The Museum preserves over 10,000 artifacts and photographs in its collections. We provide a stable environment and constant care to fight the ravages of time. However, cowgirls are hard on their equipment! Many objects arrive in the collection in need of cleaning and repair. Other objects naturally deteriorate due to material makeup or treatment prior to donation. Here is how we are preserving the history of the cowgirl.
The Save Our Saddles Collections Care Fund allows the public to make tax-deductible monetary donations that are used solely for the care of artifacts in the collections. Funds are used for artifact conservation, archival storage materials, and collections care equipment. For more information, contact Collections Manager Ashley Kowalski at firstname.lastname@example.org
GRA Championship Saddle, 1948
Conservation Cost: $1,875
Margaret Montgomery Owens won this saddle as the Girls’ Rodeo Association Champion All-Around Cowgirl in 1948. It was made by N. Porter Company and has beautiful silver adornments and tooling. This saddle was conserved in 2018 and is now on display. The surface was cleaned to remove large areas of spew and dirt. The silver adornments were polished and waxed. The wool lining was vacuumed.
Saddle Before Conservation
Saddle After Conservation
Dale Evans’ High Heels, c. 1950s
Conservation Cost: $500
These high heels were custom made for Dale Evans and feature Bohlin sterling silver heel caps. They were conserved in 2019. Tears and abrasions in the leather were secured and retouched. Leather surfaces were cleaned. The sterling silver heels were cleaned, polished, and waxed. Wire supports were made for the ankle straps.
Thanks to Double D Ranch™ for sponsoring the conservation of Dale Evans’ high heels.
Photos courtesy of Studio Six Art Conservation.
Tru Vue Optium Conservation Grant
The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame was awarded the Tru Vue Optium Conservation Grant from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation in June 2014. Funding provided by this grant helped conserve and frame a parade flag from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The rare flag is the centerpiece of the Museum’s newest permanent exhibit “Hitting the Mark: Cowgirls and Wild West Shows” which explores the significant role women performers played in the Wild West shows. The Museum thanks the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation and Tru Vue, Inc. for their financial support in preserving this important piece of history.