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Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy

Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy

Photograph by Bill Wittliff. Courtesy Humanities Texas A working vaquero in northern Mexico, circa 1970s

Beginning September 15, 2017 at the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library, the Dallas Public Library will present “Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy,” an exhibition created by the Wittliff Collections at the Alkek Library, Texas State University-San Marcos, presented in partnership with Humanities Texas, the state affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities. This exhibition is made possible in part by a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. In the early 1970s, noted Texas historian Joe Frantz offered Bill Wittliff a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity—to visit a ranch in northern Mexico where the vaqueros still worked cattle in traditional ways. Wittliff photographed the vaqueros as they went about daily chores that had changed little since the first Mexican cowherders learned to work cattle from a horse's back. Wittliff captured a way of life that now exists only in memory and in the photographs included in this exhibition. The exhibition features photographs with bilingual narrative text that reveal the muscle, sweat and drama that went into roping a calf in thick brush or breaking a wild horse in the saddle. The exhibition will be available to the public from September 15, 2017 to October 13, 2017 during the central library’s open hours. The J. Erik Jonsson Central Library is located at 1515 Young Street, Dallas, TX 75201. The exhibition will be installed on the third floor. For more information about directions, parking, viewing hours or to arrange group visits, visit http://dallaslibrary.org or contact Ronnie Jessie, Events Administrator, Dallas Public Library, 214.670.7809. Humanities Texas develops and supports diverse programs across the state, including lectures, oral history projects, teacher institutes, traveling exhibitions and documentary films. For more information, please visit Humanities Texas online at http://www.humanitiestexas.org or call 512.440.1991.
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