The McAllen Heritage Center museum of history and culture is hosting a traveling exhibit, which will be on display until the end of April.
MHC 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. 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 sixty-two digital carbon prints 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.
In addition to the beautiful Vaquero photograph panel display, the Museum of South Texas history has provided an interesting case display consisting of various branding irons and cowboy spurs along with a copy of the book “Ranch Life in Hidalgo County After 1850” by Emilia Schunior Ramirez. Local artifact collector, Hector Vargas provided various pieces such as horse saddles, lariats and other ranch artifacts to enhance the exhibit.
For more information MHC or about this exhibit, contact Letty Rodriguez, museum services, at (956) 681-2860. The museum is located at 301 S. Main St. in downtown McAllen.
Current hours of operation are 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. There is no admission charge although door donations are welcome. There is free limited parking available rear of museum building for our visitors. MHC is maintaining COVID-19 requirements so visitors must wear a mask for entry and while in the museum galleries.
Humanities Texas develops and supports diverse programs across the state, including lectures, oral history projects, teacher institutes, museum exhibitions and documentary films.
For more information, visit Humanities Texas online at http://www.humanities
texas.org or call (512) 440-1991.