Smithsonian Buffalo

I have visited Fort Benton in Montana several times over several decades, but this past summer was the first time I stopped at its Museum of the Northern Great Plains, which continues to expand. Within that museum complex is the Hornaday Smithsonian Buffalo and Western Art Gallery. 

William T. Hornaday collected these buffalo in Montana in 1886, when people thought the buffalo was going to become extinct. The mounted animals were displayed at the Smithsonian Institution for 70 years. The big bull whose picture I took was the model for many national symbols and government issues. This display has been at Fort Benton since 1996. 

The gallery has a small but impressive collection of Western paintings and sculpture.