Through Oct. 10, the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyo., presents the first major exhibition Alexander Phimister Proctor's work: Wildlife and Western Heroes.
Born in Canada, Proctor (1860-1950) was one of the most accomplished sculptors of wildlife. For him, the American bison represented one of the most powerful icons of the western frontier.
In 1911, Proctor received a commission to create two monumental buffalo for the new Q Street Bridge in Washington, D.C. To prepare for the project, he visited Wainwright Buffalo Sanctuary in Alberta, where he studied a herd he considered the proper type for representation on the bridge.
"Proctor is important as an artist who portrayed bison," says Sarah Boehme, curator of the Whitney Gallery of Western Art at the BBHC, "because he used his firsthand knowledge of the animal to create monumental works that serve as a tribute to the buffalo in our nation's capital."
Founded in 1927 to keep alive the memory of William F. Cody, the BBHC has grown from a modest log building to a complex of five museums and a research library. It's regarded as one of the United States' finest western museums.
Buffalo Bill Historical Center
720 Sheridan Ave.
Cody, WY 82414