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Chester A. Reynolds Award
Awarded in 2024
Don Reeves

Don Reeves


Formerly McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum 

As a young boy from Iowa his life changed when he experienced Cimarron, New Mexico, smelled the sage after a summer rain and fell in love with the American West.

The fascination with this magical region brought Reeves to the University of Oklahoma where he received both a Bachelor and Master degrees in Anthropology with an emphasis in Museum Studies.

After working several years at the Natural History Museum at the University of Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Historical Society, in 1979 he was asked to join the staff of the then National Cowboy Hall of Fame & Western Heritage Center.

Reeves was on the curatorial staff of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum for 38 years and curated the Children’s Cowboy Corral, the American Cowboy and the Western Performer galleries. He was instrumental in the formation of the Traditional Cowboy Arts Association and has authored numerous publications and magazine articles on the American West. Throughout his curatorial career Reeves participated in a host of television and documentary film projects. 

At the urging of his mentor, David Dary, he joined the Board of Directors of Westerners International as Secretary of the Board, a position he held for more than twenty years. Reeves and his wife Val are now retired and living in Williamsburg, Virginia, near his two sons, their wives, and grandchildren.

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