Our third pick for museums was the Whitney Western Art Museum and I would say that of all of the five museums in the center this was the least interesting to us. We have had the privilege of visiting some pretty spectacular art museums in our travels and this just didn’t compare. Still it was worth a walk through if pressed for time I wouldn’t put it at the top of the list.
My favorite section of the museum was dedicated to Alexander Proctor. He was a leading animalier which is an artist known for realistic portrayals of animals. They had a giant plaster statue he used to create a famous statue of Teddy Roosevelt and lots of his other work.
Along with the art museum there was also a special exhibit area dedicated to the 150th anniversary of Yellowstone. It was a bit of an eclectic mix, but I did enjoy some cool paintings of waterfalls in Yellowstone.
We had covered a lot of ground but at this point I was starving. We wanted to have the Chinese buffet in town because none of the cities in this area have one but unfortunately it is closed on Sundays. Instead we went to the Irma Cody hotel and lucked into their Sunday buffet. It had ham, fish, prime rib and a very nice salad bar. I thought it was a great value for the money and eating in the historic hotel was really cool.
While we were there we heard that the roulette wheel from the hotel was actually in the Buffalo Bill museum so when we headed back that was the first thing we saw. I have to say that museum was very well done and the life of Buffalo Bill Cody was pretty interesting.
His father died when he was young and he started working for a freight company when he was only 11 years old. He did a brief stint with the pony express and gathered buffalo for the army to eat.
He married very young and ultimately outlived all of his children. He and his wife did become grandparents though and they founded Cody, WY. His big claim to fame was his Wild West show which was pretty amazing. Over time the show included riders from all over the world and did residencies in New York and London. Unfortunately the show seemed to constantly be in financial trouble and he made and lost fortunes several times over. Still we were lucky enough to see some movies from the show itself and it looks pretty spectacular.
The diversity of his show was really unheard of for its time and based on what we read did quite a bit for Native American / White people relations. It also promoted the American West to Europeans. There certainly is more to the Native American story in the West though and I will save that for my next post about the Plains Museum.
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