The yearlong National Park Service 100th anniversary—officially taking place on August 25, 2016—is celebrated daily at Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. The adventurous spirit of the National Park Service can be found throughout the Center of the West’s galleries. For many travelers, the Center is the perfect place to kick off their own sight-seeing expeditions into Yellowstone National Park.
The Center’s new exhibition Inspiring Sights: Yellowstone through Artists’ Eyes displays more than forty works that celebrate Yellowstone’s beauty. Karen McWhorter, the Center’s Scarlett Curator of Western American Art, says, “This exhibition encourages visitors to view the world’s first national park through the eyes of artists who’ve been inspired by its wild beauty.”
The essence of the National Park Service can be viewed through four exhibitions that celebrate Yellowstone’s beauty at the Center. These exhibitions include Invisible Boundaries: Exploring Yellowstone’s Great Animal Migrations, Inspiring Sights: Yellowstone through Artists’ Eyes, Putting Yellowstone on the Map, and Yellowstone Discovered.
The Center contains five separate museums—the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Whitney Western Art Museum, the Plains Indian Museum, the Draper Natural History Museum, and the Cody Firearms Museum. Each gallery provides visitors with an authentic and intriguing view of the American West. Whether individuals are drawn to learning about the wildlife and ecology of Yellowstone in the Draper, or guns that influenced the West in the Cody Firearms Museum, there is always something new for visitors to learn at the Center.
The Whitney Western Art Museum is one of the galleries that illustrates the importance of the National Park Service’s preservation of Yellowstone, so that millions of travelers can enjoy its stunning sights each year. When artists first began crafting their interpretations of the magnificent scenery in Yellowstone, viewers that lived back East were compelled to travel out West to witness, for themselves, the unmatched beauty of the landscapes and wildlife. The artwork displayed in the Whitney represents some of the Park’s most breathtaking attractions such as Old Faithful and the Lower Falls.
McWhorter notes, “We hope visitors walk away from Inspiring Sights with a special appreciation for the ways in which artists—even prior to the Park’s founding—have celebrated the Yellowstone area and have done much to share its wonders with the world.” She adds, “Delve deeper by picking up an Inspiring Sights gallery guide, by viewing Yellowstone scenes through a stereoscope installed in the exhibition, or by joining a docent-led spotlight tour!”
Bruce Eldredge, the Center’s Executive Director and CEO, adds, “With so much about Yellowstone woven throughout the stories and collections of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a visit here will have visitors celebrating the National Park’s Centennial long before they reach the Park entrance.”
The Center of the West, located only 50 miles from the East Gate of Yellowstone, celebrates its own 100th anniversary in 2017.
To keep up with all the events and activities at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, visit centerofthewest.org/calendar.
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. For additional information, visit centerofthewest.org or the Center’s Facebook page.