Buffalo Gals Luncheon
May 24, 11:45 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Join us for our Spring Buffalo Gals Luncheon on May 24 when Hunter Old Elk presents Apsáalooke Women’s Virtues: The Role of Women in Crow Indian Culture. In her presentation, Old Elk uses ethnography, oral traditions, and scholarship to understand gendered roles in Crow culture.
Cost for our luncheon is just $25 for Buffalo Bill Center of the West members and $35 for non-members. Not yet a Buffalo Bill Center of the West member? Click here to find out more and join!
Space is limited for this always-popular event, so be sure to reserve your seat today by e-mailing our Membership Office or calling 307-578-4008.
About Our Speaker:
Biiawassania (Woman Who Leads), Crow/Yakama grew up on the Crow Indian Reservation in Southeastern Montana and is currently the Curatorial Assistant for the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in history at Mount St. Mary’s University. She has always been inspired by the lives of Native American women who lived and thrived on the Plains. Her life’s work is dedicated to their complex legacies.
Rolling Thunder: 10,000 Years of Bison in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
By Kenneth P. Cannon
June 1, 2017
Join us for the June Draper Natural History Museum Lunchtime Expedition lecture, when Kenneth P. Cannon, PhD, presents Rolling Thunder: 10,000 Years of Bison in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
In 2016, President Barack Obama signed into law the National Bison Legacy Act, which designates the bison as the official mammal of the United States. This is the latest episode for a species that faced near extinction a century ago with its recovery celebrated as a great victory for conservation. However, controversy surrounding the bison has not abated and is most acute in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), where bison are attacked for spreading brucellosis and the potential impact this has to the local cattle industry to the question of whether it is a native species of the Yellowstone Plateau. The story of bison in the GYE encapsulates the larger history of the North American bison, as well as our history of public land management.
The precontact record of bison in the GYE extends back at least 10,000 years and is variously represented by single skeletal elements associated with short term camp sites to massive and logistically complex bison jumps. The role of bison in American Indian economies and as a major component of the native faunal community has undergone a range of interpretations over the past few decades. These have ranged from not being native and only present due to intentional introduction, to being relatively uncommon and therefore not a consistent prey species for precontact human groups, to being a substantial member of the native faunal community. Interestingly, in comparing faunal assemblage composition, bison are typically the most common species identified. Many of these opinions have been based upon the fallacy that an absence of evidence is evidence of absence without fully understanding the nature of the record and how it came to be observed.
In his talk, Cannon explores the taphonomic, historical, and cultural processes that influence how the paleorecord is observed and the influence this has had on interpretation. For example, the soils of the Yellowstone Plateau tend to be shallow, coarse-grained, well-drained, and subject to disturbance from burrowing rodents and tree throws. Further, bison hunting appears to have been conducted on an encounter-type hunting pattern of individual bison or small groups. These processes tend not to promote preservation or archaeological visibility. “It is imperative,” says Cannon, “that we bring the geologically historic record to bear on the issue of bison management—a policy recommended in recent National Research Council publications.”
About our speaker
Cannon is the president and owner of Cannon Heritage Consultants and a Research Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Utah State University. He previously spent 21 years with the National Park Service. He received his PhD in geography from the University of Nebraska where he used GIS and stable isotope analyses to understand the biogeography of prehistoric bison in the GYE. He served as the founding President of the Rocky Mountain Anthropological Association (2007–2013) and is currently the Vice Presiden for the Rocky Mountain Anthropological Association. Cannon has published in interdisciplinary journals such as Applied Computational Intelligence and Soft Computing, Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, Great Plains Research, and Plains Anthropologist. He has received numerous competitive grants from various federal and private entities, including the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the Earthwatch Institute, for his research. University of Utah Press has reissued a collection of papers he edited with Lee Lyman, Zooarchaeology and Conservation Biology, in paperback.
Draper Natural History Museum Lunchtime Expeditions are supported in part by Sage Creek Ranch.
Join us the first Thursday of each month April through December for a Lunchtime Expedition! These free lectures, supported in part by Sage Creek Ranch, explore a variety of natural history subjects and issues. Lectures take place in our Coe Auditorium at 12:15 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
Upcoming Lunchtime Expeditions:
- July 6: Jesse Boulerice with Past, Present, and Future for Black-footed Ferrets in Wyoming
- August 3: Todd Wilkinson and Tom Mengleson with An Afternoon with Grizzly 399
- September 7: Larry Todd with High Elevations, Old Sites, and New Perspectives on Human Paleoecology in Wyoming’s Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
- October 5: Corinna Riginos with Oh Deer! The Problem of Roads as Barriers to Deer Migrations and Movements in Wyoming
- November 2: Craig Lee with The Archaeology of Alpine Snow and Ice in the Mid-latitude Mountains of the Greater Yellowstone and Beyond
- December 7
Center of the West Members Reception
The Buffalo Bill Center of the West officially opens our 2017 special summer exhibitions on Friday, June 2 with a special members-only reception. Enjoy appetizers and a cash bar on the Tile Map in the lower level of the Draper Natural History Museum, adjacent to our Special Exhibitions Gallery, the site of these two exhibitions. Both open June 2 and remain on display through January 31, 2018:
Cody to the World! Celebrating 100 Years at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West
Between 1917 and 2017, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West grew alongside its local and regional communities in a changing America and a changing world. The passage of one hundred years allows us to look at the humble origins and impressive presence of the Center of the West on a larger scale. As part of this special exhibition, each of our five museums share a few additional pieces related to our Centennial.
Out West Where the North Begins: Harold McCracken in Alaska & the Arctic, 1916–1928
This special exhibition shares the remarkable story of Harold McCracken, namesake of our McCracken Research Library. Find out how this adventurer ultimately found himself in Cody, Wyoming. Out West where the North Begins focuses on the formative years McCracken spent in Alaska. He wanted to know the world of Alaska, its landscapes, native peoples, and wild creatures. As a writer, he hoped to represent it, as in re-create it for others; as a public personality, he sought to embody it himself.
McCracken’s story is an American tale—one of adventures, failures, successes, and the forging of a heroic identity based on frontier experiences. The exhibition invites comparison to the story our museum tells of William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody.
If you are not yet a member of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, visit our Membership section to learn about additional benefits, and to join online.
Coffee & Curators
We’re at capacity for this one! Please look ahead to our future Coffee & Curator programs (below) and make your reservations!
Join us for refreshments and a talk with Ashley Hlebinsky, Robert W. Woodruff Curator of the Cody Firearms Museum.
Our Coffee & Curators series invites members to enjoy coffee, refreshments, and each other as one of our staff speaks about a topic inspired by the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s permanent collections, including special up-close or behind-the-scenes access.
Space for this members event is limited and reservations are required. Call 307-578-4008 or e-mail us to reserve your seat. Meet us at the main entrance.
Not yet a member but interested in joining? Click here to find out more. You can even join online!
Don’t miss our upcoming Coffee & Curators events:
Wyoming & Montana Residents Appreciation Day
Sunday, June 4, 2017
As we celebrate our Centennial this year, we want to share the occasion with our closest neighbors—the residents of Wyoming and Montana! So, we extend FREE ADMISSION to you all day on Sunday, June 4. We’re open 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. Simply present valid photo identification upon arrival to admit yourself, spouse, and immediate family.
Join us for this event in honor of our Centennial as well as the opening of two new special exhibitions:
On view June 2, 2017 – January 31, 2018. Between 1917 and 2017, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West grew alongside its local and regional communities in a changing America and a changing world. The passage of one hundred years allows us to look at the humble origins, growth, and now impressive presence of the Center of the West on a larger scale.
Out West Where the North Begins: Harold McCracken in Alaska and the Arctic, 1916 – 1928
On view June 2, 2017 – January 31, 2018. This exhibition tells a Roaring Twenties Tale about Harold McCracken, the Center’s first director. Find out how a young adventurer won fame in Alaska and established the writing career that ultimately led him to Cody, Wyoming.
Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People
Wednesday, June 14, 1 p.m.
Join us for a lecture followed by a book signing by professor and award-winning author Elizabeth Fenn. Her illustrated slide-lecture derives from her Pulitzer Prize-winning book Encounters at the Heart of the World, which tells the story of North Dakota’s Mandan Indians. Widely known for hosting Lewis and Clark during the winter of 1804–1805, the Mandans proved resilient and adaptable in the face of challenges that included epidemics of smallpox and whooping cough and invasions of Norway rats.
The free lecture takes place in the Center’s Coe Auditorium, with the book signing to follow at the Center’s Museum Store.
About our speaker
Elizabeth Fenn received a 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People. She is also the author of Pox Americana: The Great Smallpox Epidemic of 1775–82, which was published in 2001. In 1983, she co-authored, with Peter H. Wood, Natives and Newcomers: The Way We Lived in North Carolina before 1770, a popular history of early North Carolina.
Fenn lives in Longmont, Colorado, and chairs the History Department at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she is also the Walter and Lucienne Driskill Professor of Western American History.
Artist Lecture by Laura Wilson followed by reception
That Day: Pictures in the American West
June 15, 2017
Public Lecture, Coe Auditorium, 4–5 p.m.
Members-only Reception, John Bunker Sands Photography Gallery, 5–6 p.m.
Artist and photographer Laura Wilson presents a one-hour public lecture focused on her special exhibition, That Day: Pictures in the American West, now on view in the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s John Bunker Sands Photography Gallery.
The lecture takes place in the Center’s Coe Auditorium and is followed by a members-only reception in the exhibition space where visitors have the opportunity to meet Wilson and view this amazing exhibition of large format photographs.
Find out more about That Day here.
Forged and Founded: Western American Sculpture
A Centennial Symposium
Saturday, June 17, 2017
9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
This year, 2017, marks the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Centennial. That’s one hundred years of research, collecting, exhibitions, and programs! As part of the festivities, the Whitney Western Art Museum hosts a special symposium to convene top art historians and trailblazing contemporary artists. The day’s discussion focuses on western American sculpture.
From the beginning, sculpture has been central to the Whitney’s story. The Whitney was founded around a monumental bronze, the iconic Buffalo Bill—The Scout. And today, its collection of sculpture is broad and deep—a defining strength of the museum’s holdings.
Sculpture has an important place in local history, too. Sculptors have long been drawn to Cody, situated just an hour beyond the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The region’s scenic beauty, cultural heritage, and relative remoteness have attracted artists of international renown. Today, contemporary sculptors are creating compelling works of art that expand and explode familiar definitions of western American art.
Forged and Founded: Western American Sculpture, A Centennial Symposium is a daylong examination of western American sculpture of the past, present, and future. The event features four thought-provoking talks in a morning session, a lively Lunch & Lecture, and a menu of optional tours, open houses around the community, and visual arts presentations during an afternoon session.
This multifaceted program holds appeal for scholars, professionals, students, and art and history enthusiasts with a range of interests. Coordinated with an eye toward variety, interactivity, and accessibility, Forged and Founded takes an innovative and engaging approach to scholarship on western sculpture.
- Antón García-Abril and Débora Mesa of Ensamble Studio, discuss their Structures of Landscape they created at Tippet Rise Art Center, Fishtail, Montana.
- Carol C. Clark, the William McCall Vickery 1957 Professor of the History of Art and American Studies-Emerita, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts, discusses American sculpture, 1850 – 1925.
- Nicole Harrison, the Whitney’s Curatorial Assistant, leads participants on an outdoor sculpture tour through the Center’s campus.
- Peter Hassrick, noted art historian, examines the work of sculptor Alexander Phimister Proctor.
- Phimister Proctor “Sandy” Church, grandson of A.P. Proctor; Beverly Perkins, the Center’s Chief Conservator; and Allison Rosenthal, a former Center intern, demonstrate how x-ray fluorescence in the study of bronzes.
- Dr. Ellen Roberts, Harold and Anne Berkley Smith Curator of American Art, Norton Museum, West Palm Beach, Florida, shares perspectives on sculptress Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.
- Area sculptors Tracy Linder, Dustin Payne, Vic Payne, and Linda Raynolds are on hand for visual arts presentations.
Attendees can expect to:
- Learn about the history of bronze casting in America.
- Hear from experts about renowned sculptors Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney and Alexander Phimister Proctor, their connections to Cody, and their impact on the national art scene.
- Consider groundbreaking contemporary sculpture in the West.
- Explore the bronze casting process as revealed by industry insiders who provide insight on this complicated—but compelling—art form.
- Interact with contemporary sculptors, and get the inside scoop on their artistic methods.
Forged and Founded coincides with the publication of Peter H. Hassrick’s The Best of Proctor’s West. It also draws on the subjects of two new exhibitions at the Center: Cody to the World! Celebrating 100 Years at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and a special spotlight exhibition in the Whitney’s Proctor Studio including new-to-view sculptures and paintings.
The event is a major public educational outreach program, and is the third in a regular series of western American art symposia coordinated by the Center of the West.
- $25 for student
- $55 for Center of the West members
- $65 for non-members
Pre-registration is encouraged. Lunch is included with registration.
Please contact Nicole Harrison at 307-578-4051 or firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
We gratefully acknowledge funding received from the Peters Family Art Foundation, Bill and Robin Weiss, Carlene Lebous and Harris Haston, Hope and Edward Connors, the Proctor Collection Endowment Fund, and a grant from thinkWY|Wyoming Humanities. Thank you for supporting the Whitney’s mission of advancing scholarship on the art of the American West.
Celebrate Native culture, dance, and arts
Join us for the 36th annual Plains Indian Museum Powwow, a cultural celebration and competitive dance competition, on June 17 and 18, 2017.
- June 17: Noon and 6 p.m.
- June 18: Noon
Dancers, drum groups, and artists from Northern Plains tribes gather to celebrate their vibrant cultural traditions and histories. Dance categories include traditional, jingle dress, fancy, grass, team dancing, tiny tots, and chicken dance. Men, women, teens, and children compete in various age groups for more than $25,000 in prizes. The Learning Tipi is a popular educational program that invites visitors to discover the traditions of powwow.
Visitors shop for authentic Indian jewelry, beadwork, quillwork, clothing, basketry, pottery, paintings, sculpture, and more at more than forty vendor booths, and enjoy fry bread and Indian taco vendors, as well as food and beverage concessions.
Admission Prices and Information
Powwow begins at noon both days with a Grand Entry. On Saturday a second Grand Entry takes place at 6 p.m. Powwow runs till about 9 p.m. Saturday and 6 p.m. Sunday. Gate opens to the public at 9:30 a.m. each day. Tickets are available at the gate or at the Center’s admissions desk beginning the Monday before Powwow. Admission is good for one day of the event.
- $10 for adults (18 and older)
- $5 for youths (7 – 17)
- Children 6 and younger free
- Dancers, drums, and their family members admitted free
- Center members receive $1 discount on admission price each day with a valid membership card
- Press passes are available with prior arrangements
Visitors are welcome to bring chairs or blankets for our outdoor grass amphitheater. No pets please. For travel and lodging information contact the Cody Chamber of Commerce. For general questions about visiting the Buffalo Bill Center of the West e-mail Nancy McClure or call 307-578-4102.
For Our Dancers
Dancers and their families receive a free pass to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West exhibits at dancer registration. Registration 8 a.m. – noon Saturday; late registration or for specials on stage both days. Contact: e-mail Hunter Old Elk or call 307-578-4012.
Our powwow includes 47 vendors who sell arts and crafts made by enrolled members of North American Indian tribes and Nations. No food booths please.
To apply to be a vendor at our 2017 Plains Indian Museum Powwow, download the application form to review all details, fill it out, and return it along with your deposit to Buffalo Bill Center of the West, ATTN: Hunter Old Elk, 720 Sheridan Avenue, Cody, Wyoming 82414.
To view the map of vendor spaces larger, please click on the image at right.
Questions? E-mail Hunter Old Elk or call her at 307-578-4012.
Thank You to Our Sponsors
Sponsors of the 2016 Plains Indian Museum Powwow:
In 2016, the Plains Indian Museum Powwow was sponsored through the generous support of Choice Aviation; Artie Yellowstone Jewelry; Coca Cola Distributing of Cody, Hal and Amalia Ramser; Whole Foods Trading Company in Cody, Wyoming; and The Local.
View a video glimpse of a powwow:
For information on all events, please visit our Events page.
Finding and Photographing Subjects for the People of Yellowstone Book
By Steve Horan, Freelance Photographer
June 23, 2017
Steve Horan first visited Yellowstone in 1984 when his brother, Jim, was employed as a seasonal worker at Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone National Park. Besides the beauty and wildness of the park, Steve was captivated by the human nature thriving there and started capturing these interesting people in photographs. The challenge was to photograph each person at the right moment and in the right place to best show an aspect of their particular story and their special relationship with Yellowstone. By the time Ruth W. Crocker, writer, joined the project to conduct interviews and write brief biographies of each person, Steve had collected more than one hundred portraits. Please join Steve Horan as he describes his journey traveling extensively inside the park, always with his camera close at hand, over roads and trails and up and down mountains to meet a range of people as wide as the park’s ecosystem. He’ll describe how each essay and photograph in the book tells a true story and expresses a personal perspective on what it’s like to experience Yellowstone from an “inside” point of view.
About our speaker
Steve Horan studied photography in Toronto and the U.S. and has worked in many aspects of the art. His photographs have been featured in many gallery exhibitions throughout North America. The People of Yellowstone book project united his passion for community and the human connection to the natural world. He spent five years crisscrossing three states to find collaborative subjects for the book. See more of his portraits at peopleofyellowstone.com.