Contact Us

American Heritage Center

Centennial Complex

2111 Willet Drive

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-4114

Email: ahcref@uwyo.edu

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AHC Exhibits

 

American Heritage Center

Hours of Galleries and Loggia displays on the second floor:                                        Monday thru Friday 9 AM to 5 PM , Saturdays 10 AM to 5 PM.

Exhibits in the AHC Loggia:

Stan Lee: Beyond the Book

an exhibit about art, literature and Stan the Man!

May - October 2024

Stan Lee speaking at UW Archives press interview

 

The exhibit “Stan Lee: Beyond the Book” runs from May 1, 2024 to November 1, 2024 at the American Heritage Center (AHC) at the University of Wyoming. This highly anticipated exhibition honors the legendary comics creator, author, editor and Marvel visionary, Stan Lee.

This immersive exhibit provides visitors with an intimate glimpse into the extraordinary life and enduring legacy of Stan Lee. The exhibition offers a firsthand look at the remarkable impact of Lee on popular culture, from comic books to film and TV.

“Stan Lee, Beyond the Book” reveals Lee the person, from his childhood to his later years. Displays explore Lee’s impact on the comic book industry; relations with his fans; the creative processes he and his teams followed; development of comic book characters; his involvement in social and political issues; personal memorabilia; and other aspects of his life, vision and career.

“Stan Lee’s legacy is not only in the stories he told, but in the imagination and inspiration he ignited in countless individuals,” says Professor Paul Flesher, the AHC’s director. “We are honored to share his remarkable journey and achievements through this exciting exhibition.”

Although Lee’s story cannot be told without the characters he created—from Spiderman to the X-Men, from the Hulk to Ms. Marvel—this is neither a comic book exhibition nor a Marvel film exhibition. The focus is on Stan Lee himself.  “The Stan Lee Papers are a prized collection at the AHC,” Flesher says. “For decades, Stan regularly sent materials to the center for preservation, providing an ongoing record of his development as an individual, a writer and an artist, an entertainer and a businessman.”

One of the exhibit’s most exciting elements is the revelation of the long-lost “first” script for a Spiderman film. While rumors held that Stan had written a Spiderman film on notecards, no one knew where it was. It can now be revealed that more than 100 cards from the script are here, locked up in the AHC vaults—and the exhibit provides the first look at some of them.

Lee began a relationship with the AHC in 1977, more than 45 years ago. The relationship was personal and, for the next 30 years, he corresponded regularly with AHC directors and even visited the UW campus. Even though he never earned a college degree, he called UW “my university” because of this connection. His donations now constitute a unique collection, consisting of 126 cubic feet of materials.

The exhibition itself is drawn from the AHC’s “Stan Lee Papers” collection. Researched and curated by three University of Wyoming students—Rhiannon McLean, Hazel Homer-Wambeam and Liam Leslie—it provides the first deep-dive into the collection. It displays drawings, documents, photographs and artifacts that have not been preserved elsewhere

The “Stan Lee, Beyond the Book” exhibition invites visitors to explore the life, work and enduring legacy of a true visionary. For more information about the exhibition and related events, visit the AHC website at www.uwyo.edu/ahc/exhibits.html  , or email the Center at ahcref@uwyo.edu.

The American Heritage Center is located at 2221 Willet Drive, UW’s Centennial Complex, in Laramie Wyoming.  The exhibit’s hours are Monday through Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm, and Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm.


head photo of a man
“Stan Lee, Beyond the Book,” an exhibition opening May 1 at the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center, will reveal Lee the person, from his childhood to his later years. The exhibition will include documents, photographs and artifacts that have not been preserved elsewhere. (Photo from Stan Lee Papers, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming)

 

The finding aid for the Stan Lee collection is at https://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:80444/xv636387?q=stan%20lee.

About the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center

UW’s AHC is home to thousands of collections spanning diverse topics in American history and culture. With a mission to preserve and promote access to our shared heritage, the center serves as a vital resource for researchers, educators and the public alike.

The AHC is one of the nation’s 10 largest nongovernmental archives. It holds over 95,000 cubic feet of materials in more than 4,000 collections. As the AHC is a public institution, these materials are available for anyone to consult by visiting the reading room in person or via remote means. More than 99 percent of the holdings are available without restriction.

Founded in 1945, the AHC has expanded significantly over the decades and now has 10 key collecting areas. While its primary focus is on the American West, other significant collecting areas include popular culture, transportation (from the transcontinental railroad onward), journalism, ranching, authors, conservation and mineral extraction. The popular culture collections range from early radio to TV to Hollywood. Although the center’s Hollywood and TV collections focus on behind-the-camera positions (directors, producers, composers, etc.), the center holds materials from a number of stars, including Jack Benny, Barbara Stanwyck and Buddy Ebsen.

Details on “Stan Lee, Beyond the Book,” a Celebration of the Marvel Comics Trailblazer

The University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center announces the opening of the “Stan Lee, Beyond the Book” exhibition, showcasing the life and legacy of the iconic author, editor and Marvel Comics visionary. The exhibition, set to open May 1, will run through Nov. 1, offering visitors an intimate glimpse into the world of Stan Lee.


Alfred Jacob Miller

alfred-jacob-miller

 

Please note: The Alfred Jacob Miller paintings are presently on loan to the exhibit, “Alfred Jacob Miller: Revisiting the Rendezvous—in Scotland and Today.” The exhibit will be at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody, WY)in 2023 and at the Eiteljorg Museum (Indianapolis) in 2024. Please expect them to return home to the American Heritage Center in Spring 2025.

 

The Alfred Jacob Miller paintings from the Everett D. Graff family and Robert C. Graff art collections appear on permanent display in the American Heritage Center’s new Gallery One. A young American artist, Miller was commissioned by a Scottish noble, William Drummond Stewart, to document his expedition from the Missouri frontier to the 1837 Green River Rendezvous near modern Pinedale Wyoming. During the six-month journey with Stewart and the American Fur Company, Miller made more than 200 watercolor sketches. He used these sketches as the basis for large oil paintings he painted to hang in Stewart’s Murthly Castle in Scotland. Miller was the first European American artist to capture the interior of the Rocky Mountains. Some of the Murthly Castle paintings are now at the American Heritage Center.



George A. Rentschler Room

 pere-marquette-into-the-unknown

Please note: The Rentschler Room is closed until November 1, 2024. Viewing or room use may be scheduled by contacting the AHC at WHopkins@uwyo.edu 307-766-6836.

 

The American Heritage Center’s George A. Rentschler Room is home to significant western paintings, including thirteen by Henry Farny and one by Frederic Remington. These paintings appear as they did in the library of Mr. Rentschler, a New York City businessman and western enthusiast.

Henry Farny (1847-1916)

After studying in Rome, Dusseldorf and Munich as a young man, Farny settled in Cincinnati. In 1881, he began traveling into the American West, including Wyoming. During his travels, Farny sketched, took photographs and collected Indian artifacts and photographs. Returning to his Cincinnati studio, Farny worked from his own illustrations and memory, relied on his collection of artifacts, and occasionally employed live models to create his unique style of Western art.

Despite this method of production, Farny’s Indian paintings are considered some of the most accurate of the genre. His paintings of Native Americans were highly sought after during Farny’s lifetime, although his work disappeared into near obscurity after his death. Collectors rediscovered Farny in the 1960s because of increasing interest in the “true West.”

Frederic Remington (1861-1909)

Frederic Remington studied art at Yale University and took his first trip into the American West in 1881, the same year as Farny. Although a failed businessman, he became famous as an illustrator of the West. His first full-page cover artwork appeared in Harper’s Weekly in 1886 when he was just 25.

In the 1890s, he became a favorite of the American cavalry in the West, especially the troops led by General Nelson Miles. His numerous paintings of soldiers at this this time often used a monochromatic palate, which gave a sense of realistic, almost photographic, quality. The Rentschler Remington painting belongs to this period.


Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center Exhibits

 

The American Heritage Center is pleased to work with the UW Foundation to curate photograph and image exhibits for the Gateway Center. Three exhibits are now on display.

 

Floor 1: The Art of Marketing at UW

 

Cowboy football posater

 

As the archives of the University of Wyoming, the American Heritage Center (AHC), holds numerous collections from UW departments, professors, presidents, students, and alumni. Many of these folks have had considerable artistic talent they’ve often used to promote and shine a light on all the culture, classes, and opportunities UW has to offer.

This exhibit features items from the University of Wyoming’s University Relations & Media Services records (collection # 512001) held at the AHC. The collection contains publications of various kinds dating from 1868 to 2000. In this exhibit, you’ll see covers of student journals, class schedules, distance education, magazines, and other publications where people in the UW community put their brushes, pencils, carving tools, and cameras to work for these fantastic covers.

Enjoy this step back in time at UW!

 

 1964 Summer Bulletin of the University of Wyoming

 

 

Floor 2: Downtown Cultures Across Wyoming

 

Downtown view of Buffalo Wyoming

 

Downtown areas are widely recognized as vibrant hubs where communities can gather to foster creativity, innovation, and cultural exchange. Across the state of Wyoming, downtown cultures have evolved alongside their history—reflecting the innovation and resilience found in the diverse communities that shape them. Imbued with the spirit of adventure, downtown life in Wyoming embodies a rich tapestry of traditions and customs.

 

Downtown view of Cheyenne WY

 

From quaint street views reflecting Wyoming’s rugged frontier heritage to more contemporary cross-sections of Western life, the photographic historical record of these areas is both dynamic and multifaceted. Many of these evocative scenes have been immortalized through the lenses of the pioneering photographers of Wyoming life, offering glimpses into the past that resonate with familiarity even today. Even some of the earliest representations of downtown life in Wyoming may have structures, celebrations, or events that you may recognize!

The selected photographs for this exhibition serve not only to pay homage to bygone eras, but also to celebrate the evolving essence of downtown life in Wyoming. They are windows into the past, yet also serve as mirrors reflecting the ongoing journey toward the future. Each image chosen from the American Heritage Center’s collections serves as a testament to the enduring spirit of Wyoming’s downtown communities, embodying cooperation, adaptability, and a relentless pursuit of progress.

 

 

Floor 3: Sometimes You Can Judge a Book by Its Cover

 

Wizard of OZ tick-toc

 

Do you remember having a favorite story from your childhood? Maybe it was a bedtime story that your mom or dad read to you while you drifted off to sleep. Maybe you remember a school librarian choosing it from a bookshelf for you to check out. Many of these children's books have colorful illustrations on their covers that ignite these recollections: the Wizard of Oz's Scarecrow and Dorothy perched on the Cowardly Lion's mane, Mary Poppins with her young charges against a bright red backdrop, or Christopher Robin leading his troop of friends from the Hundred Acre Woods.

 

 Book cover BLueberries for Sal

We at the Toppan Rare Book Library think that judging a book by its cover is necessary when it has such memories attached to it. The vibrant hues often have the power to take you back to those beloved childhood scenes. Do you see any book covers here that you loved as a child?

If you want to see any of these classic books in person, all you have to do is make an appointment at the Toppan Rare Books Library at the American Heritage Center. We’d love to help you take a walk down memory lane!


Virtual Exhibits

Please browse the more that 30 virtual exhibits, designed to help you explore specific themes from AHC collections. A selected group of images will provide a brief introduction to the topic and to the types of related material.
 
Browse our virtual exhibits page on the Virmuse digital platform
 
s.h.-knight-fossils
The Knight family was important to the discovery of dinosaur fossils. They used their skills as geologists and paleontologists to help spread this information to the world.
 
Contact Us

American Heritage Center

Centennial Complex

2111 Willet Drive

Laramie, WY 82071

Phone: (307) 766-4114

Email: ahcref@uwyo.edu

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