"Where the Old West comes to life": The story of Old Cowtown Museum

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Wondra, Keith Aaron
Price, Jay M., 1969-

Old Cowtown Museum originally started as a shrine to the pioneers and founders of Wichita. It later reinvented itself around Hollywood's version of the Old West. After the end of the Hollywood western, it reinvented itself around Wichita's agricultural history. In recent years, Old Cowtown Museum has become a nationally recognized and accredited living history museum. This paper examines the role that Old Cowtown Museum plays in the history of outdoor museums in the United States and Kansas. This paper puts the institution into the scope of western-themed museum history. Old Cowtown Museum is a local and regional attraction in spite of its problems has outlasted many of its peer institutions. A product of 1950s Old West nostalgia, it has become one of the most beloved of all of Wichita's museums and institutions.

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Thesis (M.A.)--Wichita State University, Fairmount College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of History