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 recipient of TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence for 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 the Center recently named the “Top Western Museum” by True West magazine. 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:
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 Cody Firearms Museum examines the people and culture of the American West through the world’s most comprehensive exhibit of American firearms.
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: Six live birds of prey including golden eagle, peregrine falcon, red-tailed hawk, great horned owl, turkey vulture, and American kestrel. Daily programs and opportunities to ask questions of handlers. Call 307-578-4111 for specific information and current schedule.
Plains Indian Museum Powwow (June 17 – 18, 2017): 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.
Invisible Boundaries: Exploring Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations (through 2016): This exhibition focuses on the migrations of elk and other charismatic, wide-ranging wildlife in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, exploring the challenges these animals face as they leave Yellowstone National Park and cross into surrounding multiple-use and private lands in search of winter resources. Their journeys link the ecosystem’s outermost foothills and ranchlands to its deepest, mountain wilderness. The exhibition’s three main partners—scientist Arthur Middleton, photographer Joe Riis, and artist James Prosek—collaborated to take a multi-disciplinary approach to the complex subject.
Inspiring Sights: Yellowstone through Artists’ Eyes (through 2017): These works of art celebrate Yellowstone National Park. Comprised of selections from the Whitney Western Art Museum’s permanent collection and important regional loans, Inspiring Sights: Yellowstone through Artists’ Eyes, examines Yellowstone as an unrivaled source of inspiration and heralds artists as champions of its wild beauty.
Yellowstone Discovered: William Henry Jackson’s Lost Prints Reveal the Park for America (through winter 2017): View a selection of rare Albertype photographs of what became Yellowstone National Park, in digital reproduction form. The images taken by photographer William Henry Jackson while on the 1871 geological survey of the park led by Ferdinand V. Hayden, reveal the area’s spectacular landscapes and geologic wonders. After the trip Jackson and his partners produced beautiful prints called “Albertypes” from gelatin-coated glass plates.
Journeying West: Distinctive Firearms from the Smithsonian (ongoing): Explore this collection of 64 unique firearms from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. Among the objects on display from the National Firearms Collection are a one-of-a-kind African musket that belonged to Thomas Jefferson, one of Catherine the Great’s rifles, and a multi-blade folding “knife” with 100 utensils, including a five-shot, .22 pinfire revolver. Notable are innovative and rare prototypes and patent models—some of which were downright dangerous.
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, Curator, Buffalo Bill Museum and Western American History; Managing Editor, The Papers of William F. Cody
- Dr. Charles R. Preston, Willis McDonald IV Senior Curator of Natural Science, Draper Natural History Museum
- Rebecca West, Curator of Plains Indian Cultures, Plains Indian Museum
- 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/
- Bruce B. Eldredge, Executive Director and CEO
- Baron G. Collier II, 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
- Marguerite House, 307-578-4137, firstname.lastname@example.org