Paul Dyck

Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection Preview

Note: a new gallery on the lower level of the Plains Indian Museum is now dedicated to this collection. Click here to read more.

Several  beautiful objects from the Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection are currently on view in the Plains Indian Museum Land of Many Gifts Gallery. This is just a small preview of objects from the collection, which totals more than 2,000 artifacts.

Preview exhibit, Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection“The pieces we have chosen represent a small portion of the collection,” Plains Indian Museum Curator Emma Hansen said. “We wanted to give people a good sample of what we’ve been working on.”

As more objects from the collection become available, they will continue to be rotated for display, so please return often to see new and wonderful pieces.

The artist Paul Dyck (1917 – 2006) devoted his life to the study of cultures and histories of Plains Indian people. With origins in his father’s collection begun in 1886 while living near the Blood Reserve in Alberta, Canada, Paul Dyck systematically expanded his collection over many years to represent excellence in Plains artistry and creativity through long-standing friendships and family relationships with Blackfeet, Crow, Cheyenne, Assiniboine, Arapaho, Nez Perce, Pawnee, Kiowa, Comanche, Otoe, and other Plains Native peoples.

The 2,000 piece collection consists of objects dating from late 1700s to 1890s. Dyck identified this period as the “Buffalo Culture” era. With many individual pieces of exceptional artistry and historic significance, the collection as a whole includes works from every Plains tribe and, through exhibition, study, and interpretation, illustrates and commemorates tribal cultures and lives which form a significant component of the heritage of the American West.

The Paul Dyck Collection includes objects associated with individuals of national significance in American cultural history including leaders such as Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce; great Lakota leaders Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse; the last recognized chief of the Crow nation, Plenty Coups; Mountain Chief, leader of the Blackfeet; and historic explorers, Lewis and Clark. Other collection materials are associated with significant historical events including firearms and other weapons used at the Battle of Little Bighorn and objects associated with Curly and White Swan of the Crow 7th Cavalry scouts at the battle.

In September 2007, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center acquired the collection to ensure its preservation for current and future generations. In January 2009, the Historical Center was awarded a “Save America’s Treasures” grant for the long term preservation of the Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection.

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.

This project is supported in part by Save America’s Treasures through a partnership between the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.