July – August


The American Cowboy is one of the few national legends to have become a myth while he was still a fact – and to remain a fact of American life despite all of our romanticizing. Today’s cowboy works as hard-though with different tools and in somewhat different ways – as his prodessessors. His lot includes meager wages; the uncertainties of weather, economics and machinary; and long periods filled with mundane, sometimes dangerous chores. He is, of necessity, a rugged individualist.

This explains in large part why the cowboy holds such a special place in American legend and romance. Side-by-side with the real cowboy rides the potent ideal: a person operating under his own strict code, owned by no one,beholden to none, and at one with nature and its rhythms.


Panel 1 – Reality and Myth
Panel 2 – Cowboys on the Open Range
Panel 3 – Multi-cultural Cowboys
Panel 4 – Dust, Danger, and Duds
Panel 5 – The Working Year
Panel 6 – Trial Drives
Panel 7 – Rest and Recreation
Panel 8 – Restriced Ranges

Panel 9 – Cowboys Pictured in Words
Panel 10 – The Romaniticized Cowboy
Panel 11 – The Wild, Wild West
Panel 12 – Buffalo Bill and Friends
Panel 13 – Rodeo!
Panel 14 – Capturing Cowboy Life
Panel 15 – Hollywood Goes Cowboy

LOCATION: 3rd floor galleries
Curator: Library of Congress Series