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Buffalo Bill Memorial Association

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Art Museums, Arts & Culture, History Museums, Museums, Natural History & Natural Science Museums

Mission: The center is the world leader in presenting authentic interpretation and compelling experiences about the american west. Through our ideas, collections, and programs we educate worldwide audiences about the past, present, and future of the american west.

Programs: Curatorial, collections and conservation:the center is accredited by the american alliance of museums. The library, curatorial, conservation and museum services departments care for more than 104,000 collection objects, 7,800 linear feet of archival and manuscript collections, 1 million historic photographs, 36,000 books, and an outdoor sculpture collection of over 20 bronzes and ferrous objects. As the only conservation laboratory within an institution in wyoming, our conservator routinely responds to inquiries from museums and the public in wyoming and the interior west. Center curators, archivists, and collections managers also routinely counsel and assist smaller institutions and individuals in wyoming and the rocky mountain region. The center presented the following special exhibits on site:cody to the world: celebrating 100 years at the buffalo bill center of the west, displaying objects from our 100-year history. Out west where the north begins: harold mccracken in alaska and the arctic, 1916-1928, documented some of the adventures of harold mccracken, the first professional director of the center. That day: pictures in the american west by laura wilson, more than eighty large-scale images of contemporary inhabitants of the american west. Edward curtis's the north american indian, a traveling exhibition to public and academic libraries throughout wyoming. Charlie's circle: the art and influence of charles m. Russell the center presented the following symposia: the buffalo bill centennial symposium - the first significant scholarly conference to examine the life and legacy of william f. "buffalo bill" cody since the early 1980s. An anthology of the articles presented at the symposium is being compiled to be published in the william f. Cody series on the history and culture of the american west. Arsenals of history: firearms and museums in the 21st century, the first full-scale symposium dedicated to the academic and material culture study of firearms. Forged and founded: western american sculpture. High elevation archaeology and human ecology symposium, co-organized with the wyoming archaeology society and wyoming society of professional archaeologists and in partnership with the park county historic preservation commission. The center has continued to pursue digitization of collections to increase accessibility for research and educational purposes.

education:the center presented the following educational programs in 2017:schools at the center - attendance on-site for schools was 5,118 in 2017. Over 1,200 total students visited the center through our miles program which provides scholarships, lodging, and transportation for students in wyoming, montana, and colorado. Internet-based learning - through a partnership with microsoft in education's skype in the classroom, center educators reached nearly 25,000 students in 25 countries with interactive lessons on various topics tailored to different age groups. Family fun days - over 1,000 people attended several programs to help families have fun interacting with each other and our exhibits through hands-on activity stations. 2017 events included winterfest, back to the future, hootin' howlin' halloween, and fallfest. Chuckwagon cooking demonstrations - knowledgeable cooks made history come to life by talking to more than 7,800 visitors about cooking on a cattle drive, making dutch oven biscuits, beans, and coffee over a campfire and serving them to visitors. Visiting artists - seven visiting artists provided demonstrations of their work and interacted with visitors in the galleries. Off-campus programs - a geology float down the shoshone river, a parfleche workshop for adults, a discovery field trip for middle school kids in grand teton national park, and arrowheads, atlases, and archaeology were presented to various age groups. Tour guide program - education staff conducted guided tours of the center, serving 3,746 visitors. Spotlight programs - docents and staff presented twenty-minute spotlight programs featuring a variety of museum topics to more than 4,500 visitors. Programs included the essential chuckwagon, the story of "the scout," the sculptures of a. P. Proctor, firearms of the west and annie oakley. Bear aware programs, in partnership with the u. S. Forest service, discussed bear safety and good habits to practice in bear country. Preschool program - in the fall of 2017 we launched a preschool program at the center which collaborates with area pre-schools and park county school district #6 to offer tours to 3-5 year olds. The goal of the program is to help bridge the gap between pre-school and kindergarten, and expose these young learners to our amazing collections and opportunities at the center of the west. Virtual arapaho village - an education intern and a volunteer with experience with virtual reality created the foundation for a virtual experience in conjunction with the plains indian museum. Adult offerings - programs are offered throughout the year for adult learners and include docent training, cody culture club, buffalo gals luncheon, behind the scenes tours of the center, coffee with curators, insider experiences, lunchtime expedition and draper after dark lecture series, and numerous other lectures and author talks. Friday family activities -family activities are offered every friday afternoon during the summer, with three hands-on stations engaging visitors in the theme of the month. In june, the focus was on plains indian culture with trade activities, dime novel recreations, and plains indian crafts. In july, the theme was geology, and participants were taught about the volcanic rocks of the region, as well as the geo-thermal features of yellowstone. In august, stations centered on water, allowing participants to make the grand prismatic spring with coffee filters and tying flies and catching "fish" while learning about healthy stream systems. Intern program - in 2017 the center hosted 19 interns who worked in a variety of museum departments including conservation, curatorial, registration, and education. Each internship is designed to give participants hands-on knowledge in their field and the opportunity to learn from museum professionals. The real strength of this program is that the impact is effectively doubled, aiding the center as well as the student. Draper museum raptor experience - the center is home to 11 birds that are injured or otherwise unable to survive in the wild. Staff and volunteers present live programs daily at the center and to schools and other organizations as requested. Staff and volunteers presented 512 programs attended by 33,200 people.

research and scholarship:the papers of william f. Cody: the papers of william f. Cody published three books in coordination with university of oklahoma press for the william f. Cody series on the history and culture of the american west: julia bricklin's america's best female sharpshooter: the rise and fall of lillian frances smith, steve friesen's lakota performers in europe: their culture and the artifacts they left behind, and the popular frontier: buffalo bill's wild west and transnational mass culture, edited by frank christianson. Papers' staff wrote an article for america in britain, summer 2017, entitled "buffalo bill: the cosmopolitan frontier hero," published by the american museum in britain, bath, united kingdom. The staff of the papers, in collaboration with the center for research in the digital humanities at the university of nebraska-lincoln, digitized, transcribed, annotated, and uploaded 266 newspaper articles to www. Codyarchive. Org as well as the 1896 buffalo bill's wild west route book. Academic research: staff contributed scholarly essays to the best of proctor's west: an in-depth study of eleven of proctor's bronzes, published four articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals, and wrote a two-part article on harold mccracken's career for the center's points west magazine. Scientific research continues on a long-term project to monitor golden eagle nest occupation and productivity, and examine predator-prey dynamics in relation to variations in weather, landscape composition, and land use in northwestern wyoming's bighorn basin. Known as the east yellowstone raptor ecology initiative (eyri), the study has garnered international attention.

Community Stories

1 Story from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!