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Rotunda & Hall of Fame

What strikes visitors first when they step inside the light-filled rotunda of the Hall of Fame is the quiet sense of reverence for the Honorees within. Look 45 feet up and you’ll see 12 glass-tiled murals of cowgirls at work or posed for a long-ago portrait, each image optically changing as you walk by. Wait, step back. Was that Patsy Cline gazing back at you?

Called LIFETILES, these “Movies for the Wall” created by inventor Rufus Seder are a joy to watch and react to. See more of Seder’s signature work at http://www.eyethinkinc.com/lifetiles/index.html.

Inside the Rotunda Hall you’ll be introduced to nearly 200 Honorees who pushed frontiers in their own individual way – women who stepped up, not aside. Each one’s name and induction date are emblazoned on a medallion encased in an etched-glass star. The ribbon of stars symbolizes a dream reached for, a difference made. Their stories unfold on interactive kiosks on our second-floor, where you can view photos, read biographical information and watch videos about these fascinating women from the mid-1800s to the present.

“Spirit of the Cowgirl” Theater

Our “Spirit of the Cowgirl” presentation is like watching the sun rise. It’s a good starting point for your visit, and eight minutes later, you’re ready to see more. Narrated by singer and actor Michael Martin Murphey, this stirring film acquaints you with women who could pop a bullwhip, paint a watercolor, plow a field and gentle a horse. Young or old, rodeo stars or quiet heros, artists or ranch women – their stories of sacrifices and triumphs are the stories of us all.

They lived life their way. They remind us what we each can be.

Hall of Fame Gallery and Honorees

One Honoree from each of our Hall of Fame categories is featured in this vibrant, changeable gallery opened in September 2009. By any measure, they are an eclectic group: Champions and Competitive Performers, Ranchers (Stewards of Land and Livestock), Entertainers, Artists and Writers, and Trailblazers and Pioneers – with many fitting into more than one category.

But their intrinsic connection to land and animals unites them (and across three centuries, no less), as does their willingness to embrace challenges, take risks and persevere.

Honorees Currently on Display:

Artists and Writers Category
Pamela Harr, 1981 Honoree, documents and interprets the West through her bronze sculptures often depicting pioneer women and children.

Champions and Competitive Performers Category
Faye Blackstone, 1982 Honoree, taught herself to trick-ride to combat boredom while riding her horse ten miles round-trip to and from her Nebraska school.

Entertainers Category
Louise Massey Mabie (1902-1983), 1982 Honoree, was later called the “original rhinestone cowgirl” for her extraordinary costumes. She often recorded songs in both English and Spanish.

Ranchers (Stewards of the Land and Livestock) Category
Georgie Sicking, 1989 Honoree, proved she was as good as any other cowboy, despite her petite size and gender. As a ranch owner, she branded, roped, shoed, mended fences, cooked, broke stock and even wrote poetry.

Trailblazers and Pioneers Category
Velma B. Johnston “Wild Horse Annie” (1912-1977), 2008 Honoree, tirelessly championed the protection of wild horses and burros in the United States.

New Honorees are inducted each year, so be sure to watch the gallery videos to learn about their remarkable accomplishments. You can also find your favorite Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree by viewing photos and videos.