The headline read: “Buffalo Bill Center of the West receives important Plains Indian collection.”
About the collection, then Plains Indian Museum Curator Emma I. Hansen said, “Consisting primarily of many early to mid-nineteenth century Plains Indian cultural materials, the Paul Dyck Collection is recognized by scholars as one of the largest and most significant private collections of Native American art and artifacts. Bringing the Paul Dyck Collection to the Plains Indian Museum ensures that these exceptional objects are preserved, and the collection remains intact for current and future generations of interested Native Americans and others with interests in Plains Indian arts and cultures.”
That was March 8, 2006, and this summer, Hansen’s book about the collection, Plains Indian Buffalo Cultures: Art from the Paul Dyck Collection, is now available for sale. Copies are available for purchase at the Center’s store, both on-site and online, Legend’s Bookstore in downtown Cody, Wyoming, and on Amazon.com.
“A highlight of my experience as Curator, and later, Senior Curator, of the Plains Indian Museum was the acquisition of and opportunity to research and interpret the renowned Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection...[an] assemblage of Plains Indian artistry and related historical materials documenting the lives and cultures of the Native people of the Great Plains.”
Throughout his career, artist Paul Dyck (1917 – 2006) assembled more than 2,000 19th-century artworks created by the buffalo-hunting peoples of the Great Plains. Only with its acquisition by the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has this legendary collection become available to the general public.
Published by University of Oklahoma Press, Hansen’s book is richly illustrated with more than 160 color photographs and historical images, and showcases a wide array of masterworks created by members of a host of Plains Indian tribes. The author provides an overview of Dyck’s collection, analyzing its representations of Native life and heritage alongside the artist-collector’s desire to assemble the finest examples of nineteenth-century Plains Indian arts available to him.
The Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection was acquired through the generosity of the Dyck family and additional gifts of the Nielson family and the estate of Margaret S. Coe. Unless otherwise noted, all the works featured in Hansen’s book are from the Dyck Collection.
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.