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El Vaquero July 8- August 6

Vaqueros Stampede Toward Caprock Roundup

Heading toward Claude and Caprock Roundup is the traveling photo exhibit, “Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy.” The vaqueros will arrive in Claude on July 8 at the Art Gallery of Armstrong County Museum. The photos explore the cowboy way of life long vanished, but whose image still pervades the bond of man-horse-cow.

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 was 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.

The exhibition will be available to the public from July 8 to August 6. Hours open are 12 to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday at 120 N. Trice Street, Armstrong County Museum.

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 or call 512.440.1991.

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