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Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy

La caballada, Rancho Tule, México, © 1970-72 by Bill Wittliff
La Caballada, Rancho Tule, México, 1970-72, by Bill Wittliff

MARCH 27, 2010 - JULY 31, 2010
VAQUERO: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy

Photographs by BILL WITTLIFF

When Texas moved into the cattle business, its cowboy adopted many of the Mexican vaquero’s accoutrements and centuries-old methodologies of working herds in big country. In the early 1970s Bill Wittliff was invited to witness one of the last traditional roundups on the vast Rancho Tule in northern Mexico, and he fixed the vanishing vaquero tradition forever in nearly 5,000 photographs taken over a period of three years. Now Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, is touring more than 60 of these images that have been recreated as rich carbon-ink prints. Accompanied by bilingual narrative texts, Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy at the Wittliff Collections is made possible in part by a “We The People” grant from the NEH. This exhibition was celebrated with a public reception and program on April 17.