Buffalo Bill Center of the West: Cody, Wyoming

Generally we follow Rule 7 above and move in a direction not to a destination.  After leaving the Wisconsin, we were moving in the direction of Cody.  Or it might be Cody was a destination.  We had been there before, and we wanted to see it again.

There is much to do and see in Cody, but we specifically wanted to visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.  Cody was founded by Buffalo Bill Cody.  Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney sculpted a statute of him called The Scout in 1924 paying for the entire project herself.  But she wasn’t pleased with two proposed locations, so she bought forty acres on the western side of the town. Those forty acres now encompass both the statue and the modern seven-acre building that houses the Center.

The Scout by Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney 1924

The original Buffalo Bill Museum was a 50 x 70 log building near the statue dedicated in 1927.  In 1955, Gertrude’s son “Sonny” donated a quarter of a million dollars to build a new building, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.

The new Center had five sections when we first saw it: the Buffalo Bill Museum; the Whitney Gallery of Western Art [1958] now the Whitney Western Art Museum; the Plains Indian Museum [1969], the Winchester Arms Museum, now the Cody Firearms Museum [1976, re-dedicated in 1991]; and the McCracken Research Library [1980].  The Draper Museum of Natural History opened in 2002.

We chose to visit just two sections.  This week, my pictures are from the Whitney Gallery of Western Art.  Next week, I will talk a little about the amazing and complicated life of Buffalo Bill.

Here are samples of sculpture:

Classical western art;

And contemporary western art.

Click on photos to enlarge.  Use the back arrow to return to the post.

Date of our visit: 17 September 2018


About ralietravels

Ray and Alie (Ralie) are a retired couple who love to travel. Even during our working years, we squeezed a trip in whenever we could, often when we had to stretch the budget to do so. We have been fortunate to vacation in all 50 states, all the provinces of Canada and one territory and a little more than 50 countries. We like to drive, but we particularly love to travel back roads to find unusual sights, people, and experiences.
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6 Responses to Buffalo Bill Center of the West: Cody, Wyoming

  1. Some terrific art here, especially among the sculpture – amazing movement and energy in the piece by Russell, and I love “Pasqualita” – superb characterisation and empathy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ralietravels says:

      It is a wonderful gallery often overlooked. I was very hard to decide which items to include in the post.
      In the 60’s, my boss had a Russell painting above his desk, and I have been a fan ever since. He wasn’t as famous as Remington, but he was a real Westerner and his work reflects his own experiences.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I very much like the contemporary art pieces that you are showing us!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rosemary Lakin says:

    Thank you again.

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    Liked by 1 person

  4. Keith & Loraine Beckman says:

    Sorry it took so long to view this but it was so neat to just see things once again. I have read lots of stories about Buffalo Bill plus a movie was made of him. thanks again for the beautiful pictures and history. Hugs Loraine

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We have seen Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park in North Platte, Nebraska, but not yet this place in Cody. One of these days we will retrace all your travels to Montana, Wyoming, and the Dakotas. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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