Italian Buckaroos: Old World & New World
Old World: The Maremma region of Italy, stretching along the Mediterranean coast from southwestern Tuscany to north of Rome, has been famed for cattle ranching and horsemanship since ancient times. The local cattlemen, known as butteri, work on horseback using the distinctive pungolo (a hooked stick for herding animals) and Maremman saddle. Of course, the last 100 years have brought many changes to the culture and economics of ranching in the region; however, the work of caring for livestock remains fundamental. For this exhibition, we bring together both historic and contemporary views of Italian cowboy life. The unique saddles, gear and clothing will be displayed along with artwork, photographs and videos documenting this ancient, yet still vibrant, cowboy culture.
This exhibition is curated by Drew Mischianti and Natalia Estrada. The Italian cultural exchange and the portion of the exhibition dedicated to the Italian buttteri is exclusively sponsored by the E.L. Wiegand Foundation.
New World: In the early 1900s, several waves of Italians traveled to the United States and settled in the American West. Many of these immigrants, largely from northern Italy, continued the traditions of their ancestors and took up ranching in northern Nevada and other western states. For this exhibition, we focus on Italian-American gearmakers and northern Nevada families who continue to ranch, featuring their family photographs and treasured old-country items that connect them to their Italian heritage.
The Italian-American component of Italian Buckaroos: Old World & New World is presented with support from Reds Ranch and others. Many thanks to all of the families that contributed to this exhibition, and to the University of Nevada Oral History program and the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for their contributions.
Blue Horse / Red Desert: The Art of Tom Russell
Featured in the Fireplace Nook gallery of the Western Folklife Center during the 29th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering and a limited time thereafter is an intimate exhibition of original paintings and prints by singer/songwriter and artist Tom Russell. We've all enjoyed his album covers for years: be sure to come view the original artwork. A book of Russell’s art, Blue Horse Red Desert, was published by Bangtail Press in September 2011. See more on Tom's website (click on the small images to enlarge).