(Re)imagining the west: The Whitney Gallery of Western Art's sacred hymn

Greg Dickinson, Brian L. Ott, Eric Aoki

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In 2009, the Whitney Gallery of Western Art (WGWA), located within the Buffalo Bill Historical Center (BBHC) in Cody, Wyoming, was redesigned - its art rehung and its vision of the West reimagined. The newly designed gallery replaced the structuring principles of history, artist, and genre that had governed the previous layout and design of the gallery with a thematic structure that elicits a series of affective dissonances. In this essay, we argue that the redesigned Whitney Gallery of Western Art performs a sacred hymn that - in repositioning Buffalo Bill Cody as its orchestrating figure - resolves discordant images and narratives of the West, harmonizes diverse themes into a single vision, and reconstitutes national identity in terms of the Western sublime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-34
Number of pages14
JournalCultural Studies - Critical Methodologies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2013


  • Whitney Gallery of Western Art
  • affect
  • memory
  • movement
  • sublime


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