Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Media Fact Sheet
Official Name & Address:
Buffalo Bill Center of the West
720 Sheridan Avenue
Cody, Wyoming 82414
The Buffalo Bill Museum opened as a log cabin in 1927 in downtown Cody; in 1969 it moved to a new wing of what was then-named the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, joining the Whitney Western Art Museum (opened in 1959 as the Whitney Gallery of Western Art) on the Center’s campus. The Plains Indian Museum opened in 1979, the Cody Firearms Museum in 1976, the McCracken Research Library in 1980, and the Draper Natural History Museum in 2002.
The Center of the West at a Glance:
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West is the premier destination to experience the authentic story of the American West. Five world-class perspectives on aspects of the West mesh to move visitors to discover and develop personal connections to that story. A research library supports exploration of these perspectives.
The Center is an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. A repeat recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence from 2013 through 2019, the Center has also been named the “Top Western Museum” by True West magazine readers in its annual “Best of the West” awards.
The Center of the West takes visitors on an adventurous ride through the history of the American West via its 300,000 square feet of collections of artifacts, interactive displays, western art, and exhibits housed within five museums and one research library. The Center appeals to visitors of all ages and is an attraction that can be enjoyed over a few hours or a few days.
Less than a one-hour drive from Yellowstone National Park, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has become a memorable part of millions of family vacations and was recently named one of the “favorite museums for group travelers” by the National Tour Association.
The Center’s Five Museums and Research Library:
The Buffalo Bill Museum explores the history and myth of the American West through the private life of William F. Cody, his public persona of Buffalo Bill and the world-traveling spectacle—Buffalo Bill’s Wild West—that made him famous.
The Plains Indian Museum reveals how the art, history, traditions, and contemporary lives of Plains Indian peoples helped shape the character of the American West.
The Draper Natural History Museum illuminates the American West’s binding relationship between man and nature with a focus on the wildlife and landscapes of the Yellowstone region.
The Cody Firearms Museum* examines the people and culture of the American West through the world’s most comprehensive exhibit of American firearms. The museum reopened fully on July 6, 2019 after a complete renovation.
The Whitney Western Art Museum depicts the tapestry of the American West through the eyes of the artists who interpreted and defined it.
The McCracken Research Library advances the appreciation and understanding of the American West by preserving its archival history, supporting exploration of undiscovered resources, and making its large and significant photograph collection digitally accessible.
Draper Museum Raptor Experience: Eleven live birds of prey including golden eagle, bald eagle, peregrine falcon, red-tailed hawk, great horned owl, turkey vulture, American kestrel, short-eared owl, saw-whet owl, eastern screech owl, and Swainson’s hawk. Daily programs and opportunities to ask questions of handlers. Call 307-578-4111 for specific information and current schedule.
Plains Indian Museum Powwow (June 20–21, 2020): This annual competition showcases the dancing, music, and energy of Native artists from across the Northern Plains. The event includes two days of competition, as well as the opportunity for visitors to watch talented dancers and drum groups. Attendees can also browse the booths of more than 40 Native artists displaying food, clothing, and other crafts made by people of the Northern Plains.
44th Annual Patrons Ball fundraising gala (September 19, 2020): This black-tie event is our major fundraising extravaganza of the year—and the premier gala of the Rocky Mountain region. Enjoy cocktails, a gourmet dinner, dancing, a silent auction, and raffles. All proceeds benefit the programs and public activities of the Center. A highlight of the evening is the drawing for our annual raffles, one of which always features a classic car.
Other events and programs: visit our calendar for the latest information.
Whoop it Up! Celebrating 100 Years of the Cody Stampede tells the story of the Cody Stampede, a highly successful, multi-day rodeo event held every year since 1919, except during World War II. The special exhibition features vintage photographs, artwork, artifacts, film footage–and not a few surprises. It interprets the Stampede in the context of its precursor, Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, with its heroic portrait of the American cowboy taming wild broncs. It connects as well to the diverse cast of lady riders, cowgirls, trick riders and ropers, and bold equestrianism that made the Wild West a template for western rodeos throughout America. Open in the Anne and Charles Duncan Special Exhibition Gallery through sometime in early 2020.
Women in Wyoming celebrates Wyoming’s incredible women through an immersive experience featuring large-scale portraits, and audio soundscape, and interactive elements. The exhibition and project on which it is based was created by photographer and artist Lindsay Linton Buk to tell the stories of achievements, power, and learned wisdom of contemporary Wyoming women. Linton Buk explains, “It gives women strong examples to look up to and show the many pathways to success in the rural West today.” Open in the Center’s John Bunker Sands Photography Gallery through August 2, 2020.
Future exhibitions: visit our Upcoming Exhibitions page to see what’s coming up.
Center curators, staff, and local historians are also available to members of the media seeking to add layers of colorful commentary, facts, and stories to their editorial coverage.
- Jeremy Johnston, Historian; Hal and Naoma Tate Endowed Chair of Western American History; Managing Editor, The Papers of William F. Cody
- Nathan Doerr, Curator, Draper Natural History Museum
- Rebecca West, Curator, Plains Indian Museum; Collier-Read Director of Curatorial, Education, and Museum Services
- Karen McWhorter, Scarlett Curator of Western American Art, Whitney Western Art Museum
- Ashley Hlebinksy, Robert W. Woodruff Curator, Cody Firearms Museum
- Mary Robinson, Housel Director, McCracken Research Library
Downloadable, high-resolution images of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West are available to media at: https://centerofthewest.org/about-us/pr-images/
- Peter S. Seibert, Executive Director and CEO
- William N. “Bill” Shiebler, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
- Board of Trustees
- Advisory boards comprised of scholars, collectors, and donors have been appointed for each content area and the library
- Levi Meyer, PR/Marketing Manager, 307-578-4137, [email protected]