Leanin’ Tree Museum and Sculpture Garden Closing Sunday

Paintings and Sculptures from Leanin’ Tree Collection to be Auctioned Off in Scottsdale January 2018

Dan Ostermiller bronze sculpture Sow and Two Cubs

The Leanin’ Tree Museum of Western Art, set to close at the end of August, will officially close this Sunday, September 3, 2017. If you are an art lover and find yourself anywhere near Boulder, Colorado you owe it to yourself to see the collection all together before it is dispersed through the auction process. The museum and greeting-card factory, both founded by Ed Trumble, are located at 6055 Longbow Drive in Gunbarrel.

It is a sad day for locals and fans of the free museum who have been coming here for more than 40 years. The museum is an extensive collection of both traditional western art and contemporary works. Cast bronze works range from the monumental pieces in the outdoor sculpture garden to table top sized housed inside the gallery.

Ed Trumble iat the Leanin' Tree Museum of Western Art

The museum displays the private art collection of Ed Trumble, founder of Leanin’ Tree Greeting Cards. Beloved by locals and visitors alike, this free museum has been serving the public for over forty years. At age 92, Mr. Trumble feels that his work with the collection is complete and he wants to see his art find new homes with the next generation of families, collectors and museums. Selling the art and closing the museum will have no effect on the ongoing greeting card business, which is a completely separate entity.

Art collectors and lovers of southwest and western art will be rejoicing at this news: Scottsdale Art Auction has been hired to sell the more than 500 works from the Leanin’ Tree Museum collection. Although it appears the largest sculptures will be not actually be in Scottsdale–at least according to an article in the Denver Post, they will be sold and then moved to their new homes.

Bird Woman bronze sculpture by R.V. Greeves



This bronze sculpture of Sacajawea, is just one of the many pieces in the sculpture garden

Bird Woman
R.V. Greeves b 1935

Sacajawea, known to her Shoshone people as “Bird Woman,” was kidnapped as a child by the Hidatsa Tribe. Later, she married Charbonneau, a French trapper. With Sacajawea carrying their newborn baby boy, the couple accompanied Lewis and Clark to the Pacific and back. Amazingly, in 1804, at the headwaters of the Missouri River, Bird Woman was reunited with her brother. Her presence on the expedition proved invaluable to the success of the Voyage of Discovery.

Life size No 3 of 10 Installed 2005
Bronze and metal with Roman patina
Cast by Art Castings of Colorado, Loveland


Other pieces are huge, such as Sound of Autumn by Gerald Balciar, at one and 1/4 life size.

While most have signs “Do Not Climb” there are a few notable exceptions. One being “Happy Go Lucky” a life sized piece, but of a much smaller animal–a burro.


Happy Go Lucky bronze sculpture by Veryl Goodnight

Happy Go Lucky
Veryl Goodnight b 1947 NSS

The burro is a small donkey and, like mustangs, they roam wild in romote areas of the West. The burro was bred as a best of burden and used by early prospectors and miners. Many escaped or were simply set free to survive and propagate. When domesticated, burros can be wonderful pets. The model for this piece is owned by the sculptor.

Life size No 15 of 21 Installed 2005
Bronze metal cast by Shidoni Foundry, Santa Fe, New Mexico


Catalogs will be mailed out beginning in December. If you are interested in more about this collection, follow Scottsdale Art Auction on Facebook

SAA is billed as the Southwest’s largest and fastest growing auction house. Auctions occur annually in the spring in Scottsdale since the first sale in 2005. The 2018 annual auction is set for April 7, 2018.

The Leanin’ Tree art collection will have a special auction January 19-20, 2018.

Scottsdale Art Auction, 7176 MAIN STREET • SCOTTSDALE ARIZONA 85251 • www.scottsdaleartauction.com • 480 945-0225

For details about the Leanin’ Tree Museum, visit their website: http://www.leanintreemuseum.com/

Read the entire article in the Denver Post about the closing of the museum, by John Bear.

Photo credits:

Dan Ostermiller bronze sculpture “Sow and Two Cubs” photo from Southwest Art Auction.

Photo of Ed Trumble: Jeremy Papasso, Boulder Daily Camera file