American West Program at Colorado State University Begins June 13 with a Discussion of Flying Buffaloes

The American West Program at Colorado State University opens June 13 with an illustrated lecture on the artistic depictions of the buffalo hunt, with examples from Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, two of the most celebrated Western artists of the genre.

The discussion by renowned historian Brian Dippie from the University of Victoria-British Columbia kicks off the 23rd year of the series. The program’s theme, "The Buffalo: An American Icon," will be explored weekly in June and July by historians visiting from throughout the nation and Canada.

"This year, we’ll be exploring the myths, realities, artistic interpretation and importance of the buffalo to Plains Indians and other tribes," said Harry Rosenberg, history professor and coordinator of the American West series.

Dippie, a professor in the Department of History, will discuss the artistic renderings of the buffalo hunt by tracing the subject’s roots in European art and the establishment of a specifically American treatment of the theme.

"Artists since 1819 have shown Indians chasing what a congressman in the 1850s called ‘flying buffaloes,’" Dippie said. "The two most celebrated of Western artists, Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, crystallized the way we still envision buffalo hunts today."

The following week’s discussion on June 20 will feature another acclaimed historian, Elliott West from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, on the changing image of the American bison from the time of Coronado through the current era of mass advertising and movies like "Dances With Wolves."

In conjunction with the American West Program, the Curfman Gallery in the Lory Student Center will present "Images of the West" by artist Bob Coonts beginning June 12. An opening reception for the exhibit will run 8:30-10 p.m. June 13 at the gallery.

Call 491-6444 for gallery and student center hours.

Following is a schedule of events for the American West Program. All talks except for the July 5 event take place on Tuesdays. The talks begin at 7:30 p.m. in Room C146 Plant Sciences Building and are free and open to the public.

For more information, call Rosenberg at 491-5230.

  • June 13 – "Flying Buffaloes: Artists and the Buffalo Hunt," Brian Dippie, historian, University of Victoria, British Columbia.
  • June 20 – "Icons on the Hoof: Changing Images of the Buffalo," Elliott West, historian, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville.
  • June 27 – "The Buffalo: – A Millennial Entree," Sam Arnold, owner, The Fort restaurant, Morrison.
  • July 5 – "The Buffalo Boondoggle of 1872," Bob Palmer, retired television newscaster and anchor.
  • July 11 – "The Return of the American Bison," Harold Danz, retired National Park Service administrator and executive director of the American Bison Association.
  • July 18 – "When I was a boy, I wanted to be like Buffalo Bill: Now that I’m older, I still want to be Buffalo Bill," Tom Morrison, superintendent of Buffalo Bill Ranch Historical Park, North Platte, Neb.
  • July 25 – "The Importance of the Buffalo in Plains Indian Religion and Culture," JoAllyn Archambault, member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and director of the American Indian Program at the National Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institution.