Museums across the West have a common theme this year: New. It takes years to plan, fund, develop and install museum exhibitions, and the fruit of many insitutions’ labor has ripened during the past twelve months with the opening of such new (or completely renovated) facilities
as the North Dakota Heritage Center, Stuhr Building at the Museum of the Prairie Pioneer, and Western Spirit, Scottsdale’s newest attraction.
Museums also are innovators as they reach out to new audiences—particularly young people (check out the Treehouse in North Dakota). You will find the stories and artifacts of the American cowboy alongside those of American Indians. Private collections of Navajo weavings and Indian basketry are on display, along with the weapons of Texas Rangers. Museums also bring history to life, something that was abundantly evident in the major re-enactment of the year—the reprise of the Battle of Platte Bridge in central Wyoming on the actual date of the 150th anniversary of the fight.
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As senior editor of True West Magazine, Stuart Rosebrook oversees all editorial covering Old West travel, firearms and books. He has a Ph.D in U.S. History from Arizona State University, and he owns a multimedia communications business, Quo Vadis Communications, based in Iowa City, Iowa.