Exhibitions

Upcoming Exhibition

SOLDADERAS TO AMAZONAS: Escaramuzas Charras

Friday, March 22, 2024

For close to 50 years, the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame has championed cowgirls, of all backgrounds. We have a long record of lifting women from the shadows of history, and in many cases, recovering lost voices. It is within this vein that we are curating a new multi-gallery exhibition: Soldaderas to Amazonas: Escaramuzas Charras.

The roots between the charreada and rodeo run deep; equally deep are the symbolic roots that tie modern day escaramuza charra to the soldaderas of the Mexican Revolution, those women who assisted in the revolt against oppressive Mexican government forces. The sport of escaramuza consists of an eight-member team of equestrians executing intricate patterns at a gallop. Escaramuza is a way of life for these competitors; there is no large payout at competitions or million-dollar sponsorships.

The exhibition consists of two complementing, connecting galleries: The first gallery includes textiles, the adelita-inspired dresses for which they are known, the sombreros charro, rebozos, boots and matching tack. The brightly colored and adorned dresses have their own ties to history, to charrería, and iconic Mexicanas.

The second gallery comprises a series of portraits, Escaramuza, The Poetics of Home, by award-winning photographer Constance Jaeggi. Jaeggi’s portraits are accompanied by original works from 2023 Texas Poet Laureate Ire’ne Lara Silva, and Angelina Sáenz, award-winning educator, poet and writing project fellow at UCLA. Their collaboration will consider themes of identity, family and gender within the escaramuza community.

The exhibition will include family and adult programming, incorporating voices that speak to the escaramuza tradition, including forums with the U.S. teams, discussions of the soldadera and adelita as female markers, enhanced online content for adults and students, and bilingual guides for visitors.

When the exhibition closes in December, the Museum will make the photography portion available to other venues, broadening its reach, as presently there are no existing travelling exhibitions that explore the escaramuza tradition in both depth and breadth.

The exhibition of photography by Constance Jaeggi, was commissioned specifically for the Cowgirl Museum. Jaeggi has studied at the New York Film Academy and most recently completed a Master of Art History and Art World Practice at Christie’s in London. Her work has been internationally exhibited and published. In 2021, she was shortlisted for the Critical Mass Awards and has been published notably by The Guardian and The Washington Post.

The principal investigator, researcher, and curator in collaboration with Constance Jaeggi is Diana Vela, Ph.D. Her tie to the subject is organic with ancestors being recipients of a Spanish land grant, Laguna Seca in the Rio Grande Valley. She curated The Cowgirl Who Became a Justice: Sandra Day O’Connor, which was the Museum’s first traveling exhibition and most recently was lead investigator, researcher, and curator for the Hitting the Mark: Women and Wild West Showsgallery – the only permanent exhibition in the nation that demonstrates how critical female wild west performers were to the popularity and success of the shows that went on to define a nation.

The Cowgirl Museum has never hosted an exhibition exclusively focusing on any aspect of charrería; highlighting the escaramuza will be important for this community and for the Museum as we remain committed to honoring and safeguarding the history of those women who shaped the West and changed the world.

For Exhibition Information, contact dvela@cowgirl.net

For Community Programming: contact jlegrand@cowgirl.net

For Educational Programming Information, contact hwilson@cowgirl.net

For Sponsorship Opportunities, contact sflow@cowgirl.net

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS

Kit Moncrief Galleries and It’s Never Just a Horse™ Exhibition

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame reopened its second floor after completing a $5.5 million renovation that began in early 2018. As the only museum in the world dedicated to honoring women of the West who have displayed extraordinary courage in their trailblazing efforts, the extensive renovation continues to explore the special bond among the horse, women, and the West, as viewed through the lens of many Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honorees.

Western Design Room
This immersive room allows the visitor to interact with the Museum’s extensive collection by digitally creating their own boot, shirt or horse which is then projected onto a wall.

Bucking Bronc Room
Test your bronc riding skills on the renovated bronc ride by saddling up! You will be superimposed into real rodeo footage, and you can email or text your clip.

Hitting the Mark: Cowgirls and Wild West Shows Gallery

The Hitting the Mark: Cowgirls and Wild West Shows Gallery displays the historical significance of the cowgirls who performed in the Wild West shows from the 1880s to early 20th century. Visitors will be able to:

  • View archival footage projected on several hanging glass screens and colorful images of Wild West posters
  • Glass showcases featuring rare artifacts including Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show parade flag, which is preserved by a Tru Vue Optium Conservation Grant from the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation and Tru Vue, Inc.
  • Interactive activities for adults and children as well as computer-enhanced archival photographs that uniquely bring the time period to life
  • Annie Oakley shares her story in her own words through the magic of cutting-edge technology of Pepper’s Ghost that merged photos of Annie Oakley with a model who posed as her for the interactive
  • In addition, her wedding ring, hand written letters, and the one of the shotguns she used while traveling with Buffalo Bill Wild West Show are on display

Legends Gallery

Dare to Wear
June 3, 2022

Dare to Wear celebrates cowgirls of yesteryear and today who keep western wear traditions alive. Whether it is a rhinestone jacket worn to the grocery store or cowboy boots paired with a cocktail dress or gold lamé worn in the rodeo arena, the bold fashion choices of cowgirls illustrate Dare to Wear. This colorful and exciting exhibition features pieces from the Museum’s Honorees as well as outstanding examples of western wear on loan from individuals.

Anne W. Marion Gallery

The Anne W. Marion Gallery opened May 2015. The gallery is named after 2005 Cowgirl Honoree Anne Windfohr Marion in honor of her steadfast support of the Western lifestyle and preservation of Western heritage as well as her patronage of the arts. This space is designed for temporary exhibitions, including honoree and traveling exhibitions, and special events.

Exhibition Rental

Tough by Nature: Portraits of Cowgirls and Ranch Women of the American West

 

Exhibition of 64 portraits by Lynda Lanker capturing the spirit of women who have shaped the economy and ecology of the West. Additional artifacts available from featured Hall of Fame Honorees available upon request.

Hard Twist: Western Ranch Women by Barbara Van Cleve

Exhibition of 62 black and white photographs celebrating the lives of ranch women from the northern Rockies to the Mexican border. Additional artifacts available from featured Hall of Fame Honorees available upon request.

The Cowgirl Who Became a Justice: Sandra Day O’Connor

This exhibition, celebrating Hall of Fame Honoree Sandra Day O’Connor, demonstrates the intersection of her ranch life and her bench life. It features family and public-life photos, ranch artifacts on loan from the Day family, and selected editorial cartoons.

If you would like information regarding the rental of this exhibition please contact akowalski@cowgirl.net.

Past Exhibitions

The Devils – Constance Jaeggi
October 22, 2021 – February 6, 2022

International award-winning photographer Constance Jaeggi uses the Devil’s Horseman, located outside London, as a backdrop for exploring intimacy, connection and power dynamics between horse and human during an unprecedented time of isolation. This raw and intuitive project unveils a fascinating way of life, pulling the curtain back to reveal the behind-the-scenes of the film industry and the danger and ardor of the work that comes with it. The Devils will immerse the viewer into the relationship that exists between human and animal – where the unspoken language of respect crosses all boundaries. Constance Jaeggi moved to Texas from her native Switzerland in 2009 to pursue her degree from Texas Christian University and to begin her competitive cutting horse riding career. Jaeggi has studied at the New York Film Academy and most recently completed a Master of Art History and Art World Practice at Christie’s in London. The Devils is short-listed for the 2021 Critical Mass Awards. This marks her second solo exhibition at the National Cowgirl Museum.

Twelve Mighty Orphans – Behind the Scenes: Laura Wilson
June 6, 2021 – August 8, 2021

Twelve Mighty Orphans – Behind the Scenes: Laura Wilson, featured photography catpured by Laura Wilson and props from the new film by Sony Pictures Classics, 12 Mighty Orphans. Photographer Laura Wilson is an Honoree in the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Her son, Luke Wilson, plays a leading role in the movie, filmed on location in Fort Worth. 12 Mighty Orphans tells the story of the 1930s-era football team from Fort Worth that captured national attention during its Cinderella season. The production filmed in the city in 2019 with support from the Fort Worth Film Commission, a division of Visit Fort Worth. The exhibition is in partnership with the Fort Worth Film Commission.

Tough by Nature: Portraits of Cowgirls and Ranch Women of the American West
February 13, 2021 – March 12, 2021

This exhibition, donated by artist Lynda Lanker, features 64 of Lanker’s drawings, paintings, works on paper and prints, which document a vanishing way of life that affirmed the role of women in the economy and ecology of the American West. Artifacts from Hall of Fame Honorees featured in the exhibition are also on display.

GRA Artifacts & WPRA Competitors
December 1, 2020 – January 31, 2021

Original Girls Rodeo Association memorabilia, the Top 15 Barrel Racers who competed at the National Finals Rodeo, and the Top 15 Breakaway Ropers who competed in the National Final Breakaway Roping were on display in the Anne W. Marion Gallery during the 2020 Wrangler NFR that was in Texas at Globe Life Field.

Laura Wilson: Looking West
October 3, 2019 – October 18, 2020

2019 Inductee Laura Wilson has looked West for most of her life. Her photographic career is firmly planted in this region of America. Her concerns are with the contemporary currents and time-honored traditions of the West. From the Hutterites of Montana to the cowboys of West Texas, from rodeo trick riders to mountain lion hunters and road signs, this collection offers a glimpse into Wilson’s photographic vision. Cover photo: Mullin Cheerleaders, Taffy Watts and Tami Watts, Democrat, Texas, 1995, Laura Wilson

The Trail of the Cowgirl
March 9, 2019 – September 15, 2019

Donna Howell-Sickles, 2007 Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree, was inducted for her artistic work and ability to take the image and idea of the cowgirl beyond charcoal lines and into reality. “My artwork reflects my admiration for the strong Western women of both past and present,” said Howell-Sickles. This exhibition of 21 pieces spans the length of Howell-Sickles career.

Collection of Hermès Scarves
February 12, 2018 – September 1, 2018

Beginning as a tack company for horses in the early 1800’s, Hermès handcrafted harnesses and bridles for carriages in Paris, France. The company eventually expanded and added other items, including scarves. The first scarf was introduced in 1937 and was based on a woodblock drawing by a Hermès family member. Modern day scarves are woven from the silk of cocoons spun by silkworms farmed at the Hermès owned facility in Brazil. All hems are hand-rolled and hand-stitched.  Hermès scarves are individually screen printed, and designers have over 70,000 color tones from which to choose. A scarf takes more than 200 people from inception to production including designers, weavers, colorists, and printers. Hermès has over 2000 unique designs; the horse motif is the most popular. Some of the Hermès scarves were designed by Kermit Oliver, who was the only American to ever design scarves for Hermès. The scarves that were chosen for this gallery represent the various partnerships and intersections of the horse, the land, and people. You can find elements of the many ways horses have been viewed as partner, as competitor, as muse, and as simply an object of beauty. This collection is now currently on display on both stairwells leading to our all-new second floor.

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Constance Jaeggi: Aspects of Power, Light and Motion
September 29, 2017 – February 4, 2018

In her debut exhibition, artist Constance Jaeggi highlights the horse as a dynamic being by using aspects of light and shadow to both capture a sense of motion and sculpt a scene. Jaeggi photographs horses inside her studio, uninhibited by halters or restraints, which allows her to accentuate the characteristics and personalities of her subjects.

Pure Quill: Photographs by Barbara Van Cleve
November 18, 2016 – May 7, 2017

Barbara Van Cleve, 1995 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree, is nationally known for her photographs of western landscapes, ranchers, cowboys, and cattle women. This newest exhibit of her work includes 37 stunning black and white photographs captured by Van Cleve throughout her career.

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No Turning Back: The Art of Veryl Goodnight
July 22, 2016 – October 30, 2016

A retrospective of the work of award-winning artist and 2016 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree Veryl Goodnight. The exhibition features 17 sculptures and 11 paintings by the artist focusing on Western women, horses, and wildlife. The exhibit is the first to display both her sculptures and paintings together and works span the breadth of her career.

Buffalo Hill Lookout IR

Light, Landscape and Livestock: The Photography of Nadine Levin
March 4, 2016 – July 5, 2016

For over 25 years, Nadine Levin has been capturing the beauty of the world that surrounds us through her innovative and elegant photography. Often riding horseback to capture her Western images, she creates a uniquely feminine portrayal of this predominately masculine and conventional world. This exhibition includes photographs from 2007 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree Terry Stuart Forst’s 7 S Stuart Ranch as well as infrared landscape images.

Horse 1- Signature Photo

RODEO: Photographs by Rima Canaan Lee
November 20, 2015 – February 7, 2016

Fort Worth photograph Rima Canaan Lee, who was born in Beirut, Lebanon and raised in Hamburg, Germany, was unfamiliar with rodeo culture when she arrived in Texas. She attended the 2013 Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo almost daily during its three-week run, photographing whatever caught her eye. The results are two distinct sets of photographs: one of the rodeos, and another of the stock show. Both sets of photographs highlight an event that still carries promise of the American West.

Grace & Grit: Visions of the West by Terri Kelly Moyers
May 29, 2015 – November 8, 2015

Terri Kelly Moyers, 2015 National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree, has captured the hearts and imaginations of many through her stunning portrayal of women, landscapes, and wildlife of the American West. This exhibition of 28 paintings shows the wide variety of this award-winning artist’s work.