The Center of the West reborn

It's a difficult question--what 25 objects would I risk my life to save and use as the foundation of a "new" Buffalo Bill Center of the West. I believe they should represent the West itself, but the story of the West means different things to different people and cultures. If this is truly to remain the "Center" of the West, we'll have to try to represent the breadth of that story. Here is my attempt.
Curated by N.M. McClure

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This gallery has 25 objects

While this untitled Remington may seem non-descript, it represents an unpeopled West to me.
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Although Catlin painted this post-contact, his title of "Indians playing on horseback" suggest a carefree, pre-conflict time.
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A Native record of an Eastern Shoshone Sundance.
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I've included this just because...Wow!
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Lewis and Clark press into what was Native territory, a catalyst for future culture clash.
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This Colt Model 1873 revolver is representative of the ubiquitous firearm that is essential to the western story.
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Koerner's "The Homesteaders" represents Euro-American penetration into the West.
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Along with photos by William Henry Jackson, Thomas Moran's paintings convinced the government to designate Yellowstone the first national park.
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Scholder's "Custer & 20,000 Indians" always gives me chills, and reinforces my personal disgust of all things Custer.
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Bacon's "Conquest of the Prairie" has never been a favorite of mine, but it does compress many aspects of so-called "conquest" of the West into one image.
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Remington's "Coming Through the Rye," an homage to the idea of the raucous cowboy, celebrating payday. An timeless symbol of the West.
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Personalities like Wild Bill Hickok, who owned this pistol, become a part of the myth and lore of the West.
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Buffalo Bill's Wild West takes the West to the world.
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A target coin shot by Annie Oakley.
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Wolves, reintroduced to Yellowstone in 1995 and essential to the ecosystem, continue to evoke controversy.
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Native American Church objects, a sign of cultural endurance and adaptation in the face of repressive governmental policy toward Native culture.
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An awe-inspiring example of the Plains Indian melding of function and artistry, once worn by Red Cloud for a photograph.
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Native culture is an integral part of the American West today.
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Not a work of art I would want to hang in my home, but indicative of the importance of energy development in the West.
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Buffalo Bill--The Scout, the very first object of the Center's collection. We must protect it from melting in the lava!
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My last five objects are my choices as the single most significant object in each museum. Buffalo Bill Museum: Deadwood-Cheyenne stagecoach
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Whitney Western Art Museum: Albert Biertstadt's "Yellowstone Falls"
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Plains Indian Museum: Hide lodge, ca. 1850s (my personal favorite of absolutely every object in the collection)
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Cody Firearms Museum: "ducksfoot" pistol. Okay, so not representative of firearms in general, but way cool!
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Draper Natural History Museum: Bear 104
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Questions and Comments


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Buffalo Phil's deep thoughts

Nancy you have covered the spectrum of our collection. I particularly like your personal comments, explaining to the viewer the significance of these objects to you.