The Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Cody Firearms Museum brings international firearms experts and museum professionals to Cody, Wyoming, for a July symposium, Arsenals of History: Firearms and Museums in the 21st Century. The two-day event takes place immediately after the Winchester Arms Collectors Association Annual Show in Cody.
As a part of the Center of the West’s year-long Centennial celebration, the symposium opens July 17 in the Center’s Coe Auditorium; sessions that day are open to the public and free. The July 18 program is only open to and designed specifically for the museum community and requires advanced registration, which is open through Cody Firearms Museum Assistant Curator Danny Michael.
“Museums with firearm collections face unique challenges and interpretive questions,” says Ashley Hlebinsky, the Robert W. Woodruff Curator of the Cody Firearms Museum. “This symposium brings together authorities in the field to begin creating practical guidelines for museums with firearms.”
Early this year Hlebinsky received the prestigious Grits Gresham Shooting Sports Communicator Award, awarded annually at the Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade Show (SHOT Show) in Las Vegas. She and Michael organized the symposium. They both serve as presenters along with several additional experts from museums across the country and Britain that maintain firearm collections.
Day 1, July 17, free and open to the public, features speakers and session leaders from the following institutions: Cody Firearms Museum, National Rifle Association’s Museums Division (Fairfax, VA), Autry Museum of the American West (Los Angeles), Springfield (MA) Armory National Historic Site, United States Marshals Museum (Fort Smith, AR), Art Institute of Chicago, Smithsonian Institution National Firearms Collection (Washington, DC), Colonial Williamsburg (VA), Royal Armouries Museum (United Kingdom), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY).
A highlight of the July 17 program is the participation of Anne Strainchamps, host of the radio show To the Best of Our Knowledge, which airs on both Wisconsin Public Radio and National Public Radio. She moderates a lunchtime session on remaining neutral with firearms that will be broadcast using Facebook Live!
Michael notes, “We think this will be a great educational opportunity, both for the public to learn about some of the world’s great firearms collections, and for museum professionals that want to care for and interpret firearms.”
Day 2, July 18, open only to museum professionals who seek to advance their knowledge and expertise in working with firearms in museum collections. Cost for the day is $15, and advanced registration is required to attend; contact Danny Michael at [email protected] or 307-578-4099 with questions and to register. Sessions take place in the Center’s Coe Auditorium and lunch on July 18 is included.
Discussion topics and session moderators for July 18 include the following:
- Firearms Perception with Historic Arms, Richard Moll, Autry Museum of the American West
- Education, Public Access, and Answering the Press, Ashley Hlebinsky, Cody Firearms Museum
- Shooting the Collection, Jonathan Ferguson, Royal Armouries Museum
- Legal Issues for Museums with Firearms, David Kennedy, United States Marshals Museum
- Conservation, Storage, and Handling, Beverly Perkins, Center of the West
- Online Accessibility of Collections, Danny Michael, Cody Firearms Museum
- Forming an Association and Publishing, Ashley Hlebinsky.
For more information on the symposium as well as the detailed program schedule for each day, visit centerofthewest.org/firearms-symposium.
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. #100YearsMore