The Heritage Society presents Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy opening reception

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The Heritage Society presents Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy
Photo courtesy of The Heritage Society

The Heritage Society presents 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.

In the early 1970s, noted Texas historian Joe Frantz offered Bill Wittliff the 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 over 60 striking black and white 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.

Nothing brings to mind the Old West like a traditional cowboy on his horse.  This exhibit will highlight the importance of the vaquero to Texas cattle ranching just as the thousands of trail riders roll in to Houston for the kick-off to the 2016 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on display through March 5.

Event Details



The Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park
1100 Bagby St.
Houston, TX 77002


Ticket Info

Admission is free.