Byron Price, director of the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West at the University of Oklahoma, has been selected to receive the prestigious Chester A. Reynolds Award, which honors his commitment to perpetuate the legacy of the American West. The award is named in honor of the founder of the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Price will be formally honored during the Western Heritage Awards banquet on April 12 at the National Cowboy Museum.
“No one has done more to preserve the legacy of the American West than Byron Price,” said OU President David L. Boren. “The entire University appreciates his great contribution to the OU Press and the Charles Russell Center.”
Price, who also is director of the OU Press, worked in the museum profession for 25 years before joining the OU faculty.
“As an author of western history, former museum director, teacher and publisher, Byron Price has a breadth of accomplishments and has made an impact on the legacy of the American West,” said Gary Moore, Chief Financial Officer and Interim Museum President. “The Museum is pleased to announce him as the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award honoree.”
Price provides leadership for both the Charles M. Russell Center for the Study of Art of the American West, founded in 1998, and the OU Press, which has been in continuous operation for more than 80 years.
The Russell Center, which opened to the public in the fall of 1999, is the first such university-based program in the nation. The Center is dedicated to the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge in the field of American art history as it relates to the western United States. The OU Press is a preeminent publisher of books about the American West and American Indians, It was the first university press established in the Southwest, and the fourth in the western half of the country.
Price is the author of more than three dozen journal articles on western American history and art and has written several books including Fine Art of the West (2004); The Chuck Wagon Cook Book (2004); Erwin E. Smith: Cowboy Photographer (1997); and Cowboys of the American West (1996).
Price is also the editor of Charles M. Russell: A Catalogue Raisonné (2007), which won the 2007 Western Heritage Award for the best art book of the year from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, the 2008 Caughey-Western History Association Prize for best book of the year in western history, the 2008 High Plains Book Award for nonfiction and the 2009 Joan Patterson Kerr Award from the Western History Association for the best illustrated book on the American West.
In addition to his published works, he has served as a consultant for several television series and specials including “Unsolved History: The Gunfight at the OK Corral”, “Cowboy Tech”, “Cowboys and Outlaws” on the History and Discovery Channels, and “Cowboys of the Tall Grass and “Treasures of the Gilcrease: Charles M. Russell” for Oklahoma Public Television.
Price has previously served as executive director of the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon, Texas; the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City; and the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming. He is a 1970 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and earned an MA in Museum Science at Texas Tech University in 1977.