National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
Backstory and Context
The museum was originally established in 1955 as the Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum, from an idea proposed by Chester A. Reynolds, to honor the cowboy and his era. Later that same year, the name was changed to the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Museum. In 1960, the name was changed again to the "National Cowboy Hall of Fame and Western Heritage Center". The American Alliance of Museums gave the museum full accreditation in 2000, the year the museum took on its present name.
To maintain the memory of the founder, the museum grants the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award. This prize is granted to a person or institution contributing to the preservation of American West history and heritage.