Exhibitions

Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy
 

Bill Wittliff, 1971.

"He piled his chaps on his saddle and we sat down. For how long, I wanted to know, had he been a vaquero. For a time of twenty years, he told me, from the age of six years.

   Your father also? I asked.
   Si. Un vaquero.
   And your grandfather? 
   Un vaquero.
   There was a silence. Vaqueros siempre.
   Vaqueros always, he said finally. Desde el comienzo. Since the beginning."

— Bill Wittliff, Mexico, 1972.

Exhibition

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.

Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy 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. This exhibition is available in wall-hanging and abridged freestanding versions.

Vaquero is an exhibition created by the Wittliff Collections at the Alkek Library, Texas State University, presented in partnership with Humanities Texas, the state affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Vaquero is made possible in part by a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Exhibition Format

Wall-hanging (Copy 0) 
LanguagesEnglish and Spanish
Content62 framed and matted digital carbon prints
1 title panel
5 narrative text panels
Space Requirements210 linear feet of wall space
Shipping weight and dimensions:Travels in 4 wooden crates, 3 with casters:
  • 36” x 31” x 32” - 222 lbs.
  • 36” x 31” x 32” - 214 lbs.
  • 30” x 25” x 32” - 142 lbs.
  • 17” x 41” x 33” - 149 lbs.
Rental Fee*$900-1200* (varies due to shipping cost)
Rental Period6 weeks
Freestanding (Copy 1) 
LanguagesEnglish and Spanish
Content9 panels (24" x 47")
11 support legs (78" tall)
4 stabilizing feet
Space Requirements150 square feet of floor space (18' x 8')
Shipping weight and dimensions:Travels in 2 plastic cases with casters:
  • 51” x 14” x 45” - 148 lbs.
  • 51” x 14” x 45” - 148 lbs.
Rental Fee*$400* (varies due to shipping cost)
Rental Period4 weeks
Freestanding (Copy 2) 
LanguagesEnglish and Spanish
Content9 panels (24" x 47")
11 support legs (78" tall)
4 stabilizing feet
Space Requirements150 square feet of floor space (18' x 8')
Shipping weight and dimensions:Travels in 2 plastic cases with casters:
  • 51” x 13” x 45” - 156 lbs.
  • 51” x 13” x 37” - 125 lbs.
Rental Fee*$400* (varies due to shipping cost)
Rental Period4 weeks

*Rental fees are based primarily on the cost of shipping. Prices may vary based on current fuel surcharges or venue location within the state of Texas. Out-of-state rentals are priced on an individual basis. Please call for a rental fee quote specific to your venue.

Publicity Materials

Press release

Vaquero press release

Publicity image

A publicity image is available for promoting this exhibition at your venue. Please contact the exhibitions coordinator to request an electronic file of this image. Please allow 2-3 weeks for the exhibitions coordinator to process your request.

Humanities Texas logos

Venues may request a CD with the Humanities Texas logo in a number of electronic file formats for use when developing print and online promotional materials. Logo files are also available for download on the logo page.

Questions and Rental Information

Call 512.440.1991 or email
exhibitions@humanitiestexas.org

2017 Bookings to Date

Chappell Hill Historical Society
(Freestanding 1)
06/28/2017–07/23/2017

J. Erik Jonsson Central Library
(Freestanding 1)
09/15/2017–10/13/2017

McCulloch County Courthouse
(Freestanding 2)
08/07/2017–09/15/2017

Spellman Museum of Forney
(Freestanding 2)
09/21/2017–11/23/2017

The Museum of Western Art
(Wall-hanging)
06/09/2017–07/14/2017

Grapevine Convention & Visitors Bureau
(Wall-hanging)
08/04/2017–10/01/2017

On Display

Panel Preview

Photograph by Bill Wittliff, 1971.