WWHA Gallery of Gunfighters 6/21/2011
The Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, one of the premier western history museums in America, has completed the installation of the "GALLERY OF GUNFIGHTERS" exhibit. The exhibit is sponsored by the BBHC McCracken Research Library in partnership with the Wild West History Association. WWHA provided the concept, historical information, original photography, period frames, voice recordings, and rare books and artifacts. The Buffalo Bill Historical Center staff produced the casework, digital images, graphics, signage, and technical support for the project.
The exhibit consists of three major elements:
Large framed photographs of the twelve gunfighters selected by WWHA: Wild Bill Hickok, John Wesley Hardin, Jesse James, Tom Horn, Ben Thompson, Belle Starr, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, Butch Cassidy, Billy the Kid, and Pat Garrett.
Exhibit cases containing artifacts (including the butcher knife Billy the Kid held in his hand when he was killed by Pat Garrett , the wood mallet that was used to kill The Tall Texan of the Wild Bunch in an attempted train robbery, Wild Bill Hickok's razor), rare gunfighter books, documents, and photos.
A kiosk with recordings of each of the gunfighters themselves telling the story of their life.
There are also two exhibit cases containing WWHA recommended books on the gunfighters that are in print and available.
The Gallery of Gunfighters WWHA committee included Robert DeArment, Jim Dunham, Bob McCubbin, Bill O'Neal, Marshall Trimble, and Michael Wallis. Scripts for the gunfighter recordings were written by Dan Buck and Anne Meadows, Bob DeArment, Mark Gardner, Frederick Nolan, Bill O'Neal, Gary Roberts, Joe Rosa, Marshal Trimble, and Michael Wallis. You will have to listen to the recordings and guess who the voices are if you don't believe they are the real gunfighters.
It will be noted there are no captions on the framed photographs on the wall. A handout sheet is available with the names of the gunfighters and the visitors are invited to try to identify the photographs. On the reverse of the handout are the answers.
Also on the handout is information about the Wild West History Association with an invitation to take a membership brochure, available nearby, if interested in joining. The WWHA logo and website is prominently displayed. The exhibit was not quite completed when the above photo was taken, but it will be by the time you read this. The exhibit will remain in place indefinitely, with changes possible periodically by WWHA. Although not entirely completed, it has already proven to be very popular with visitors to the Buffalo Bill Museum. It will be previewed to WWHA members at the opening reception of the Cody Roundup.
© Wild West History Association