Hirschfield Book Shares Amazing Private American Indian Art Collection in Public Talk at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West

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Former CEO of both Twentieth Century Fox and Columbia Pictures, Alan J. Hirschfield, visits the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, June 14, 2013, to introduce his new book “Living with American Indian Art.” The book describes how he and his wife, Berte, acquired a remarkable collection of Native objects and built a home designed to accommodate them.

Alan J. Hirschfield Collection
...the Hirschfield Collection is among the greatest private collections of Plains and Plateau Indian art in the world...

Alan Hirschfield says of his collection of American Indian art, “I try to understand the artist’s culture and to appreciate the beauty and meaning of each work.” Through the years, the Hirschfields have built an extraordinary collection of these objects as well as a home in Wyoming designed specifically to accommodate the articles—they are quite literally living with the art.

At the Buffalo Bill Center of the West on June 14 at 1:30 p.m., Hirschfield discusses and signs copies of his book on the collection, appropriately titled "Living with American Indian Art." He wrote the book with Terry Winchell, and the book features beautiful photography by W. Garth Dowling. The presentation is included in regular admission to the Center and takes place in the Center’s Coe Auditorium. The book signing follows at 2:30 – 3:30 p.m. on site in the Center’s Museum Store, which has the book for sale.

Hirschfield has had a fascinating career, primarily as an executive in the entertainment industry. Educated at the University of Oklahoma and then Harvard Business School, he began his career on Wall Street as an investment banker. That soon led him into the television, movie, and radio business. His resume includes serving as the Chief Executive Officer of both Twentieth Century Fox and Columbia Pictures, as well as, working with many nonprofit institutions and numerous philanthropic endeavors.

During his long and varied career, Hirschfield has always been an art collector. He grew up in Oklahoma, with its significant American Indian culture and art. “My interest in Plains objects intensified further,” he says in the book, “when we decided to build our home in Wyoming—the place where many of these tribes had lived, hunted and battled.” He continues, “It seemed only natural to live with the objects representing their way of life, enriching our sense of place and our Wyoming roots.”

The result, according to Gaylord Torrence, Senior Curator of American Indian Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri, and author of the book’s foreword, is that “the Hirschfields’ home is as carefully planned and skillfully installed as any fine arts museum.” Torrence states that the Hirschfield Collection is “among the greatest private collections of Plains and Plateau Indian art in the world.” Through the book and his talk at the Center, Hirschfield shares the collection—and several of its masterworks that have never before been exhibited or published—with the public.

Click here for more information on Hirschfield’s lecture and book signing at the Center, or contact Coy Evans at the address above or call 307.578.4014.

Hirschfield's visit coincides with the Center's opening of its Paul Dyck Plains Indian Buffalo Culture Collection permanent exhibit on Saturday, June 15 and its annual Plains Indian Museum Powwow June 15 and 16.

Since 1917, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has been committed to the greatness and growth of the American West, keeping western experiences alive. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, weaves the varied threads of the western experience—history and myth, art and Native culture, firearms, and the nature and science of Yellowstone—into the rich panorama that is the American West. The Center is currently operating its summer schedule: open daily 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. For additional information, visit the Center's Web site or its page on Facebook.

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Nancy McClure

Coy Evans
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