Acquired by the Museum in 2001, this lithograph poster is from a European rodeo produced by cowboy Tommy Kirnan in 1924-1925. Ruth Roach, 1989 Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree, was one of the featured performers and is the cowgirl depicted on the poster. In 1924, many cowboys and cowgirls, including Tad Lucas, Vera McGinnis, Florence Hughes Randolph and Bea Kirnan, embarked on the SS Menominee for Europe with Tex Austin’s Rodeo. They performed in London with great fanfare and success at Wembley Stadium to over 100,000 people in June 1924.
In September of the same year, many of the same performers appeared at Tommy Kirnan’s rodeo in Paris. Although the venue was originally created to host bicycle races, the Vélodrome Buffalo was named for Buffalo Bill’s Wild West, who performed there in the late nineteenth century. This poster is a great example of the worldwide appeal of rodeo cowgirls during their Golden Age, the 1920s.