Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Recently Rebecca West, the curator of the Plains Indian Museum, discovered an unique feather bonnet in the Paul Dyck Buffalo Culture Collection. The bonnet didn’t look like any of the typical bonnets seen previously.

Proctor Self-Portrait, 1882. Oil on paperboard, 26 x 22 inches. Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming. Gift of A. Phimister Proctor Museum with special thanks to Sandy and Sally Church. 2.16.9

Alexander Phimister Proctor was a known as the sculptor in buckskin. Born in Canada, he fell in love with the American West and most of his work featured the West. However, he didn’t only sculpt, he occasionally painted.

Image Courtesy the Cody Firearms Museum, Gift of Olin Corporation, Winchester Arms Collection

The wheellock rifle was invented in the 1500s. These were incredibly popular guns in England during the 1600s so there are many that have survived until modern times.

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Edward B. Stabler. 1.69.2641 Buffalo Bill Museum, Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, WY

Theodore Roosevelt worked hard during his presidency to conserve the natural resources of the United States. As such, he was often traveling around the West. During these trips, he often went out on hunting expeditions.

Kamila Kudelska


The black-footed ferret is one of the fiercest, tiny predators. In the 1950’s scientists suspected the predators had gone extinct in the wild. But Corey Anco, the assistant curator of the Draper Natural History Museum, says in 1981 there was a new discovery.

The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection, acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson Family and the Estate of Margaret S. Coe

At the turn of the century, ethnologists and anthropologists were trying to collect objects from different Plains Indian cultures, since they believed the cultures would not survive. The “laundry list,” as it was referred to, attempted to collect everything special and unique from the disappearing cultures. This usually included fancier items like beaded clothing, since they were considered to be more aesthetically pleasing.

The M1 Carbine is a short, lightweight rifle that was introduced during World War II and then used throughout most of the rest of the 20th century. The army developed the rifle as an alternative to their big and heavy M1 Garand rifle, which was close to nine or ten pounds.

Kamila Kudelska

The American cheetah is a prehistoric mammal that roamed Northern Wyoming in the Miocene and the Pleistocene Epoch. The American cheetah is thought to be the driving evolutionary force responsible of the speed of today’s pronghorn antelope.

Kamila Kudelska


A new permanent exhibition at the Draper Natural History Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West focuses on golden eagle research but it also looks at how golden eagles have been and still are significant to the Plains Indian people.

Kamila Kudelska

When museums have special exhibitions, what visitors don't know is that it takes years for the exhibit to evolve from a concept to the moment you are standing in front of that famous work of art. The Whitney Western Art Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West just opened its new exhibit featuring the famous Western American artist, Albert Bierstadt. But the process behind securing loans is not so easy.

Rifle was a gift to the Buffalo Bill Museum from Mrs. George T. Beck in 1970.

There are stories, which pass through hearsay but one can never be sure if the story is completely true. The Buffalo Bill Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West was aware of a story behind a certain Winchester Carbine but not until recently were they able to prove it.

Courtesy of the Cody Firearms Museum

The earliest known reference to the Winchester Arms Collection is a letter from Oliver Winchester to R.S. Lawrence in 1871. Oliver Winchester asked to have the Jennings rifle for his collection because it was a link to the development of the Winchester lever action.

Albert Bierstadt—He’s a late 19th-century artist, most well-known for his majestic landscape paintings of the Wind River Range, Yellowstone and the American West. But there's more to him than paintings of grand open spaces. The Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody and the Gilcrease Museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma worked together to create an exhibit exploring Bierstadt’s influence on conservation and wildlife management in America. It’s called Albert Bierstadt: Witness to the Changing West. Kamila Kudelska speaks talks to three museum curators as they tell the little-known story of a beloved American artist. 

Courtesy of the Cody Firearms Musuem

Recently the Cody Firearm Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West hosted a number of museum curators who have major gun collections. The topic of conversation centered on the ethics of firearms and the role of curators in educating the public about guns. 

Kamila Kudelska

It’s a weird story not often told at museums since it’s against the rules. But at the Whitney Western Museum of Art, there’s one painting visitors can’t resist touching.

Kamila Kudelska

During the 19th century, Winchester Repeating Arms Company and Colt’s Patent Firearms Manufacturing Company frequently played with each other’s markets. One would manufacture double barrel shotguns another would then import double barrel shotguns. But Colt always had the lever while Winchester had the revolver.

1996. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Israel of Aspen, Colorado. Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

George Custer is most famous for the battle he did not survive: The Battle of the Little Bighorn. Popularly known as “Custer’s Last Stand,” it took place in Montana Territory against a coalition of Native American tribes. But a new exhibition at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West portrays Custer and his wife, Libby’s, personal possessions in an effort to create a picture not focused on his last battle.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

This week the second symposium dedicated to firearm museums and collections is being held at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Last year marked the first time firearm collections and museums came together to discuss the industry. There are about two dozen prominent firearm collections and museums in the United States. This year the symposium concentrates on the ethics of firearms in museums.

Kamila Kudelska

The Draper Natural History Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West will open a new permanent exhibition on June 10. The exhibition focuses on the last ten years of research on golden eagle activity in the Bighorn Basin. Golden eagles are a top predator so by studying the top of the food chain, researchers are learning not just about the bird but also about the dynamics of animals they eat and the ecosystem they live in.  

When a museum receives a mass donation of artifacts, it’s up to the museum staff to document every single object. And this is what happened when the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West received the Paul Dyke Buffalo Cultural Collection

Hunter Old Elk


The Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has partnered with the Creative Indigenous Collective (CIC). A group of Northern Plains indigenous artists created the collective to promote contemporary native art. This is the first time the Plains Indian Museum is partnering with modern artists. 

Chuck Preston

Bear 104 was a female grizzly bear who made her home on the edge of Yellowstone National Park and Shoshone National Forest, near a very heavily used road. As tourists drove to the east entrance of Yellowstone, they would be lucky enough to see Bear 104 and her cubs throughout the years.

Bethany Yellowtail

March is Women’s History Month. Hunter Old Elk, the curatorial assistant of the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, recently took a moment at Northwest College to highlight Women Warriors or Indigenous women of the 21st century. Old Elk who herself is of the Crow Nation and Yakama Nation spoke to Wyoming Public Radio’s Kamila Kudelska about how two Crow women have inspired her to promote contemporary native voices. The first: Bethany Yellowtail.

Wikipedia Commons

The University of Wyoming is teaming up with the Center of the West in Cody to research archeological materials not typically found in most of Wyoming and the Mountain West.

Most of Wyoming’s archeology focuses on rocks, tools, and bones with knife markings, but as part of a new class, ten students will be looking at perishable items going back about 11,000 years. Brigid Grund, one of the class’s instructors, said it’s important to open students’ minds to the possibilities that perishables hold.  

University of Oklahoma Press

When you think of the American West, you don’t often think of Europe. But William F. Cody, widely known as Buffalo Bill, did. The American frontiersman, army scout and eventual showman was the founder of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West exhibition, a popular traveling show in the late 19th and early 20th century. When he first created the show, Cody’s ultimate goal was to make it to Europe.

 

 

Meghan Chapman Twitter: @mrs_chapman3

Teachers and educators globally are beginning to incorporate technology more in their classrooms. Microsoft’s Skype in the Classroom breaks the walls of classrooms, allowing students to take virtual field trips to museums, zoos, and other institutions. One of the facilities is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody. The museum has situated itself to be one of the program’s most prolific partners.

David Blank

For the past three years, the Whitney Western Art Museum of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody lent over eighty works of art from their main collection for a traveling exhibition: Go West! Art of the American Frontier

Since 2013, the Western American art exhibit traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, Omaha, Nebraska and Palms Springs, California. But on December third, Go West! Will open its’ doors for the last time at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts in Salt Lake City.

centerofthewest.org

  

The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is in the midst of a major upgrade of the Cody Firearms Museum. The Museum’s Robert W. Woodruff curator Ashley Hlebinsky says it’s more than just a western firearms museum. She discusses the museum with Wyoming Public Radio’s Bob Beck.

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

A new exhibit featuring the works of American painter John Mix Stanley will open at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody this weekend, thanks in part to a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Peter Hassrick curated the exhibit. He says Stanley’s paintings of life in the American West in the 19th century are distinguished from his contemporaries.

"He approached it as fine art as opposed to documentation, as fine art as opposed to ethnographic studies," he says.

He also says a comprehensive presentation of Stanley’s work is long overdue.

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