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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Bighorns and Buffalo Bill

I drove this morning through Wyoming from Gillette to Cody. The scenery was spectacular high mountain desert for the most part.

I spent the rest of the day at the Buffalo Bill Cody museum complex, where I visited all five museums. The Natural History museum was full of stuffed creatures and helped me to understand the ecology of Yellowstone and the high desert. The Buffalo Bill museum told the story of his life and times, and included ancient film footage of the Buffalo Bill show. I found him to be quite a liberal guy, standing up for women's and Indian's rights, as well and conservation.

One museum that I could have given a miss to was the firearms museum--apparently it houses the largest collection of guns in the world. There are some 20,000 on display, with another 12,000 in their library. I watched the video on the history of the gun, and tried to go through, but got deathly bored by the second display case. Really, the differences are minimal, and a hundred or so would have been enough for me.......

The museum of Western Art was fun; many of the pieces were interesting more form a historical perspective, some were lovely works of art, and some (in the modern section) were just fun. I enjoyed the Remington landscapes more than his sculptures, and found the depictions of Indians through the ages to be interesting.

The best museum, though, was the Museum of the Plains Indian. They did a marvelous job of integrating objects with depictions of their functions and the cultures that created them. It was much better than the showcases of dusty objects, shown out of context, that such exhibits often are. I loved it.


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