Cover image for Buffalo Bill's Wild West : an American legend
Buffalo Bill's Wild West : an American legend
Wilson, R. L. (Robert Lawrence), 1939-
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Random House, [1998]

Physical Description:
vii, 316 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 23 x 29 cm
General Note:
"Featuring the Michael Del Castello Collection of the American West, with portfolios of treasures from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming and the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, Los Angeles, California."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV1821.B8 W55 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area-Oversize

On Order



No theme in history has captured the imagination like the American West, and no presentation of the drama            surpassed the original Wild West shows. In this unparalleled theater, the cast of characters were themselves authentic heroes: Buffalo Bill Cody, Texas Jack Omohundro, Wild Bill Hickok, Captain A. H. Bogardus, Annie Oakley, Doc Carver ("Evil Spirit of the Plains"), Lillian Smith, Captain Jack Crawford ("Poet Scout of the Plains"), Sitting Bull and hordes of Indians, Pawnee Bill, and May Lillie. These pioneer stars and superstars were predecessors to the Western film and television personalities of later times, and to the troupe in the contemporary extravaganza at Disneyland/Paris.    Buffalo Bill's Wild West is a panoramic celebration of these colorful characters, who created the image of the West for Americans, and for the world. The book also celebrates the exciting and often flamboyant accoutrements and costumes, which were part and parcel of the stars' public appearance, and honors such characters as William Mathewson, recognized even by Cody himself as the "original Buffalo Bill."      The lavish illustrations feature the Michael Del Castello Collection of the American West, with portfolios of treasures from the Buffalo Bill Museum (Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming) and the Autry Museum of Western Heritage (Los Angeles).    Cody and his contemporaries made the West come alive to millions through their Wild West show tours of Europe and America. Lavishly illustrated and unsurpassed in its authenticity, Buffalo Bill's Wild West is a collector's item for anyone interested in the most fascinating array of all objects of Americana, and in the uniquely colorful saga of the West.      From the original Wild West shows of P. T. Barnum in Hoboken, New Jersey, to the spectacular entertainments of such headliners as Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley, see the arms and accessories of the adventurers who charmed the crowned heads of Europe and brought America's Wild West culture to the world--in the process helping to make Colt, Winchester, Wells Fargo, and the West into American legends.    In this unique volume, the authors have produced the most spectacular, lavish, and detailed illustrated tribute ever to Buffalo Bill and his Wild West show-business originals.    Buffalo Bill's Wild West is an unmatched chronicle drawn upon decades of research and collecting, augmented with images by master photographers Peter Beard and Douglas Sandberg, and period photo-graphs and archival material from museums and private collections, particularly that of Michael Del Castello--featured at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds, in the summer 1999 loan exhibition "Buffalo Bill's Wild West."    In over 225 color plates and 160 black-and-white illustrations, with in-depth text and captions, the colorful arms, posters, photo-graphs, costumes, saddles, accoutrements, stagecoaches, and, for the first time, Buffalo Bill's Wild West Winchester Ammo Wagon, are brought to life. The extraordinary, exquisitely detailed illustrations include more than 50 posters and advertising broadsheets, over 100 rare cabinet card photographs, innumerable historic firearms, advertising art and trade cards, and show-business memorabilia.    All the renowned exhibition shooters are presented: Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley, Frank Butler, Doc Carver, Johnny Baker, Pawnee Bill, Lillian Smith, Captain A. H. Bogardus and sons, Captain E. E. Stubbs, Curtis Liston, Arizona Joe, and many more--all of them sports and entertainment luminaries of their day.  

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Buffalo Bill is arguably the single individual most responsible for creating the popular image of the American West. William F. Cody was an authentic veteran of the Old West, having been an army scout, a pony express rider, a noted hunter, and a rancher prior to creating "Buffalo Bill's Wild West." These "educational exhibitions," never called shows, were a panoramic celebration of the West, bringing it alive for millions in the U.S. and Europe around the turn of the century. In addition to the master showman himself, the cast included other authentic heroes, such as Wild Bill Hickok, Annie Oakley, and Sitting Bull. This book not only provides an extensive chronicle of "Buffalo Bill's Wild West" but also presents what is certainly the most complete view of related memorabilia. Items from outstanding collections worldwide are illustrated in color and black-and-white plates. Cody's endorsement of the vote for women and the advanced design of his posters indicate that he was a man far ahead of his time. (Reviewed March 15, 1999)0375501061Fred Egloff