WHAT: Exhibit “Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy”
WHEN: Wednesday, January 27, 2016–Saturday, March 5, 2016
WHERE: The Heritage Society Museum Gallery
1100 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002
Admission is free
The Heritage Society presents “Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy,” an exhibition created by the Wittliff Collections at the Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos, presented in partnership with Humanities Texas, the state affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities.
In the early 1970s, noted Texas historian Joe Frantz offered Bill Wittliff the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit a ranch in northern Mexico where the vaqueros still worked cattle in traditional ways. Wittliff photographed the vaqueros as they went about daily chores that had changed little since the first Mexican cowherders learned to work cattle from a horse’s back. Wittliff captured a way of life that now exists only in memory and in the photographs included in this exhibition.
The exhibition features over 60 striking black and white photographs with bilingual narrative text that reveal the muscle, sweat and drama that went into roping a calf in thick brush or breaking a wild horse in the saddle.
Nothing brings to mind the Old West like a traditional cowboy on his horse. This exhibit will highlight the importance of the vaquero to Texas cattle ranching just as the thousands of trail riders roll in to Houston for the kick-off to the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.
This exhibition has been made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; Houston First Corporation; and corporate partners of The Heritage Society: Calpine Corporation, Cameron Management, Brookfield Properties, Andrews Kurth LLP, Thompson & Knight Foundation, Amegy Bank, Pritchard Industries of the Southwest, Standard Parking +, Volunteer Houston, Zeno Imaging, Ziegler Cooper + HBL. Additional funding has been provided from the City of Houston through Houston Arts Alliance.
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