Golden Age of Cowgirls

Exhibition Website

Feb 14 2016 - Oct 9 2016

From the collections of western enthusiast, Cheri Raftery, comes a special exhibit highlighting a time when the cowgirl was America's sweetheart. Featuring authentic clothing, artwork, memorabilia and artifacts, the collection of graphically illustrates the history of the cowgirl and brings to life her glory days as an American hero and Western icon.

These works illustrate a unique period in history when women rode right alongside their male counterpart. "These hardy women who were brought up in the early West did not live by strict Victorian standards of the East," says Raftery. "They were tough, rugged cowhands from ranching families and were expected to work hand in hand with their fathers, brothers and husbands, raising and breeding cattle and horses."

Rafferty's collection is the result of 30 years of searching for cowgirl memorabilia. Her holdings include skirts, bronc belts, cuffs, hats, spurs, riding boots, Western art and photographs. The exhibit is "100% specific" to the women whose place in history Rafferty seeks to preserve.

Whether you go or no, you can learn more about the subject in Cowgirls: Women of the American West .  The San Francisco Chronicle  says it's "Valuable for its sympathetic portrait of western life and western women, for the historical anecdotes that enliven its pages and for its nitty-gritty detail about ranch life."—

  • American
  • Western

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