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Virtual Exhibits

Making Change

Current Featured Exhibit:

Making Change

On display in the Atherton Gallery, January - June 30, 2014.

The exhibit features the stories behind groundbreaking coins designed by sculptors Laura Gardin Fraser and Glenna Goodacre. Fraser (1889-1966) won a contest in 1931 to create a quarter in honor of George Washington’s 200th birthday. This made her the first woman chosen to design a coin for national circulation. Unfortunately the political environment of the time stopped her quarter from being minted. Her design was finally used in 1999 as a commemorative five dollar coin to honor the 200th anniversary of Washington’s death. Goodacre (born 1939) also won a competition to design the Sacagawea Millennium Gold Dollar Coin, which was the first circulated coin designed by a woman. The currency, minted in 2000, also was the first to commemorate a Native American and to feature a baby. Fraser and Goodacre are women of different generations, but they made change through their art. The exhibit is presented by the A. Keith Brodkin Contemporary Western Artists Project.

The following virtual exhibits are based on materials in the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center collections. In most cases, they reflect exhibitions that have appeared in the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum galleries. These exhibits will be expanded as time permits and will highlight other parts of the Research Center collections.

The Art & Life of Lowell Ellsworth Smith
A group of more than 50 watercolor sketches by Smith, both figure studies and landscapes, are featured in the Lowell Ellsworth Smith Papers. This page highlights a few of those watercolors, in addition to some photographs.

The Art of Sculpture
Photographs from the studio of the noted sculptors and numismatic designers James Earle Fraser and Laura Gardin Fraser, also includes scanned sketches of their artwork.

Being Buffalo Bill: Man, Myth & Media
Explore the man-to-myth-through-media evolution of William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody as demonstrated here with commentary and popular western imagery.

Carl Link: Artist & Collector
A few examples of photographs and artwork from the Carl Link Papers and collected postcards from the Carl Link Postcard Collection are featured in this virtual exhibit.

Carl Studer's Rodeo Scrapbook
The Carl Studer Rodeo Scrapbook & Ephemera Collection documents the Anvil Park and Amusement Company, Inc.'s business transactions and inquiries from 1927 to 1931, and contains rodeo advertising posters along with five scrapbooks of clippings ranging from 1921-1941. This exhibti features a few of the items from the collection.

The Crawford Family and the West
The L.E. Crawford Collection of papers and photographs assembled by family member Lewis E. Crawford, primarily documents cattle ranching and the Crawford family of Oklahoma Territory and Texas.

"Did She Kill 'em All?" Martha Maxwell, Colorado Huntress
Learn about the life of Martha Ann Maxwell (1831-1881), the first woman field naturalist who obtained and prepared her own specimens in the same manner as her male contemporaries. As a taxidermist, Maxwell was an innovator in the use of natural habitat dioramas.

Documenting Native American Life
Photographs of Native Americans from the Research Center collections.

Doubleday's Cowgirls: Women in the Rodeo
An exhibit on the cowgirls of rodeo, as portrayed by prolific photographer Ralph R. Doubleday.

Early Rodeos in the Extreme Sports Tradition
Before there was a "One-handed No-footed Can-Can" there were the competitive events of cowboy contests.

Envisioning the West: Wilson Hurley
This exhibit tells the story of Prix de West artist Wilson Hurley (1924-2008) and his work on the triptych The Wyoming Suite. Come to the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum and learn about Wilson Hurley's special easel and how his knowledge of topography gave him the insight to create such large and beautiful triptychs. The exhibit focuses on Hurley's work on the The Wyoming Suite, which features the lower falls of the Yellowstone. The exhibit was in the Atherton Alcove from April 11, 2011 through July 2012.

Fact & Fiction: Popular Western Imagery from the Glenn D. Shirley Western Americana Collection
Truth is stranger than fiction, but not so popular. A sampling of materials collected by Western author Glenn Shirley.

Feet, Boots, and Measuring Tape: Gaining a Foothold on Eternity
Film and rodeo celebrities found in the Blucher Custom Boot Company fitting books.

Field and Studio: Western Hunting Photography
Photographs of hunters and hunting from the Research Center collections.

Faces of Bettina Steinke
Renowned portraitist Bettina Steinke worked for more than 60 years capturing faces of the well known and unknown. Her 1978 Prix de West Purchase Award oil painting Father and Daughter at the Crow Fair is popular among Museum visitors. This exhibition showcases Steinke's work and photographs of her career.

Flying High and Crash Landing: Bull Wrecks in Rodeo
Bull riding is an exciting sport for audiences to watch and is one of the most popular events in rodeos today. People love to see a cowboy ride a bull for the required eight seconds, but there is a thrill in watching wild and crazy wrecks. Cowboys, bulls, and bullfighters flying through the air or crashing to the ground make audiences gasp. Rodeo photographers have captured some spectacular airborne rides that show the all too painful landings. The photography of Ralph R. Doubleday, DeVere Helfrich, and Bern Gregory create a fun-filled, gut-wrenching exhibition of some of the most amazing wrecks ever photographed.

Glimpses of Navajo Life in the 1950s: Photographs by Don Blair
Photographs taken by Don Blair on the Navajo Reservation in 1955.

Highlights of the J.E. Jones Photographic Collection
Photographic album with 45 photographs by J. E. Jones, whose images document the Sioux Indians at the Cheyenne River Agency in South Dakota, the Assiniboine and Gros Ventre Indians at the Fort Belknap Agency in Montana, and the Western Apache Indians at the San Carlos Agency in Arizona.

Historical Photography of the American West in 3-D
Thirty images created from stereographs in the collection of the Dickinson Research Center. The original stereo photographs were manipulated using the Adobe Photoshop program to create anaglyphs, images that, when seen with red/blue "3-D" glasses, allow the viewer to see the photographs as three-dimensional.

History of Female Trick Riders
Explores a brief history of women trick riders and the origin of the sport.

Hoofs and Wheels: Transportation in the West
Explores modes of transportation in the West during the late 19th century and early 20th century.

Images from the Joe De Yong & Richard J. Flood Collection
Joseph Franklin De Yong was a western movie extra, a cowboy artist, protégé of Charles Marion Russell (Montana's cowboy artist), and an historical consultant on western films. This exhibit features a few images of De Yong.

Jolly Bill: Cartoonist & Comedian
A few photographs of cartoonist and radio and television performer William "Jolly Bill" Steinke, who was also the father of artist Bettina Steinke.

Like a Cowboy: Imagery in Politics, Prose and Reality
Sets images of authentic cowboys (hired men who tend cattle and perform many of their duties on horseback) alongside text exploring the many ways cowboys have been used and described in metaphor and reality.

Lovell: Art & Illustrations
Tom Lovell's love of history and his devotion to detailed accuracy was reflected in his art. This small virtual exhibit provides a few images of Tom Lovell and his illustrations.

McCarroll Rodeo Photographs
The married rodeo partners, Frank and Bonnie McCarroll, were an extremely popular and successful pair during the 1910s and 1920s. Frank was known for his bulldogging abilities and Bonnie for her trick riding, steer riding, and saddle bronc riding prowess. These photographs and picture postcards highlight their rodeo career and personality.

McIntosh's Collected Western Ephemera
This is a collection of western-themed books, magazines, and ephemera assembled by Gerald J. McIntosh of Little Rock, Arkansas. A few have been selected for viewing in this brief virtual exhibit.

Not Just a Housewife: The Changing Roles of Women in the West
The exhibit depicts how some determined woman stepped out of the traditional role of housewife and became independent figures in history around the turn of the century. Thirteen women are highlighted as examples of what careers women chose to pursue between 1890 and 1920.

Overland Westerners
The longest documented horseback ride in the 20th century, 20,352 miles.

Photographs from the Arthur & Shifra Silberman Native American Art Collection
The Arthur & Shifra Silberman Native American Art Collection documents Native American art, especially the Kiowa Five artists, including photocopied records, letters, correspondence, clippings, manuscripts, photographs, research notes, and other materials. This exhibit includes just a few of the photographs in the collection.

Photographs from the Willard H. Porter Rodeo Collection
The Porter Collection contains rodeo photographic postcards, rodeo programs, subject files and research on the 1924 and 1934 London rodeos. In addition to the rodeo photographic postcards, the collection also includes 62 passport photos from the 1924 and 1934 London rodeo. This exhibit features several of these images.

Ralph R. Doubleday: Rodeo Photographer
Foghorn Clancy wrote, "Ralph was the first rodeo photographer, and noted in his field because in those days there were not many photographers who would risk camera and film, not to mention life and limb, trying to get action pictures."

Robert E. Cunningham: Oklahoma Photographer
This exhibit, celebrating an Oklahoman photographer, explores both his collected photographic collection and his personal photographs.

Rushes to Statehood: The Oklahoma Land Runs
This exhibit, celebrating Oklahoma's centennial, explores the land settlement events leading to statehood.

Saddlery & Cowboy Gear: Catalogs & Ephemera
Collection of Saddlery and Cowboy Gear Catalogs and Ephemera contains over 375 original and reproduction items from more than 100 saddle and cowboy gear makers and distributors from the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Australia. Below are just a few of the items in the collection.

Savior or Spoiler: Teddy Roosevelt as a Third Party Candidate in 1912
Examines the political process through the historic 1912 election in which Teddy Roosevelt ran against William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson as a third party candidate for the Progressive Party.

Schreyvogel, the Artist
The Charles Schreyvogel Papers is a small collection which primarily documents the period when Schreyvogel was one of the most popular historical Western genre artists in America: from 1899, when he won the Clarke Prize for his painting My Bunkie, through his untimely death in 1912.

Those Who Served: The U. S. Army on the Frontier
Examines the presence of the military on the frontier at the turn of the 20th century.

Tom Ryan & The 6666 Ranch of King County, Texas
The Tom Ryan Papers includes papers and photographs of a contemporary western artist and photographer whose work documents the life of the working cowboy, especially on the famed 6666 Ranch of King County, Texas.

Twentieth Century Photography
This online companion to the on-going exhibit in the Osborn Photography Studio of Prosperity Junction provides some description of photography in the twentieth century, including a timeline. It is illustrated with images of children in cowboy or western attire, all scanned from photographs loaned by Museum docents and staff. The online exhibit also features a section about early photographic processes.

When Animals Attack?: Humorous Hunting Tableaux
Before there was television, Americans spent their leisure time viewing stereographs, photographs printed side-by-side on card stock to produce three-dimensional images when viewed through a stereoscope. This exhibition features a collection of stereographs depicting humorous and exaggerated hunting scenes that showcase the photographer's inventiveness and creativity. Most of the big game images were published between 1880 and 1910, and include deer, elk, moose, mountain sheep, bear, and buffalo.

Zeransky's Collection of Western Film Ephemera
Highlights from the Zeransky Collection of more than 4,000 arcade cards, postcards, lobby cards, advertising cards (trading cards), Dixie Cup lids, milk lids, and ephemera related to silent and western movie actors and actresses.

Virtual Exhibits
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