Frazier History Museum

The Founder's Gallery

Owsley Brown Frazier, 2000. Robert Alexander Anderson, Frazier History Museum Collection

Owsley Brown Frazier, 2000.
Robert Alexander Anderson, Frazier History Museum Collection

On March 9, 2018, the Frazier Museum opened the Founder’s Gallery, a permanent addition dedicated to the museum’s founder, local philanthropist Owsley Brown Frazier. 

Born in Louisville in 1935, Owsley Brown Frazier was the grandson of George Garvin Brown, founder of alcohol distributor Brown-Forman. After graduating from the University of Louisville he joined Brown-Forman in 1960, became its Director of Personnel in 1964 and served as its Vice-Chairman from 1983 to 2000, at which point he retired but remained on the Board of Directors. A renowned philanthropist, Frazier was one of the leading individual donors to Jewish Hospital, Frazier Rehab Institute, University of Louisville, Bellarmine University and Kentucky Country Day. Before he passed away in 2012 his charitable donations were estimated to total over $500 million.

An avid collector of historic weapons, Frazier donated his arms collection to the Frazier Historical Arms Museum, now called the Frazier History Museum, an institution bearing his name which opened in 2004. With the addition of the Founder’s Gallery the Frazier seeks to honor the man, the collection and the legacy he left behind. This exhibit features a rotating cast of historically significant arms such as Buffalo Bill’s rifle, Colt firearms, Custer’s ivory-coated pistol, Geronimo’s bow and quiver of arrows, a Remington Cane gun, selections from the Jesse James Collection and Teddy Roosevelt’s “Big Stick”; as well as international artifacts, including an Austrian Wheelock Rifle, a German Crossbow, a German Snap Matchlock Target Rifle, a Jingasa helmet, a Philippine Crossbow and two suits of Samurai armor.