If you’re like me, you go through stretches where it seems like you wear the same pair of jeans, eat breakfast at the same diner and play cards with the same three people for what seems like months at a time.
It’s easy to fall into that rut, but we here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country know how to break out of that routine every year. That’s right, the annual Rendezvous Royale is almost here.
Our week-long celebration, the Rendezvous Royale, is set for Sept. 17-24. This year’s line-up of events includes an online Silent Auction, an invitational design exhibition called “By Western Hands” and the Sept. 17 “Boot Scoot ‘N Boogie,” a street festival and dance showcasing our town’s art community. After a week of workshops, exhibitions, an art walk and other events, Rendezvous Royale culminates in a gala weekend including the Buffalo Bill Art Show & Sale on Friday night and the Buffalo Bill Quick Draw and Brunch Saturday morning. The Annual Patrons Ball Black-Tie Gala at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West rounds out the week.
You might be surprised that we are such a popular location for art, but it has been central to the character of Cody for nearly as long as our 120-year-old town has existed. A recent story in U.S. News & World Report listed Cody among 10 destinations for art-lovers, citing the “interesting and quirky backstories” for many of our most distinctive works of art.
For example, patrons of Rendezvous Royale will see the Smithsonian-affiliated Whitney Western Art Museum, open year-round and offering some of the best displays of art of the American West to be found anywhere. The museum got its start with a single striking piece of art – the massive sculpture of the town’s founder called “Buffalo Bill – The Scout” – created by New York heiress Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney in 1924. The museum itself was established in 1959 and includes historic paintings, sculptures and prints created by artists such as Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell and Thomas Moran.
Cody is also home to numerous galleries, including furniture galleries inspired by the town’s most famous furniture designer and builder, Thomas Molesworth and his Shoshone Furniture Company. Molesworth’s company supplied distinctive, Western-inspired furniture to regional guest ranches and hotels as well as to Easterners such as Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The Cody Country Art League across the street from the Center of the West is dedicated to promotion of art and artists, and it has a variety of displays and art shows housed in the original Buffalo Bill Museum, now on the National Register of Historic Places.
So get out your fancy duds and best cowboy boots. Better yet, just bring an empty suitcase and plan on buying a new outfit. That’s what I will be doing.
Until next week, I am lovin’ life in Cody, Wyo.