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New Exhibitions at UW’s Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center

November 29, 2021
hand-drawn cartoon panel
This “Stampede” cartoon by Jerry Palen is part of a new exhibition curated by UW’s American Heritage Center at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. (Jerry Palen Collection)

The University of Wyoming Foundation and the American Heritage Center (AHC) have teamed up to present three new exhibitions of photographs and images at the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center at the eastern end of campus.

The exhibitions come from the AHC’s collections and feature looks into Wyoming’s people and its open spaces. The three exhibitions were curated by a team of archivists from the AHC led by Public History Educator Brie Blasi.

The Gateway Center’s new first-floor exhibition focuses on UW and is called “History Happened Here!” It draws upon numerous collections from UW departments, professors, presidents, students and alumni -- now all held at the AHC. These photographs, both posed and candid, give snapshots of life at UW since its founding in 1886, offering invaluable glimpses into the everyday life of the university.

The new second-floor exhibition is titled “Traversing the Trails.” It features the photographs of Finis Mitchell (1901-1995), a mountain climber and photographer, now featured in his eponymous collection at the AHC. His climbing exploits in the Wind River Range, the Bridger Wilderness and the Teton Range were well known. At one point in his life, he used his pictures of Wyoming’s mountains, wildlife and wild scenery to create postcards of Wyoming views -- postcards that became the iconic images of the state’s scenery. He also captured scenes of everyday life in the state.

The Gateway Center’s third-floor exhibition features a new collection: Jerry Palen’s “Stampede” cartoon series. During its 43-year run, “Stampede” became the largest weekly syndicated cartoon feature in the agriculture sectors of the United States and Canada, growing to a weekly audience of more than 2 million readers. The cartoons of ranchers Flo and Elmo and their dog named Dammit were selected from across the decades of “Stampede’s” syndication. The collection came to the AHC through the generosity of Art Nicholas, of Wyoming’s Wagonhound Ranch.

diner with classic cars in front of it
This 1965 photo of the Sands Café in Rock Springs is part of the new “Traversing the Trails” exhibition featuring photos by outdoorsman Finis Mitchell at UW’s Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. (Finis Mitchell Photo)

“The American Heritage Center is pleased to work with the UW Foundation to create new exhibitions -- indeed, new exhibit space -- at the Gateway Center,” says AHC Director Paul Flesher. “Along with the new gallery and exhibit space at the AHC itself, the Gateway Center exhibitions help the American Heritage Center make its collections available to the broader public. After visiting the Gateway Center, come see our current exhibitions of paintings by Dave Paulley and of photographs by Charles Belden at the AHC.”

The works will be on display at the Gateway Center until March. For more information about current AHC exhibits, including those at the Gateway Center, visit

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