-style furniture, Heywood-Wakefield furniture, Chinese export porcelain and other ceramics, 18th and 19th-century English silver, and 20th-century art glass by Lalique, Galle, and Tiffany.
Temporary exhibitions use the PPHM collection or the region as a springboard and emphasize the American West, the Southwest, and Texas before 1960.