In 1965, a few residents of Midland, Texas believed their town was in need of their own museum.
In the months following, the Junior League pledged their support of this endeavor, and with additional support from the Midland community, a new museum was underway.
The Museum of the Southwest opened the following year. Today, it provides locals with a center for art, science and culture.
Art Comes to Midland
After a few successful years, the museum was moved to a new location. A large mansion on Missouri Avenue felt like a fantastic fit, and the museum has been there ever since. However, museum personnel did not know the mansion was haunted when they agreed to relocate.
And neither did Abby (Name changed for privacy), Texas native and aspiring artist.
“I remember I had just gotten my driver’s license, and I decided my first mini road trip would be to Midland, so I could visit the Museum of the Southwest,” she said with a smile. “I’m a painter myself, so it’s only natural that museums are like churches to me…holy sanctuaries.
“So I borrowed my mom’s car and drove the two hours to get to Midland. I immediately fell in love with the place…Not only do they have the most beautiful paintings, but they have pottery and textiles, and basically anything you could imagine,” Abby beamed.
“It was much larger than I anticipated and the museum only stays open until five, so I was one of the last people there. I had barely made it to the second floor when a security guard passed by me and informed me I only had fifteen minutes left,” she said.
“So I told myself I would explore the work in the next room and come back another day. This room had a few more pottery pieces, metalwork and various textiles,” she explained. “I was just about done when I saw a piece in a corner of the room—and I was shocked I hadn’t noticed it before.
The Bloody Statue
“It was a statue of a woman.
“To be honest, I immediately found it a little disturbing, as she was tied to ceiling with string, and there was metal that kept her jaw open. She wore a frozen look of surprise and there was dark red paint splattered all over her.
“As much as I didn’t like the piece, I was infinitely impressed by the level of detailing and texture… She looked so life-like, I would have assumed it was a human being, if she hadn’t of had a paintbrush poised in her hand.
“I wasn’t sure what the artist was trying to say, but the paintbrush made me think it was something ironic. I thought about that intense statue for the next couple days, and I realized that I just had to see it again,” Abby nodded. “So I drove back to the museum the following weekend, but the statue was already gone!
“I found a docent nearby and asked what museum the statue had been located to.
“’We have never had a piece that fits that description,’ the woman said, looking confused.
“Believing she had it confused with another installment, I explained the statue in more detail—the metal mouth, the red paint, her stance. But the lady was adamant…they had NEVER had anything remotely close to what I described. I was so incredibly creeped out after that, I haven’t been back to Midland since.”