The museum features the antiques and collectibles belonging to Wilbur D. May. Born on December 28, 1898, Wilbur May was the third son of David May, founder of The May Department Stores Company. Wilbur was a rancher, pilot, artist, philanthropist, and world traveler who lived in Reno from 1936 to his death on January 20, 1982. The museum's collection derives from over 40 trips Wilbur made around the world, and include T'ang Dynasty pottery, African masks, statues, and artwork, Inuit scrimshaws, Egyptian scarab figures, Greek icons, wildlife dioramas and a shrunken head from South America. Also featured is a recreation of the living room, bedroom, tack room, and big game trophy room from Wilbur's 2,600-acre (1,100 ha) Double Diamond Ranch in South Reno.
The museum also hosts traveling exhibits throughout the year on a variety of subjects. Previous exhibits have included "Predators," "Sherlock Holmes," and "King Tut." The museum also includes an art gallery with rotating shows from local and regional artists, and a gift shop featuring many fair-trade items from around the world. There is an admission fee for the museum, which is operated by the Washoe County Regional Parks and Open Space.
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