OKLAHOMA CITY – The William S. and Ann Atherton Foundation gave a transformational gift to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum’s Live the Code capital campaign. The grant funding will be used to renovate, expand and enhance the Art and Artifacts Vault.

“It’s been our family’s honor to be longtime supporters of this institution and the important values it represents,” said Jessica Faubert, President of the William S. and Ann Atherton Foundation. “We’re excited to continue that support with this effort to modernize and preserve the Museum’s vault, protecting its important collection for generations to come.”

The William S. and Ann Atherton Vault will be expanded from 11,500 square feet to 19,000 square feet. The project will also include a new HVAC system and generator to ensure temperature and environmental standards will be maintained at all times.

“The Atherton Family has a long history of providing impactful gifts that allow The Museum to tell the diverse stories of the West,” said Pat Fitzgerald, President and CEO of the Museum. “The Cowboy has the finest collection of Western and Native American art and artifacts, and this gift allows the Museum to have these pieces best preserved and available for future generations.”

The Atherton family has been long-time supporters of the Museum. Emeritus Director Bill Atherton served on the Board from 1993-2014, and his son, Tom Atherton, is a current member of the Museum’s Board where he has served since 2011. In 2020, the Atherton family donated funds to renovate their namesake gallery, the William S. and Ann Atherton Art of the American West Gallery, which is the focal point of the Museum’s vaunted permanent art collection. Their gift to the Live the Code capital campaign will continue their impactful legacy of giving to the institution.

The Live the Code capital campaign is an initiative to raise $40 million to modernize the Museum’s guest experiences and infrastructure. Major campaign efforts include transforming the Museum’s exhibits by creating best-in-the-world experiences to teach and interpret the diverse history of the West; enhancing the storage capacity and environmental conditions of the vaults that serve as the finest repository of Western and Native American art, artifacts and documents; and investing in facility and infrastructure upgrades.