Doubleday's Cowgirls

Three of my favorite things: Cowgirls. Rodeo. Photography. I was doing some research for an upcoming post and ran across an online exhibit not to be missed...

Two Rodeo Publicity Cars, circa 1945

Put together by the staff of the Donald C. & Elizabeth M. Dickinson Research Center the exhibit, "Doubleday's Cowgirls: Women in the Rodeo", provides an excellent opportunity for folks to see some of R.R. Doubleday's finest work. The essay accompanying the exhibition is entertaining, informative and inclusive. Do not pass this exhibit by, it's a helluva of good ride! A solid 10 on my scorecard.

My hat's off to Chuck Rand, Karen Spilman and Jennifer Wochner. The work they do everyday is vital to understanding and preserving our culture. It would be a sad and different world were it not for their efforts.

The Dickinson Research Center serves as the library for the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The work they do there is important. I encourage you to join the Museum. Support their efforts to help us better understand the American West: a region with a history firmly entrenched in our national culture.

Photo: Ralph R. Doubleday. Negative, safety sheet film, 5"x7"
Collection: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum


Will James: American Cowboy. 1892-1942

"Lone Cowboy" ca. 1920-1930

"Drifter, dreamer, artist and story-teller..." That's how one author begins her summary of the life and times of Will James. To that list I would add American Cowboy.

"In A Bad Way" 1928

Will James was a "top hand". He worked with rough stock and served a little time in prison for rustling. James took more than his share of knocks from the rough stock he wrangled. Those knocks took him from his working cowboy life to that of a full time artist and author.

"A Cow Outfit Of My Own" 1929

James wrote as though he was telling you a story. Natural and easy-going, his short stories and novels had, and continue to have, a large audience. He was an accomplished artist. His drawings and paintings illustrate his "yarns" with authority...

"Rope Corral" 1929

More than the sum of it's parts, James' work comes from the inside out. As it should be. I've read most everything Will James wrote. His drawings and paintings are never far from my mind's eye.

"The Horse Thief" 1929

A tumultuous life. An addiction to drink. Will James died penniless on September 3, 1942. He was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame in 1991.

"All's Fine" 1930

Will James. American Cowboy. He sticks.

Books, Limited and Open edition prints by Will James are available from The Will James Art Company in Billings, Montana.

"Lone Cowboy" Portrait of Will James: Attributed to Charles Duncan.
Yellowstone Art Museum. Permanent Collection. Gift of Virginia Snook.
All other works: Will James.
Collection: J. Davis.
Photography: J. Davis.