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Past Exhibitions


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Go West! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West

November 3, 2013–April 13, 2014

This exhibition considers the evolving notion of the American West through more than 250 paintings, sculpture, photographs and Native American artifacts dating from 1830 to 1930.

Click on an image below to learn more.


The dust of the Civil War had barely settled when Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, famously urged America’s youth to turn from the rubble and go west. America’s future was anchored in the frontier. Between 1800 and 1900, the nation more than tripled in physical size. With the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from the French in 1803, American land holdings doubled with the stroke of a pen. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, less than seven percent of the American population lived west of states that bordered the Atlantic Ocean; at the century’s end, those regions hosted more than fifty percent. Americans were going west.

Few aspects of American history have been more decisive in shaping this nation than the exploration and settling of the western frontier. This exhibition considers the evolving notion of the American West through more than 250 artworks and artifacts dating from 1830 to 1930, outlining a West of popular imagination that continues to inform American values of independence, innovation, and individualism today.

About the BBCW

One of the finest institutions devoted to the American West, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming, U.S.A., includes five distinguished museums and a renowned research library.

The Buffalo Bill Museum, dedicated in 1927, examines both the personal and public lives of W.F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody and seeks to interpret his story in the context of the history and myth of the American West.

The Whitney Gallery of Western Art, dedicated in 1959, presents an outstanding collection of masterworks of the American West. Original paintings, sculptures, and prints trace artistic interpretations of the West from the early 19th century to today.

The Plains Indian Museum, dedicated in 1979, features one of the country’s largest and finest collections of Plains Indian art and artifacts. It explores the cultural histories, artistry, and living traditions of Plains Indian peoples.

The Cody Firearms Museum, dedicated in 1991, contains the world’s most comprehensive collection of American and European arms dating back to the sixteenth century.

The Draper Museum of Natural History, dedicated in 2002, integrates Humanities with natural science to explore, document, and interpret the Greater Yellowstone region and adjacent landscapes.

The McCracken Research Library, dedicated in 1980, advances the study of the American West by the collection, preservation, and use of manuscript collection, books, and photographs.

Organization and Support

Go West! Art of the American Frontier from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West is co-organized by the High Museum of Art and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

The James M. Cox Foundation
The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta

A Patron of the High Museum of Art
The Fraser-Parker Foundation
Isobel Anne Fraser-Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment
The Imlay Foundation, Inc.
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
V. Kay and M. Douglas Ivester
Margaret and Terry Stent
Terra Foundation for American Art
Friends of Go West!

This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.