Mountains to Manuscripts: Women’s Writing in Wyoming, 1900-1950

This Special Exhibit was on view December 11, 2019 through October 31, 2020

As the state of Wyoming remembers the 150th anniversary of women’s suffrage in Wyoming in 2019 and Jackson Hole celebrates the 100th anniversary of its all-woman town council in 2020, the Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum (JHHSM) has dedicated a series of exhibits and programs around these defining historical themes.

This year, the museum will host two new exhibits related to women’s history in the West. The first exhibit in the museum’s main gallery space features notable women writers of early 20th century in Wyoming. Narrative writing about the state — certainly, the Tetons — is sparse before 1950, and published works are few and far between in comparison to the rest of the American West. Women’s words are even harder to come by, but provide important insight into the changing nature of the region. This exhibit explores the story of the landscape, the wildlife, and the people of Jackson Hole and Wyoming through women’s words.

Wyoming Women's Writing Exhibit Mountains to Manuscripts

People viewing “Mountains to Manuscripts” in the Co-Op Corner of the Jackson Hole Historical Society & Museum.

Curated in collaboration with Christy Smirl of Foxtail Books & Library Services, this multi-media exhibit features four female author profiles illustrated through books, text, photographs, objects, and original artwork by Katy Ann Fox.

“It’s exciting to explore how the rest of the country was able to encounter our state and this valley through books by women,” said Smirl. “These were popular books in their own era, and deserve a second look for the way they represented our mountain home.” Mountains to Manuscripts is open to the public from December 11, 2019 – April 4, 2020.

The museum will also install a traveling exhibit in January from the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center entitled “Wyoming Women.” The exhibit includes 30 framed historic photographs of Wyoming women throughout history, specifically highlighting the leadership roles they pursued in their family, in the outdoors, and in their community. The traveling exhibit will be on display from January 30, 2020 – October 31, 2020.

As part of the Museum’s response to Covid-19 closures, you can now also view an interactive, digital version of this exhibit online on our Online Exhibits page.

About the JHHSM History Co-op Corner
The History Co-op Corner is a community gallery where the JHHSM partners with a variety of groups to help co-create temporary exhibits that share the diversity of Jackson Hole and different aspects of our history. The gallery within the JHHSM launched in 2018. About The Jackson Hole Historical Society and MuseumThe Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum is a 501c3 whose mission is to collect, preserve, and explore the cultural history, and related natural history, of Jackson Hole and the greater Yellowstone area through education, research, public programming, and collaboration. The museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the local history of Jackson Hole to help inform and inspire the present and future.

Learn about artist Katy Ann Fox here.
Learn about curator and owner of Foxtail Books, Christy Smirl, here.