Few animals conjure the power and symbolic presence of the North American bison. Whether painted on a tipi or an artist’s canvas, minted on a nickel, or seen grazing in Yellowstone National Park, the image of the bison stirs in us deep loyalties to the North American landscape. Wild and fundamental, the bison is a familiar part of our shared heritage. This exhibition explores the meaning and significance of this iconic creature from the Plains Indian culture of the 1800s through the commercial and national symbol of the present. The Bison Exhibit charts the dramatic changes that occurred to the creature and its habitat, and to the people who depended upon it for their daily existence. The exhibition also illuminates the human response that eventually led to the bison’s preservation as a species and a symbol in the 20th century.