Rotating Historical Exhibits at CWS

Theodore Roosevelt visits Sioux Falls, 1910

Former President Theodore Roosevelt parades through Sioux Falls, SD, with Seth Bullock (back seat), Sioux Falls Mayor G. W. Burnside (front seat), and Carol Dotson (driver) on September 3, 1910.

The Center has several display cases throughout the galleries that exhibit materials on a variety of changing themes. The current exhibits are:

Native American Observations of Weather and Climate

The Center for Western Studies is the first location to debut this new interactive traveling exhibit produced by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey. The exhibit discusses the history of Plains Indian winter counts and how scientists today are using symbols from historic counts to improve our understanding of the region’s climatological past. The content is most fitting, given that a reproduction of Red Horse Owner's winter count is prominently featured in the Center's Froiland Plains Indian Gallery. Collections Assistant Liz Thrond and Education Assistant Kristi Thomas also assisted the project’s staff, based at Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Data Center, with the research and design of the exhibit. 

Teddy Comes to South Dakota

President Theodore Roosevelt had a special connection with the American West, starting with his visit to Dakota Territory in 1883 to hunt buffalo and his experiences as a rancher over the next several years near Medora in present-day North Dakota. This display of photographs, ribbons, and buttons illustrates his visits and connections to South Dakota during the later years of his life from 1900-1919, particularly the political campaigns of 1900, 1904, 1910, and 1912; his 1903 Western tour; his 1905 inauguration; and the memorial built in his memory near Deadwood, South Dakota, in 1919. The materials on exhibit are from the private collection of Reverend Dave Johnson of Sioux Falls, a long-time collector of political campaign memorabilia.

Tossing Their Hats in the Ring: Political Campaign Memorabilia of Yesteryear

In honor of this year's exciting election season, this exhibit features a selection of political campaign memorabilia from the Center for Western Studies collections spanning the years 1860-2008. There are materials representing party platforms, particular issues, and specific candidates at the national, state, and county levels. There are materials from winning campaigns and from losing campaigns. But all received support from American citizens who cast their votes in hope of a better future.

Looking Back: Augustana in the 1970s

The 1970s was an interesting time at Augustana. Students partook in political activism, housing policies on campus changed, and new traditions intermixed with old. This exhibit, based on research conducted by CWS intern Cara Beck, includes photographs of anti-Vietnam War protests, the annual “Nude Night” event, the implementation of coed dorms, and various traditional activities as published in the student yearbook and newspaper. 

The Madsen Sculpture Collection

The Center for Western Studies recently received 11 new bronze sculptures for the Fine Art Collection. They were donated by Helen Madsen in memory of Lou Madsen. The sculptures, representing regional artists Harvey Dunn, Ken Bjorge, and Peggy Detmers, in addition to national artists inspired by the wildlife of the Northern Plains, are currently on display in the Fantle Building.

World War II Morale Posters from the Sioux Falls Army Air Forces Technical School

Between 1942 and 1945, around 45,000 men and women received training in radio mechanics at an Army Air Forces Technical School in Sioux Falls, SD. This case displays several morale posters created by the school's Drafting and Reproduction Division. The posters were designed by local base personnel and reflect their attitudes about international events as well as the radio mechanics training students received. They were donated by the family of William B. Mauschbaugh, a leader in the Drafting and Reproduction Division at the Sioux Falls school.

Nature versus Technology: The Bison and the Industrial Revolution

Together with a bison fur coat originally owned by Yankton photographer Louis Janousek, this exhibit discusses the effects of the Industrial Revolution on the once vast bison herds of the Great Plains.

There are exhibits on permanent themes in addition to those listed above.