Michael Bad Hand has devoted his life to learning about and reliving as closely as possible early Native American culture.
Through his various works and activities, he tries to dispel many misconceptions, stereotypes, and historical inaccuracies while sharing in a positive, upbeat way what he has learned from his studies and experiences.
His many skills include Native American historian, lecturer, stuntman, replica maker, and artist.
Executive Director, Museum of the Mountain Man
Fred Gowans is a Professor Emeritus of History from Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. He has written a plethora of books, manuscripts, and articles researching the fur trade, mountain men, and rendezvous system for over forty years, making him the pre-eminent expert on fur trade history. Dr. Gowans has presented special programs and historical treks to numerous universities, educational institutions, and the National Park Service throughout the West. Dr. Gowans has served as a consultant on numerous films and documentaries about the history of the West, and has been accorded several prestigious awards in film and academia.
Jim Hardee is the editor of the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal, published by the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale, Wyoming, and has served as director of the Fur Trade Research Center since 1998. He has published numerous articles and books on the Rocky Mountain fur trade, most recently Obstinate Hope: The Western Expeditions of Nathaniel J. Wyeth, Volume I. Mr. Hardee served as historical and technical advisor to the History Channel’s program on fur trader Jedediah Smith and was featured in the program. He has presented research papers at symposiums and history conferences across the nation.
Peter H. Hassrick, writer and independent American art scholar focused on the West. Mr. Hassrick was Director Emeritus and Senior Scholar (Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody), Director Emeritus (Petrie Institute of Western American Art, Denver Art Museum), Founding Director Emeritus (Charles Russell Center, University of Oklahoma), and founding Director (Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Santa Fe) following twenty years at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (then Buffalo Bill Historical Center). He was also Curator of Collections, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth for five years.
Mr. Hassrick was born in Philadelphia and raised in Denver. B.A., History, University of Colorado and M.A., Art History, University of Denver.
Selected books include Frederic Remington (Abrams, 1973), The Way West (Abrams, 1977); The Rocky Mountains: A Vision for Artists in the 19th Century (University of Oklahoma Press, 1983) with Patricia Trenton; Treasures of the Old West (Abrams, 1984); Charles Russell (Abrams/Smithsonian, 1989); Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonné (Buffalo Bill Historical Center, 1996) with Melissa Webster; Drawn to Yellowstone: Artists in America’s First National Park (University of Washington Press, 2002); Wildlife and Western Heroes: Alexander Phimister Proctor, Sculptor (Amon Carter Museum, 2003); The Art of William Ranney (Buffalo Bill Historical Center, 2006) with Linda Bantel; In Contemporary Rhythm: The Art of Ernest L. Blumenschein (University of Oklahoma Press, 2008) with Elizabeth Cunningham; Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley (University of Oklahoma Press, 2015) with Mindy Besaw; Frederic Remington: A Catalogue Raisonné II (University of Oklahoma Press, 2016) with others; Drawn to Yellowstone: Artists in America’s First National Park (WordsWorth / Buffalo Bill Center of the West, 2016); The Best of Proctor’s West: An In-depth Study of Eleven of Proctor’s Bronzes (Buffalo Bill Center of the West, 2017) with others; Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West (University of Oklahoma Press, 2018) with others, and The Life & Art of Joseph Henry Sharp (Buffalo Bill Center of the West, 2018) with others.
An avid researcher of Rocky Mountain Fur Trade history, Clay Landry’s study and emphasis on the material culture items used by the men of the Rocky Mountain Fur trade has resulted in the authorship of numerous published essays and articles. A research associate with the Fur Trade Research Center, Tetonia, ID, Mr. Landry has presented papers on Rocky Mountain fur trade history and material culture at the 1997, 2000, 2006, 2010 and 2012 Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Symposia. As a regular contributor to the Fur Trade Journal, published by the Museum of the Mountain Man, Mr. Landry has had essays published in five volumes of the Journal. A recognized authority on early nineteenth century fur trade material culture, he also conducts demonstrations and seminars on Mountaineer clothing, food, horse gear and trade goods.
A member of the American Mountain Men, an accomplished horseman and wilderness packer, Mr. Landry has been organizing and leading horse trips, using only gear and tack appropriate to the Fur trade era, through the Rocky Mountains various rendezvous event since 1987. A boot and saddle maker, Clay and his wife Jamie, own and operate Historical Leather Works, which specializes in crafting historically correct fur trade era boots, saddles and horse gear.
Karen McWhorter began her position as the Scarlett Curator of Western American Art for the Whitney Western Art Museum in March 2015. She leads the curatorial activities and programs for western American art at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Mrs. McWhorter previously served as department assistant in charge of research and publications for the Petrie Institute of Western American Art at the Denver Art Museum. She has written on contemporary western American art, artists of the Taos School, nineteenth-century explorer artists, American landscape paintings and photography, and topics in museums studies.
Lisa Strong is Director of the Art and Museum Studies MA Program and Associate Professor at Georgetown University. She guest-curated an exhibition on Alfred Jacob Miller for the Amon Carter Museum and wrote the accompanying book Sentimental Journey: The Art of Alfred Jacob Miller (2009). She was assistant editor for Corcoran Gallery of Art Catalogue of American Paintings to 1945 (2011), and has contributed essays to Romancing the West: Alfred Jacob Miller in the Bank of America Collection (2011); Bob Kuhn: Drawing on Instinct (2012); Celebrating the American Spirit: Masterworks from the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art (2012); and Painted Journeys: The Art of John Mix Stanley (2015).
Ron Tyler is the retired director of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, Texas, and formerly professor of history at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Tyler has written widely on American Western art, including (ed.) Alfred Jacob Miller: Artist on the Oregon Trail (1982), Alfred Jacob Miller: Artist as Explorer (1999), Prints of the West (1994), Audubon’s Great National Work: The Royal Octavo Edition of The Birds of America (1993), and A New and Wider Field: Alfred Jacob Miller and the Rendezvous of 1837 (2019). Dr. Tyler lectures on American and Western American art and history.
Scott Walker considers it lucky his high school library included a copy of The West of Alfred Jacob Miller, by Marvin Ross: the Western fur trade has been a passion ever since. Now, more than 40 years later, he is editor of The Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal. It is a dream job which has him working with authors and a great editorial staff, all of whom are as fascinated by this period of history as he is.
Elizabeth “Betsy” Watry is a scholar and award-winning author specializing in nineteenth and early-twentieth century cultural history of the American West. Ms.Watry holds a Master’s Degree in History from Montana State University and is the co-author of several books on Yellowstone National Park. Her newest book Women in Wonderland: Lives, Legends, and Legacies of Yellowstone National Park published by Riverbend Publishing in 2012, was the winner of the 2013 WILLA Literary Award in the category of scholarly non-fiction.
In addition to being an accomplished historian and author, Ms. Watry is a museum professional who has worked in a variety museums of including the Heritage and Research Center in Yellowstone National Park, Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming, Charlie Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana, Museum of Northern Arizona in Flagstaff, AZ, and most recently, she served as the Assistant Curator of History at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana. Ms.Watry is currently the Curator for the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale, Wyoming.
Emily Wilson is the curatorial assistant in the Whitney Western Art Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. Ms. Wilson joined the staff in May 2013 after completing a Master of Arts degree in art history at Indiana University. While at Indiana, Ms. Wilson worked as a graduate assistant for the Indiana University Art Museum, and as a content intern at IU Communications. Ms. Wilson contributed to the publication, William Glackens (2014, Skira Rizzoli) while working as a researcher for the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale.
Robert E. Wright has served as the Nef Family Chair of Political Economy at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, Dakota Territory since fleeing New York University’s Stern School of Business soon after the financial bust of aught eight. An avid fisher, hunter, and live trapper, he has authored or coauthored 19 books on America’s business, economic, financial, and policy history, including a study of antebellum corporations and their governance titled Corporation Nation (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014) and Little Business on the Prairie: Entrepreneurship, Prosperity, and Challenge in South Dakota (Sioux Falls: Center for Western Studies, 2015).
Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, includes five museums and a research library under one roof—the Buffalo Bill Museum, Whitney Western Art Museum, Plains Indian Museum, Cody Firearm Museum, Draper Natural History Museum, and the McCracken Research Library.
The Museum of the Mountain Man presents a visual and interpretative experience into the romantic era of the 1800s mountain man and provides a comprehensive overview of the historical significance of the fur trade in the American West. During the second weekend in July, the museum annually promotes the importance of the mountain man by sponsoring the Green River Rendezvous Days. This tremendously popular public event unites scholars, modern-day mountain men, and visitors from across the nation in an enlightening and educational four-day extravaganza. The museum also publishes the Rocky Mountain Fur Trade Journal on an annual basis. This nationally-recognized, peer-reviewed, academic publication serves as a venue for researchers to explore old as well as new examinations of the fur trade era in American history. Situated in the heart of the country that was once the hub of the Rocky Mountain Rendezvous system (1825-1840), the Museum of the Mountain Man stands today as a monument to the men and the fur trade commerce that opened the West.
Joe Ricketts founded The Ricketts Art Foundation to enrich people’s lives by providing innovative access to the works of important visual, performing, and literary artists, both current and past. The Foundation’s first project, a co-production with The Buffalo Bill Center of The West and the Museum of the Mountain Man, is to create an online catalogue for the Western works of art by Alfred Jacob Miller.