Buffalo Bill Center of the West

Buffalo Bill Center of the West

A new exhibit featuring the works of American painter John Mix Stanley will open at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody this weekend, thanks in part to a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Peter Hassrick curated the exhibit. He says Stanley’s paintings of life in the American West in the 19th century are distinguished from his contemporaries.

"He approached it as fine art as opposed to documentation, as fine art as opposed to ethnographic studies," he says.

He also says a comprehensive presentation of Stanley’s work is long overdue.

Historically, many museums have been neatly divided: by genre, by artist, by time period. Now curators are mixing up exhibits, so works are in conversation (or in contrast) with one another. A prime example is the Whitney Western Art Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, in Cody. Curator Mindy Besaw explains why she displays old and new works side by side.