Buffalo Bill Historic Center selects its new director

Cody, Wyoming (AP) 12-07

The director of a museum in Spokane, Wash., has been hired to lead the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, an acclaimed museum of western art and culture.

Bruce Eldredge will begin work as executive director on Jan. 28, the museum announced, marking the end of a 10-month search for a new director.

“I view this position as the capstone activity in my career, and I’m really pleased to be named the director of the BBHC,” Eldredge, chief executive officer of the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, said.

Eldredge, 55, said he first visited the BBHC in the early 1980s and decided then that “it was an institution I really wanted to run at some point in my career.”

Eldredge said he was attracted to the BBHC by its “exceptionally qualified staff” and a “board that is extremely dedicated to the institution.”

He has previously directed several museums focused on the American West, including the Hubbard Museum of the American West in Ruidoso, N.M.; the Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Texas; the Tucson Museum of Art in Tucson, Ariz.; and the Frederic Remington Art Museum in Ogdensburg, N.Y.

Eldredge replaces Robert E. Shimp who retired as executive director in July. Chief Operating Officer Wally Reber has since served as interim director.

Former U.S. Sen. Alan Simpson, chairman of the BBHC Board of Trustees, said he was “absolutely delighted” with the choice of Eldredge.

The Buffalo Bill Historical Center boasts world-class exhibits at five museum facilities: the Buffalo Bill Museum, which interprets Buffalo Bill Cody’s life; the Whitney Gallery of Western Art; the Plains Indian Museum; the Cody Firearms Museum, which boasts the “most comprehensive assemblage of American firearms in the world;” and the Draper Museum of Natural History, which focuses on the ecosystem of the Yellowstone area.

On the Net:
Buffalo Bill Historical Center: http://www.bbhc.org.