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Franks Museum views West through journalists' eyes

HOBART  The newest traveling exhibit at the General Tommy Franks Leadership Institute and Museum chronicles the American Indians of the Old West through the eyes of newspaper correspondents.

"When the West was opened up and a lot of people were heading out that way, there wasn't a real way to get information back about all these neat things they were seeing," said Scott Cumm, museum manager. "So these newspaper men wrote about what they saw and drew pictures as best as they could to send back to be published in the papers."

"Imprinting the West" features 38 lithographs of the Old West and the American Indians that were drawn by those correspondents and published in newspapers in the east. The traveling exhibit offered up to 42 images, but Cumm said there just wasn't enough room to display them all, so he chose the best to display.

"They're so big and we only have so much wall space, so we wanted to display them in the best way possible," he said.

The paintings are hung on the walls in the traveling exhibit area of the museum. The exhibit also features books and maps that offer more information about the region in the 19th century. Cumm said the museum added a .38-caliber rifle, similar to one that would be used on the frontier in that era. It's surrounded by little stuffed buffalo toys that could be added to the gift shop at a later date.

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