CHADRON – The life and accomplishments of Mari Sandoz will be showcased through March 5 in the Mari Sandoz High Plains Heritage Center. Hours are Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. and Friday 10 a.m. to noon. The Sandoz Center's accessibility is subject to change in accordance with COVID-19 protocols.
The "Legendary Legacy of Mari Sandoz" exhibit includes wooden crates of metal printing plates from three of Sandoz’s books, several awards, maps, drawings, news stories, letters, and a variety of memorabilia such as a play script, a sculpture, a child’s piggy bank, and photos from the 1964 Cheyenne Autumn movie set. The history of the center and Mari Sandoz Heritage Society are also described in documents on display.
Holly Counts, who organized the exhibit, said the publishers were going to melt down the metal printing plates for new books if Sandoz did not purchase them. She decided to save Old Jules, Slogum House, and Crazy Horse.
“She loved these books so much, she didn’t want the plates to be melted. Visitors to the center can look at these plates and handle them,” Counts said.
Also on display is a small replica of the Crazy Horse monument given to Sandoz in appreciation for her participation on the commission that planned the monument northwest of Custer, South Dakota.
On exhibit are two 1930s military books for soldiers in small, softbound editions. Two of Sandoz’s books were chosen by the military. Her books were published in more than 20 languages and seven are on display.
The Far Looker is a less well-known mini booklet on display, as well as The Christmas of the Phonograph Records. Reprinted versions of the latter are for sale in the Sandoz Center’s gift store.
Mary Bryan Forsyth’s original illustrations for Sandoz’s book Love Song of the Plains are also part of the exhibit. After Sandoz’s death, Forsyth was selected to sculpt the bust of Sandoz for the Hall of Fame in the capitol building in Lincoln. A large drawing of the bust and other related information is included in the show.
Items in the exhibit come largely from the collections in the center’s Ethel S. Abbott Library. The library contains extensive research materials available to researchers by appointment.
—Tena L. Cook, Marketing Coordinator