Buffalo Bill Memorial Association
Rating: 5 stars 1 1 review
Issues: Arts & Culture
Location: 720 Sheridan Ave. Cody WY 82414 USA
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center is the world’s leader in presenting authentic interpretation and compelling experiences about the American West.
Through our ideas, collections, and programs, we educate and entertain worldwide audiences about the past, present, and future of the American West.
In all that we do,
In all that we say,
And to all whom we serve,
We obligate ourselves to value:
Our employees as respected colleagues;
Our supporters as esteemed associates;
Our visitors as welcomed guests;
Our scholarship as impeccably sound;
Our collections as irreplaceable treasures;
Our professional ethics as our aspiration;
Our community as our mainstay;
Our environment as a resource to be nurtured and sustained;
Our challenges as opportunities;
Our successes as shared triumphs;
Our failures as lessons learned.
Programs: As a collections based educational institution, theHistorical Center's programs actively interpret itspermanent and temporary exhibitions to enhance audienceexperience. Annual public programs, designed to advanceknowledge of the American West, include: Cowboy Songs andRange Ballads, held in early April; Larom Summer Instituteof Western American Studies, held 4 weeks in June/July;Plains Indian Powwow, held in late June; Frontier Festival,held in mid-July; Western Film Series, held from earlyJuly through mid-August; and Plains Indian Seminar, held inlate September. Thirty-seven lending programs serve as anextension of the Center in public/private schools as wellas nursing homes, scout camps, other museums and libraries.
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The Gala Fundraiser for the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theatre in Grand Lake was over and we’d “won”—a three-night stay in Cody, WY and tickets to some of the events at the September 2011 Rendezvous Royale! We were excited. With grandchildren in Alberta, we’d passed through Cody a number of times on our drive to Canada. But we were always in a hurry to get there or exhausted and ready to be home on the return drive to Colorado. We’d cruise by the Buffalo Bill Museum, give it a passing glance, and drive on. But this time, Cody would be our destination and the museum our focus!
My husband and I are career educators who lived, until 8 years ago, in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. We love learning, travel, history, and museums. Based on our experiences and the small size of the Cody community, we expected to be enthralled by the art events of the Rendezvous and underwhelmed by the museum. Some dusty artifacts, a few dioramas, and cowboy lore summed up our expectations.
We were absolutely astounded to enter the complex, obtain a brochure and read about what awaited us! The five major museum themes, the quality of the displays, the richness of resources and authenticity, the superb scholarship exemplified by the McCracken Library, and the gift shop that offered learning experiences to take home all combined to leave us excited and wanting more.
We toured and explored, experiencing the familiar frustration we’ve often had in high quality museums throughout the world—so much to see and read, study and ponder, and not nearly enough time! As relatively new to the West, we were fascinated by the Plains Indians wing, appreciative of the Firearms section, and intrigued by the art. The latter came to life in a number of ways as we participated in the Rendezvous events. We came a day early to fly fish on the Yellowstone River so the gallery devoted to Yellowstone offered greater insight into the outdoor region we’d just enjoyed. And then the namesake exhibit, a Western figure whom we’d confused with Wild Bill Hickock. (Remember our suburban background. We wore cowboy boots and Stetsons only for Halloween. All the Wild Bill’s seemed alike to us!)
We left enchanted and with hotel reservations to return in 2012. We also joined the museum, took home an armful of books about Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley, along with a terrific Western shirt to wear in Colorado. And then we called friends and family, sharing our enthusiasm and appreciation for the Museum and its offerings. The result—we’ll be joined by my sister from Illinois and four good friends from Grand Lake, all new to Cody and Buffalo Bill, but each one interested and excited.
May their fervor, like ours, expand the knowledge and support of this magnificent center that lies in a small town near Yellowstone. We envision returning again and again in the years to come!
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