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Mineral Matters

Artmaking and West Virginia's Mineral Resources

Exhibit Showing November 2, 2022 through May 26, 2023

The Watts Museum will be CLOSED Friday, May 5, 2023.


Deposits of minerals like these have long perpetuated associations of "richness" and "natural wealth" with the lands of West Virginia. While such substances are not all considered minerals, they are all mineral resources.

Often extracted for their "economic interest" and "usefulness to society," these natural materials have been transformed and commodified by the forces of industrialization. Yet the mineral resources of the Mountain State still hold value, qualities, stories, and associations all their own.

Mineral Matters: Artmaking and West Virginia's Mineral Resources features artworks that highlight the mineral resources themselves—by interpreting them in personal, practical, ecological, ancestral, or other conceptual ways.

The Watts Museum's past exhibit, Timber/TimbreFalling Trees and Rising Voices – Logging and Music in West Virginia, 1880-1930, is on display at the Myles Center for the Arts at Davis & Elkins College in Elkins, WV.

The exhibit uses folk music to explore the history of logging in the Allegheny Highlands of West Virginia. Timber/Timbre  examines industrialism’s impact on the region through the musical expressions of individuals who experienced the timber boom firsthand. 

    • Directions

    • Enter the address you’re arriving from in the text field to get personalized directions to the Watts Museum.

    • Parking

    • Parking permits are available for visitors of the Watts Museum. Please call 304.293.4609 in advance of your visit to reserve a parking permit for your vehicle. Permits are not needed on Saturdays. Visitors may also park in the Coliseum parking lot (no permit necessary) and take the shuttle or walk to the Mineral Resources Building.

    • Hours

    • Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 1pm – 4pm

      Call 304.293.4609 for an appointment

      Closed in August for installation of new exhibit

    • *Please note that the Watts Museum is closed on WVU holidays.

      These holidays include: Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, WV Primary Election Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, the Saturday before Thanksgiving through the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and the Saturday before Christmas through the Saturday after New Year's Day.