Smithsonian Affiliates Program

SmithsonianlettersupThe signage is on the building at the Ellen Noёl Art Museum to let the public know that the museum is an official Smithsonian Affiliate, and SouthWest Bank of Odessa is the 2013 Sponsor of the Museum’s participation in the Affiliates program of the Smithsonian Institution of Washington, D.C.  The Ellen Noёl Art Museum is one of only two art museums in the state of Texas that has been granted this status.  The Smithsonian Affiliates program allows selected organizations to have greater access to the millions of artifacts in its renowned collections and to the distinguished educational resources of the 47 museums, libraries, and research centers of the Smithsonian Institution.  

Established in 1996, the Affiliations program has built partnerships with more than 160 museums, educational and cultural organizations in 41 states, D.C., Panama, and Puerto Rico. It allows Affiliates to obtain long-term loans of art, artifacts, and books from many of the Smithsonian’s collections. It also fosters resource sharing, educational initiatives, scholarly exchange, and research efforts.  Affiliate organizations are selected for their record of presenting high quality exhibitions, scholarship, museum educational programs, and professionalism. 

Smithsonianstaffphoto“Those who live in West Texas are fortunate to have the Ellen Noël Art Museum in their community,” said Harold A. Closter, Director of Smithsonian Affiliations. “This museum has a well-deserved reputation for excellent exhibitions, engaging education programs, and knowledgeable, committed staff.  Through the affiliation between the Smithsonian Institution and the Ellen Noël Art Museum we look forward to a rewarding partnership that will enhance the work of both organizations, and benefit our audiences locally and nationally.”

The goal of the Smithsonian Affiliations program is to share the rich knowledge of the Smithsonian Institution with a broader audience, adhering to the Smithsonian’s highest aesthetic, intellectual and professional standards.  The Smithsonian’s unparalleled collections, scholarship, and exhibitions document the world in all of its beauty, diversity, and complexity. The program allows select museums to share these resources with Americans in their own communities. The Affiliations program brings the Smithsonian, in all of its breadth and scope, to local communities like the Permian Basin to create lasting experiences that broaden  perspectives on art and culture.

Among the vast collections of the Smithsonian that will be available to the Ellen Noël Art Museum are paintings, drawings, photographs, prints, and sculpture from the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and from other Smithsonian Institution museum collections on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. 

The Museum will now offer its members a special opportunity to receive two memberships in one. This entitles those members to receive a Smithsonian Affiliate Membership, which includes a subscription to Smithsonian Magazine (or Air & Space Magazine), discounts at Smithsonian gift shops and dining at the Smithsonian Museums in D.C., discounts at, free admission to the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York, and discounts for travel and tour opportunities with Smithsonian Journeys travel program.

Thank you so mcuh SouthWest Bank for sponsoring the Museum's Affiliation and for continuing to support the arts in our growing community!