History of the Museum
In 2004, a group of Colorado artists and art supporters came together with the goal of starting an art museum in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with the mission to present fine art to the public reflecting the culture and heritage of Northwest Colorado. Around the same time, the First National Bank Building (Rehder Building) on 8th and Lincoln was bequeathed to the City of Steamboat Springs by the estate of Helen and Henry Rehder. With the stipulation that the building be used as a museum, the Steamboat Art Museum (SAM) incorporated in 2005 and opened its first exhibit in the historic Rehder Building in December of 2006.
In 2010, SAM signed a 99-year lease with the City of Steamboat Springs to permanently house the Museum in the Rehder Building. From 2009-2013, major construction projects to the exterior and interior of the original 1905 building and the 1920 addition were completed, transforming the original 1905 building into museum exhibition space and museum store. In December of 2017, through the support and generosity of the community of Northwest Colorado and beyond, the Steamboat Art Museum completed an $850,000 historic rehabilitation of the 1920 building, creating a true world-class art exhibition space, art studio and library.
To date, SAM has presented thirty-six exhibitions, including the National Oil Painters of America. The $10 million Bill Gollings exhibit on loan from the University of Wyoming, three national travelling exhibits, an eye-opening and timely local collection of Russian Art from the 1930’s-80’s, as well as numerous exhibits featuring individual notable master artists such as Clyde Aspevig, Ken Carlson, Scott Christensen, Jim Norton and Quang Ho.
Our exhibition roster is full and committed for three years in the future with exciting and educational exhibits. To date, there have been more than 70,000+ visitors through our doors from all over the world.
We often get visitors who have travelled to Steamboat just to see our exhibits.