Exhibition Overview

The American West is difficult to define and far more complex than stereotypes suggest. It is a destination, an experience, an idea, and for some even home. It has few boundaries and crosses cultures, geography, socioeconomics, gender, age, and eras. Photographs and other archival items from the Museum’s Dickinson Research Center reveal this diversity. At its core, history is not about dates and events, but the people who experienced them. Not just the famous, but the everyday and ordinary. Look closely. These faces and names are not fiction. They are mothers and daughters, sisters and aunts, nieces and wives, grandmothers, and friends. Diverse in ethnicity, background, and age, they share a commonality. Each experienced and shaped the American West through roles far more complex than stereotypes suggest. With strength and resolve, they built homes, families, businesses, careers, and powerful legacies. They found their West. Now find yours at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.

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