The Art of the American West and The Culture of... Overview By Joanne M. Hattrup, Burgwin Elementary School

The Art of the American West and The Culture of the Cowboy
By Joanne M. Hattrup, Burgwin Elementary School
Myths are powerful vehicles for learning about our history. This curriculum unit focuses on the men who
embodied the Wild West for future generations. It explores the culture of the cowboy, the ordinary cattleman
who drove herds of cattle from Texas between 1865 and 1890, and the myth and legend of the American
Cowboy that has been carried throughout many generations. Although the era of the cowboy is long gone, the
myth of the American cowboy is alive and well. The myth of the American cowboy endures for it embodies
the spirit of America—rugged individualism and independence.
The topic is one that has much personal appeal. My own ancestors were captivated by this group of rough,
tough and ready Americans and "the lure of the West." A German immigrant, my great-great grandfather
packed up his own family and headed west to fulfill his dreams. In my travels to the West, I’ve been captivated
by the beauty of the country, the majestic mountains and clouds, the crystal clear waterfalls, and the fast
rushing rivers. It is not surprising that so many romantically pursued that romantic vision. The West, as well as
the hope that it nurtured, represented a new beginning. No wonder people found the necessity to paint the land
before it was settled, to preserve the pristine images.
While living in Texas for two decades, I encountered the legend of the American cowboy personally. Local
scenery is reminiscent of the cowboy days - grazing longhorn cattle, men sporting their cowboy hats and boots
- these and other symbols are living proof that the cowboy ideals of individualism, strength, and self-reliance
still exist. The Cowboy, a skilled laborer who rode horses and herded cattle, faced harsh elements in nature and
slept under the stars in open air, was always on the move. He needed to be ever watchful of a sudden stampede
of panicked cows, set off by a coyote’s howl, the rattling of pots in a wagon, or a bolt of lightening on the
horizon. He was mobile and always ready to move on.
The image of the cowboy bolstered the energy and excitement that came with settlement and made it appear
glorious. The "created" cowboy image was adventurous and honorable. This myth has been idealized in our
imaginative folklore. Buffalo Bill Cody and the actors in his Wild West Show dramatically promoted the lure
of the West. Cody was not compelled to stick to the factual truth, rather, he exaggerated stories, added conflict,
drama, and even hired Chief Sitting Bull to participate in reenactments and spectacular events showcasing
horse riding and roping.
This unit has been designed so that elementary students can envision how America came to be. They will get a
feel for what this untouched land was like through the artists who portrayed it and its settlers. The unit will
provide students with an opportunity to see images, make inquiries, gain knowledge, view maps, explore
myths, and listen to music reflective of the culture. They will use these learning experiences to create their own
artwork, symbolic and reflective of this cowboy culture and the lure of the West.
Below I provide a brief rationale for this curriculum unit and an overview of its organizational structure. This
is followed by a narrative that will provide readers with a flavor of the learnings that students will encounter in
my classroom. Finally, I present detailed descriptions of the six lessons that comprise the unit.
My curriculum unit has been designed to engage students in active, interdisciplinary learning that will immerse
them in the history of the American West, particularly in relation to the American cowboy. Selected paintings
will serve as the primary vehicle by which students explore the adventure, folklore, and myths of the American
West. This unit will increase our knowledge of our American history and enable us to gain a better
understanding of our nation’s heritage and ourselves.
This unit is designed for use with fifth grade students who will have completed a study of American History at
the year’s end. It is interdisciplinary, integrating history with the arts. With elementary students, it is important
to nurture an understanding of art, including aesthetics and production, and its historical underpinnings and
significance. To this end, students will be actively engaged in discussion about the West through art. Students
will view visual images capturing the spirit of the West and will be encouraged to share what they see with
their classmates. The particular slides I have chosen are paintings that I have seen—hence they have special
significance for me. Other teachers might choose to substitute these images with other images of American
Western art—of which there are many from which to select.
Organizational Structure of Unit
This curriculum will immerse students in a fifth grade art class to the western culture and myth over a period
of 10 to 12 weeks. The class meets for 45 minutes twice a week. Activities and slides are part of the six
lessons. Each lesson will consist of approximately four class meetings. This timeline can be modified to meet
students’ needs.
Student participation is an integral part of the lessons. The activities include viewing and discussing paintings,
dressing up in costumes, photographing each other, reading a map, establishing a time line, reading and
interpreting myths, conducting research, sketching, and creating a class quilt with the common theme of the
American West and the American cowboy. The lessons are enhanced by music and focus on creative tasks.
Students will record their drawings and writing in their individual art journals.
Connections to Content Standards
In the Pittsburgh Public School District, we align our curriculum to over 60 content standards. This curriculum
unit satisfies a number of those standards. The communication standards and the arts and humanities standards
utilized in the District are included in the back of this unit and will be referred to by number immediately after
each set of student objectives in each lesson.
The American West brings a variety of images to mind. With its natural beauty, a variety of resources, and its
stark contrast to the crowded and populated cities in the East, it shouted adventure and economic gain for many
19th century Americans. The western wilderness appeared wide-open and endless, seeming like it went on
forever before reaching the Pacific Ocean. For some time, even going back to the expeditions with Lewis and
Clark, artists were accompanying surveyors and government agents, recording and documenting what they saw
and then promoting and sharing their art in the East. In the late 1800s, publishers of popular magazines,
particularly Harper’s New Monthly Magazineand Colliers, solicited illustrations and essays to satiate the
appetite of its American readers. Changes in the 20th century publishing industry provided illustrators with a
regular market for selling their work that contained personal visions of national meaning. Without a doubt, this
had a great impact on the American mind. As appealing images of frontier people circulated, a positive attitude
toward Western settlement flourished. Many artists, particularly Frederick M. Remington and Charles M.
Russell, presented Westerners as individuals of character, fortitude, and integrity. Perhaps even more
significant, as the nation changed and headed towards machines and industry, these illustrated Western sagas
kept the national frontier concept in center stage for Americans. In the pages that follow, I describe the
imagery and culture of the West that students will be immersed in through this curriculum unit.
Setting the Stage
The unit will begin with a "look" at the West. Students will be asked to describe the images that are projected
on the classroom screen. My goal is to provide opportunities for my students to perceive and cultivate
awareness for the natural world—the American West. My students will be encouraged to search for clues that
explain what they believe the artist is trying to capture. They will describe and share the feelings that the
paintings evoke within them. As students offer their own interpretations of the paintings, I will share brief
biographical sketches of the artists, and historical accounts that are useful to understanding the significance of
the painting. I will utilize this questioning and discussion strategy with each image I share with my students.
For example, in Albert Bierstadt’s Filled With the Fair of Heaven, students might offer such descriptions as
large trees, a bright sun, fog, reflections, or a canoe in the water. Upon students’ sharing their initial reactions
to the painting, I will explain to students that the Wild West, a new commodity, was being experienced
through literature, art, entertainment, and tourism. By cutting ties with what Europe dictated in the art world,
painters found subject matter that was truly "American." Artists were painting the ever-changing forms and
colors of the land caused by variations in light, season and weather. The western landscape was often
romanticized, the large landforms making people and animals seem insignificant in size. It was luminescent in
quality. I will share with students that Albert Bierstadt, a German artist who accompanied American
expeditions, was one of the best-known landscape painter at this time. As we look at the slide, I will emphasize
the sense of adventure, awesome beauty, and the grand scale of the land that embody this artist’s message. I
will explain that there was a nostalgic longing for this grand era. The West seemed to magnify and elevate life
without entrapment (despite the reality that much risk and harsh challenge confronted those who succumbed to
the lure of the West). Not surprisingly, it was at this time in our country’s history that the National Park system
was being widely promoted.
As we discuss the small Indian figure in the canoe, and how he pales in size to the large landforms, I will use
this opportunity to pose the question, what do you think is the fate of the Indian? They have lived in America
for centuries and now many people are encroaching on their culture, their lifestyle, and their buffalo herds. Can
you see their traditions and life as they knew it was changing?
Another image that I will share is Maynard Dixon’s painting, Desert Images. Students will be asked to
compare this painting with Filled with the Fair of Heaven. As I do this, I will share with my students that
Maynard Dixon, a self-taught artist, began sketching in elementary school. He sent some of his sketches to
Frederick Remington who encouraged him to pursue his passion for painting. Dixon himself worked as a
cowboy. As my students look at Desert Images, I hope they see the hilly ridges, scrubby plants, the creek, a
horse that looks like he is drinking; the cloud formation that suggestions a circle or halo. I expect that they will
pick up on the hotness, lack of water and shade, and dust, that suggest that this was a place that was somewhat
desolate and lonely, and often tough to traverse on horseback.
My strategy is to motivate students to make some comparisons based upon what they see (communication
standards 2 and 6; art and humanities standards 1, 2, and 3). By using these visuals, I plan to illustrate the
contradictory ways in which the American West is portrayed. One common image of the West is that of a lush
garden—one that suggests fertile farming. Another common image is that of a desert, with sparsely populated
areas, and, in some parts, largely uncivilized. The garden imagery is of course positive, the desert more
negative. It will be important to point out that this imagery is grounded in reality. For example, the dry desert
of the Southwest was a barrier to Spanish expansion for centuries. Irrigation of the land led to enhanced
farming, and helped to mitigate the image of the West as a desert. Optimism and expansionism pervaded the
art and literature of the era; these idealized descriptions were inviting, appealing, and convincing to the
American people.
The open space that existed in the plains was mysterious and dangerous. The journals and stories of early
explorers and trappers as well as paintings and photographs of this region reflected a rough, wild terrain with
bizarre topography and natural wonders. The land was wild and needed to be tamed. The cowboy’s job was to
bring safety and prosperity—in battling snakes, rustlers, and stampedes. The concept of wild versus tame
added excitement and longevity, not just to the ideas of survival but to the myth of the cowboy. On the plains
is where we see the American cowboy living, working, playing, and dying. The West was wilderness with the
potential of danger, the idea of wild as opposed to controlled, or the balance of nature with the potential for
Once the setting of the West has been firmly established, I will encourage my students to imagine the
characters who lived when the drama unfolded. To meet this goal, students will read, conduct research and
identify pioneers, settlers, Native Americans, trappers, Calvary, and cowboys and examine their clothing and
gear. Guided with a list of characters and a box of costumes and props, students will select outfits and make
the characters come alive. They will use a camera to document this evidence and listen to music to absorb the
cultural context (communication standards 1 and 6, arts and humanities standards 3 and 4). (Refer to Lesson I).
The Cowboy
As the frontier characters find their destination in the epic of the American West, the character that becomes
more prominent and grows bigger than life even before his era is over, is the American cowboy. After the Civil
War, many men rushed to the west for the opportunity to work, earn money, and seek adventure. Some were
veterans; many were former slaves from Southern states. Some were vaqueros from Mexico or adventurous
immigrants. Approximately one in four was an African American, often referred to as the Buffalo Cowboys.
They shared an expertise in horsemanship and skills in using a rope.
Where did the word cowboy originate? It can be traced back to Ireland as early as 1000 A.D. They were simple
cattle herders. Where did cowboy, cowpuncher, vaquero and buckaroo come from? Cowpunchers got their
nickname form prodding the cattle’s feet so that they would not sit down on the railcars. The vaqueros (from
the Spanish "vaca" or cow) were herding cattle in Mexico, the Southwest, and California long before the
American cowboy existed. When the missionaries introduced cattle into the Mexican plains, they also taught
the Indians how to tend herds. The vaqueros were skillful horsemen and expert cattlemen, and by far the most
significant influence on the American cowboy. They were masters of techniques such as cutting individual
animals out of a swirling herd, subduing the animals with rope, and branding them for identification.
Cowboys could be boastful and proud, and demonstrated much loyalty to their group. The herd was the
cowboy’s most important concern. Cowboys sang to the herds at night, taking turns with verses from ballads
or old war stories. The music was mostly to sooth the herds with human voices and to distract cattle from
shadows at night. Harmonicas, fiddles, and a jew's harp were often stowed in a cowboy’s saddlebag. Only in
the movies does the cowboy usually sing around the campfire.
Tired after a long 12-hour day, they might play a game of cards. Cowboys would often devise new games to
pass the time, for instance, they would study food labels and see who could recite from memory the labels best.
Quiet conversation typically occurred around the campfire. Cowboys enjoyed reading (saddle catalogues and
mail-order books) especially when they were solo. Cowboys clearly had to enjoy the outdoors—and endure the
elements, for they slept out under star lit skies with only a tarpaulin to protect them from the rain and the cold.
Cowboys worked on ranches usually owned by others. The ranchers paid the cowboys and furnished some of
their equipment, this was called room and board. Although cowboys worked hard and confronted real danger
on daily basis, they typically would receive about $90 pay at the end of a three-month trail ride (which
averages to be only $1 a day!). How might they spend their well-earned money? Perhaps on a bath, haircut,
new clothes, or simply a good time.
Look at Charles Russell’s painting Old Slick Ear, and describe the men, their clothing and gear. They wore
hats with a turned up rim that evolved from the sombrero. This is the ten-gallon model, the Stetson, which
provided shade from sun and functioned as an umbrella in rain. They wore bandanas around their necks that
came in handy for wiping sweat, wrapping ears in cold weather, protecting their mouth from dust, and
straining muddy water for drinking. I will ask students to look at distinctive articles of clothing to sketch,
identify, and define in their journals (communication standards 1, 3, 4, 5, and 7, art and humanities standard 4):
"What are they wearing on their feet? Look at the pointed boots, designed to slide into stirrups easily with 2inch heels to prevent sliding out. The knife in the waistband is an essential tool. The revolver on the hip,
although not often used because of the common fear of stirring a stampede, provided a last defense against
snakes, steers and other cowboys. Can you sense the noise, the dust, and the commotion in this painting? How
does that make you feel? What is happening in this commotion? Can you describe some of the action?" Two
cowboys are driving cattle from a ravine. One has roped a cow which is wiggling loose. The rider in the
distance is Charles Russell. The cowboys possessed such qualities as strength, skill, and courage. They were
rough and ready men who were required to use ropes and branding irons. They roped and branded newborn
mavericks. They would grab hold of the tail; either twist it around the horn of the saddle or "bulldog it" by
wrestling the animal to the ground by its horns, tying it to a tree or bounding its feet together. With an iron,
they’d brand the cattle—burning through the hair to permanently scar the hide for identification.
I will share with my students that Charles M. Russell (1864-1926) lived to experience his own success. He
worked as a cowboy for 11 years before he painted fulltime. He loved to sing, tell stories and entertain, so it
was a good fit when he landed a job watching the cow ponies in the spring, and the full roundup in the fall. He
acclimated to this schedule because he was passionate about drawing and painting watercolors during the day.
From a well-to-do family, he left Iowa for Montana. In 1884, Russell accepted a commission by J.T. Murphy,
owner of a larger outfitting and merchandizing store to produce a poster illustrating gear. Cowboys liked fancy
gear. This was the beginning of his tremendous career. Russell valued the history and the common man in the
scheme of everyday activities. He has become known as the "Cowboy Artist" as he came to symbolize the
ideas of the frontier myth in his illustrations, paintings, and sculpture.
I will also focus on Frederick Remington’s The First Lesson by asking students, "What are the men wearing?
Chaps are made of rawhide to protect their legs. Describe the saddle and the lariat." After students research the
clothing of the cowboy, I hope they will gain a strong sense of the cowboy’s gear and garb. I will pose to them,
"What action is taking place in this painting? Do you see the expression on the animal’s face? The bronco
buster is roping a wild horse. Sometimes he tightens the lasso for the purpose of making the animal lose his
breath. When weakened, the horse falls to the ground, and then is blindfolded. The bronco buster’s job was to
attempt to force the bridle and bit on the animal. The horse was then snubbed to a post, mounted, and turned
loose. Ordinary men suggested that the horse was only half- broke, but it did not seem to matter because the
bronco riders could handle them that way. How did the cowboys know which horses had been ridden?
Apparently the horses were frequently marked by trimming their tails or manes to distinguish them."
The first lesson was as hard on the cowboy as it was on the horse. This was a challenge for the Cowboy,
because after he got on the horse he had to gain control. The bronco would take off like a bolt of lightning,
bouncing across the ground, arching his back, and leaping upon his hind legs. He might land on his front legs
and try to throw the rider off by kicking out his hind legs. After a struggle, and the horse tires, the first lesson
is over, and the cowboy and the horse become a team. This was a chore but a necessity for the cowboy.
The roundup (in Spanish, rodeo) was the major activity in the course of events. Cattle had to be trailed from
one place to another, and wild horses had to be broken. Cowboys developed subtle variations for these generic
ranch chores, but the vaqueros greatly influenced American cowboys. I will pose questions such as, "What
chore are they attempting? What is the expression on the horse’s face? Is it terror? What is he afraid of?" I
want students to see the fright and aversion on the horse, symbolic of the new relationship he is forging with
man. "Do you sense that a skilled bronco rider has established dominance over the horse?" Riding wild,
bucking horses is one of the cowboy’s work skills that carried over into popular culture via the rodeo.
Attempting to saddle the wild horse was tough, especially trying to avoid kicking and being chased around the
pen, or even knocked over and having to jump up in a hurry. Sometimes they would whip the horse until they
did something correct, then they would pet him or simply leave him alone. Other practices included exhausting
the horse and not providing food, therefore tiring him out to where he finally complies, allowing the cowboy to
put on a bit and saddle.
I will emphasize that working the cattle was the cowboy’s main job. To this end, I will explain to my students
that the livestock industry grew out of wild-cattle hunting, and as ranching developed, specialized tasks were
needed. I will describe the stages of a round-up. Initially, riders had to round up the cows. This involved a
team. Then the cattle had to be sorted out by owner for branding and earmarks. Many times cowboys had to
cover for each other in the case that one animal broke away and ran. During the branding, the cowboys rode
special cutting horses. Finally, at the conclusion of the roundup, the cowboys had a chance to show off their
stuff between rival ranches. They participated in a variety of horseback competition showcasing their talent,
skill, and ability. This, along with the fiesta, typically celebrated the end of the roundup.
My students will observe that Frederick Remington’s old West was mystic and adventurous, but also a world
filled with struggles and hardships. I will instruct them to look at Remington’s The Fall of the Cowboy, and
describe what they see. Students might offer that they see two men, dressed in clothing typical of cowboys
with their horses or that they see a snowy landscape capped with a dark gray sky, a fence that looks like barbed
wire with a wooden gate. "Do you see drab dreary colors, including shades of gray? How does this painting
make you feel? Does it remind you of anything? Explain what you see. Why might Remington have painted
this as a dark day? It makes me feel cold, lonely and dreary. The men are wearing jackets and gloves. What is
Remington suggesting? Look for more clues. See droopy hats, tired horses, serious men, a barbed wire fence
separating the men from the pasture. One man is opening the gate. The open range is disappearing and the
cowboy’s career is coming to an end." I will explain that the bitter winters of 1885 and 1886 were devastating
to the herds. The invention of barbwire was an end to the open grazing. Remington, like many in the East
living at the turn of the century, was overwhelmed with the contrast between his modern era of urban
development and machinery, and foreigners and that of an idealistic and romanticized Old America.
Having personally experienced a Sioux uprising, and buffalo hunts, Frederick Remington (1861-1909) was
passionate about documenting the era of the American West and the disappearance of the cowboy. His
documentation of the era glamorized the image of the cowboy and promoted the myth. A middle-class New
Yorker educated at Yale, he left school to join an expedition to the West with a government group. He loved
horses and was an excellent rider. He was fascinated with the cowboys and the lifestyle they encompassed—he
captured this fascination through his sketches, writing and photographs that later served as a basis for the
painting he completed in his studio. He collected gear such as boots, hats and other equipment to use as props.
His work in great demand, he sold his illustrations to Harper’s Magazine. In his paintings one senses
Remington’s sadness over the disappearance of the Wild West.
Unlike Remington, Russell stood in the boots of the cowboy in real life; his fascination with Indians and
cowboys dates backs to his early boyhood. He loved to draw them. He sought out the Indians, and, although he
was first afraid of them, he rejected the dominant view and painted them in the way they once were, rather than
in their reduced circumstances of the time. Russell memorialized the West, one that he knew, and treated it
with more intimacy than Remington. Russell painted a gentle, human side sharing a passionate appreciation for
the broad lands of the West and a way of life that passed into history. He captured moments that were everyday
ordinary occurrences that became immortal dramas. With emotion, drama and reality, he stood apart from
Remington’s contrived actions and props. Remington chose to depict violent scenes with lots of tension and
action in the narratives, almost explosive. His early realism evolved into an almost impressionistic approach
later in life. I will assign students to research and share some facts, similarities, and differences between these
two artists (communication standards 1, 2, and 6; art and humanities standards 2, 3).
Cattle Trails
After the Civil War ended in 1865, an economic opportunity developed for Texans, vaqueros from Mexico and
former slaves from the Southern states. Conditions were rundown and livestock was unattended. Longhorn
wandered the open grasslands. Rounding them up, herding them to stockyards in Kansas and Missouri to be
shipped east, to Chicago, and to the west was profitable and a way for these ordinary men to earn money. The
cowboy emerged because skill and horsemanship were needed in the plains where there was a large cattle
kingdom. The trail rides lasted for 20 years, from 1866 to 1886 and more than five million cattle moved up
trails originating in Texas to Kansas where they were shipped by railroad to buyers in Chicago, N.Y. and cities
east of the Mississippi.
I will have my students look at Maynard Dixon’s painting, The Top of the Ridge, to engage them in a
discussion about the longhorns and retrace the cattle trails. Again, I will ask them to describe what they see. As
I have indicated throughout this narrative, I want my students to express how the art makes them feel and
respond to what it reminds them of as they explain what they see. As I share my own observations of the
paintings, I will be sure to allow plenty of room for students to expand upon my interpretations and share their
own perspectives.
I will point out the cowboy moving a rustling herd of longhorn cattle and the tall tree with long branches
stretches out over the animals. I will have them observe that it makes you move around the painting observing
a clear blue sky. I will ask them to explain the action they see by pointing to visual clues. I will share with my
students that these longhorns were descendants of the animals that Christopher Columbus brought to this
continent centuries earlier. The longhorns were definitely tough, they had endured droughts, floods, blizzards
on the open ranges in Mexico and regions that were to become the southwest. Apparently they withstood
insects, wolves, and rattlesnakes. I will ask students to take notice of their stature, their long legs that enabled
them to move quickly. Their horns spread five feet and they stood five feet tall; an average four-year-old
looked mean and intimidating weighing nearly half a ton, which is 900 pounds.
Who was interested in cattle? There were primarily four categories of potential buyers: ranchers from
Colorado, Wyoming and other territories in need of animals to expand their stock; government agents who
sought cattle to feed Indians on government reservations; middlemen in Illinois who fattened longhorn for
market; and eastern packing houses whose organizers sought beef for food. The longhorn was a valued
commodity for it could walk fifteen miles, drink some water, and be content for the rest of the day. Having
consumed vast food supplies in the East feeding Civil War soldiers, the government needed provisions for the
Indians on reservations. The supply of grass was dwindling in the Midwest, but it was still abundant in Texas
for grazing. Investors with money supported the cattle drives, which produced boomtowns in Kansas and
poured money into Texas. The cattle drives, throughout this period in the 1860’s and 1870’s, supported the
growth of the railroad, the demand for the meat packing industry, and provided affordable meat for Americans.
Another major impact of the cattle drives was a host of facts, fable and folklore about the American cowboy.
The trail ride organizer’s mission was to establish a safe route for the animals and cowboys; the trails typically
initiated in Texas, proceeding north along the Red River, through Indian Territory (Louisiana) to Kansas to
Missouri. I will ask my students to ponder the potential hazards, setbacks, and discomforts of the trail. "Can
you imagine the heat, dust and the grueling responsibility of guarding cattle at night? Visualize the challenge
of guiding longhorns across a river." I will share with my students that rarely did the cowboys encounter
Indians, although there were rare Comanche parties that stole horses or cattle. Those who grazed their cattle on
Indian land were taxed—yet another setback to the trail organizer. Stampedes were also a potential threat—the
longhorns were not familiar with herds, and they could be disturbed by lightning and howling coyotes. The
hazardous stampedes occurred when the animals panicked and rushed for miles, injuring other cattle and
ruining everything in their path. The settlers and dairy farmers did not welcome the cowboys because they
feared that the ticks carried by the longhorns would be injurious to their livestock. These farmers attempted to
limit access to the trails, but often this was difficult to enforce given very determined trail drivers! Organizers
selected routes where lawful and vigilante blockades and renegade raiders were least likely. But even so,
sometimes cowboys encountered bandits who demanded a fee to ensure uninterrupted passage. After the 1st of
November, with the initial freeze of the season, the ticks died off, and Kansas was open. Yet, at this time of
year, grass wasn’t always plentiful, partly due to the destructive prairie fires, making grazing less than ideal.
Sometimes the cowboys decided it was worth the wait and hid in Indian Territory just allowing cattle to graze.
If they could avoid the marauders, the bands of thieves who stole cattle, it was well worth it, but there was
always the possibility of more "natural" threats such as tornados, windstorms, and blizzards. I will ask my
students to imagine these trail conditions for two or three month’s crossing over 500 miles.
The American Cowboy: Fact Versus Myth
By 1880, the American Cowboy had fully emerged. The Cowboy became a legendary figure in an interesting
way. For some reason, there were elements in their personal images, their nomadic lifestyles, their connection
to the cattle and to the Wild West that were deeply appealing to millions of Americans. These ordinary men
were transformed not because they were historically important, but because they were symbolically important.
By the end of the mid 1890’s, the livestock industry was changing and with it, the landscape of America. The
open range was replaced with barbed wire fences, railroad tracks, vehicles, and the arrival of sheepherders and
farmers. This was a dramatic transformation on the range occurring in the span of a lifetime.
Americans were looking for a hero - one who withstood all odds to enhance his community, rescue the
helpless, or defeat the bad guys. This cowboy mounted on his horse exemplified this hero. The cowboy
galloping across Charles M. Russell’s paintings, representing a code of honor over the open range, was always
with a horse, usually a gun, only sometimes with cattle. People desired this icon, and hence were eager
audiences for stories and productions reflecting this saga. Literature and art provides us with opportunities to
search for the symbols comprising the myth. My goal is to encourage students to formulate a list of elements
that were either part of the myth or part of reality (communication standard 7).
In the late 1800s, the Cowboy grew in status, developing into an icon for some people. The cowboy surpassed
the prominence of mountain men, pioneers, scouts and gold miners, not just as a Western image but as an
American image. The evolution took place through story, song and reality. Why did this phenomenon occur?
Beyond nostalgia, it was an attempt to preserve our American idealism and to retell our American heritage.
The romantic cowboy culture came alive in stories and in dreams. It became difficult to separate fact from
fiction, embellishment from reality, and the true chronology of events. The cowboy simply grew more vivid in
the public’s mind than in real life. He stood strong as a symbol for American’s commitment to action, work
and achievement. Cody was a visionary, speculating on the importance of the American West for the future of
America. The virtues and values of the frontier, his Wild West, supported the emotions that lead to the Spanish
American War and World War I.
uffalo Bill Cody was largely responsible for promoting the Cowboy as a hero. He popularized the cowboy in
the 1880s and thus the American cowboy myth continued to evolve. The design of his Wild West Show
offered reenactments of adventures, struggles, and triumphs to an audience who perceived the settlement of the
West as an allegory of the nation’s achievements and aspirations. Cody rounded up the entire group of
characters--Indians, settlers, stage drivers, scouts, cavalry, and sharp shooters (including Sitting Bull, a famous
Indian Chief from Custer’s Last Stand, Yellow Hand, and other Indians and Annie Oakley, an Ohio cowgirl,
Phoebe Ann Moses, who was promoted as "Little Sure Shot"; and William Levi "Buck" Taylor, a rodeo star
and the "King of the Cowboys"), and cast them performing entertaining spectacle and events, some based upon
reality but much upon exaggerated storytelling and myth. Immense crowds came to see the bucking broncos,
bulls, and buffalo showcasing outstanding skills, talent and risks taken by Cody’s Cowboys. The actors were
promoted on posters, in newspapers, and rode in parades just behind the heroic figure of the long-haired
showman, Bill Cody. Students will be invited to research one of these characters and share their learnings with
their classmates (communication standards 2, 3, 5, 7)
In 1893 Buffalo Bill’s mythic reenactment of the frontier was playing to sell out crowds. Cody has seized an
audience, originally Easterners fascinated by the regions west of the Mississippi, leading eventually to
audiences in Europe and around the world. By 1887, William Cody, then 43, was a star, performing with his
outrageous celebrities at the Chicago Fair. That same year, Buffalo Bill packed up 200 hundred actors and 300
head of livestock and sailed to England to perform for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. The production
company returned in 1889 and toured for four more years.
Toward the end of the decade, a new frontier figure emerged with an appealing novel about Buck Taylor, a
mounted fighter and adventurer who rode nowhere without his six shooters strapped to his hips. He used ropes
on occasion to climb cliffs, but his principal tool was the long barreled revolver. The cows, the beasts that had
given rise to the cowboy profession, had strangely disappeared from the scene. With the publication of Buck
Taylor, King of the Cowboys in the Beadle Half-Dime Library in 1887, the cowboy’s image was on its way to
a permanent transformation. There were hundreds of imitation shows, which promoted the cowboy image, a
man who was a defender of principle, always prepared to rescue someone in need, and a down-to-earth good
and decent guy.
My students will view Frederick Remington’s paintings, the Old Stagecoach of the Plains and The Scout,
Friend or Enemy, and Charles Russell’s Lost in a Snowstorm, We Are Friends; here I will have them try to
isolate ideas that seem mythical or rather untrue. I’ll select Charles M. Russell’s painting, Lost in a
Snowstorm, We are Friends, to elaborate upon. "What do you see?" They might respond with, "There are
cowboys and Indians in a snowy place. They are bundled up. They look lost." I will ask the students to look for
clues to explain what is happening. I will add, "The myth, the story, and the movies often made cowboys and
Indians at odds, as bitter enemies. The fact is cowboys rarely encountered Indians on their trails. When the
horse was introduced to the Indians, it made a significant difference in how they could fare economically.
Horses were valuable commodities and were occasionally stolen. This is one aspect that did put the cowboys at
odds with the Native Americans. The myth portrays cowboys with sharp shooters, fighting boisterously. The
fact is cowboys used guns only as a last resort for defense. The noise of a gunshot would frighten the herds,
possibly causing a stampede. The myth paints cowboys as adept and agile gunfighters. The truth is they had
little opportunity to use them. "How does this painting make you feel? Do you sense lonely, scared, or curious
men?" (communication standard 2, 5, 7, art and humanities 1, 2, 3).
In reality, the cowboy life could be dull, drab, and passionless. They were, common laborers with little
education. The created myth is pumped with excitement and honor. This is an integral part of our imaginative
American folklore—a story that many Western artists help to unfold. What people believe is real is often more
important than what is real. The myths are our way of sharing the simple and familiar stories used to explain
more complicated events and occurrences in human existence.
Look at Frederick Remington’s, The Last Bronco, and describe the energy and strength of the cowboy fighting
to hold on. Explain what is happening. Does this remind you of anything? Rodeo rough-stock horses, called
broncos, come from the Spanish word bronco, which means "rough, coarse, or rude." They are rodeo horses,
valued for their rhythm and high kicking ability. Bronco busting took its toll on the riders and horses. In the
American West, the bronco riders had short careers. They began with ideas from the vaqueros and perfected
the job. A bronco rider might deal with five or six horses a day, the entire time encouraging a horse to do the
right thing. To discourage the horse from bucking, he used a whip, and as soon as the horse cooperated, the
cowboy moved along. Do you remember this from The First Lesson? These riders had to be masters at
jumping up, even when getting the wind knocked out of them. Perhaps his hand grip is representative of the
way we hold on to myths, the stories that bridge the gap between the actual way in which things occur and they
way in which we understand them. The Bronco Buster was the most famous piece of western sculpture every
produced, and it fulfilled Remington’s aspiration, I Knew the Horse.Look at the difficult challenge that the
bronco rider has just to stay on the horse. Being a bronco rider was a status symbol and consequently he earned
more money than a simple cowboy. The transcription of nature was Remington’s strength, and the conflict of
nature was his theme. I will also introduce Bill Pickett, a black cowboy and rodeo star, and encourage students
to explore his great feats. He invented bull dogging, throwing a steer on the ground and grabbing its horns and
twisting its head. This is now a leading event at rodeos, the sport that picks up where the Wild West Show left
The myth of the West demanded some mental adjustments on the part of Americans. In the search for
standards by which to define national character and climate, Americans often attached oral and intellectual
dimensions to the Western landscape and the hardships it imposed. In national mythology, as these people in
the West grew larger than life, details of their existence blurred. There were many written personal accounts
and the general public was eager to read them. Russell and Remington captured and preserved this mythical
icon of the cowboy, and although was an outcast to some, too rowdy and too rancorous, he was transformed
into an idol. The amazing fact is that in the 20th Century, the cowboy continued to evolve and presently
appears adaptable to any American era.
The curriculum unit concludes with a making of a Western quilt. Students should be very informed, prepared,
and excited to begin this major art work.
Lesson I: Setting the Stage: Exploring the West: Making Images of Pioneers, Trappers, Cowboys,
Native Americans and Artists Come Alive
Students will:
1. Identify and describe landscape images of the West.
2. Imagine what it was like living or traveling as a pioneer, trapper, Native American or Cowboy in the West.
3. Research and describe specific clothing through books, web pages, and pictures
4. Choose outfits and props, then dress up and assume these character roles.
5. Compare and contrast the roles these people played in the West.
These objectives meet the communication standards numbers 1, 2, 6 and art and humanity standards 1, 2, 3, 4.
Books, reading list, assignments, computer, costume box, list of clothing, vocabulary labels.
Show Slides #1-8 from List of Images
1. Engage students in setting the stage by showing slides (1, 2, 3, 4).
2. Discuss the landscape images. Choose from list of nouns and adjectives descriptive of these images,
including: windswept prairies, soaring mountains, shimmering deserts, open plains, spaciousness, starkness,
wilderness, raging storms, droughts, lush, romantic, picturesque.
3. Engage students in seeing the characters by showing slides of pioneers, cowboys, Native Americans, and
Calvary (5, 6, 7, 8).
4. Listen to Western music.
5. Dress up in a variety of costumes to make these characters "come alive."
6. Pose for photographs imitating stances observed in the paintings.
7. Participate in an oral discussion using comparative analysis (historical and artistic).
Teacher preparation
Collect articles of clothing and make simple props for pioneer men and women, trappers, cowboys, Native
Americans, and the artists. (Ideas for making these articles of clothing can be supplemented by Frontier
American Activity Book by Linda Millicent). Examples of costumes are:
Hat, Vest, Lasso, Bandana, Skirt, Cowboy Boots, Jean Jacket
Pioneer Men, Trappers
Suede Coat, Hat, Leather Coat, Rabbit Skin, Beard, Furry Wrap
Native American
Headband, Bows, Arrows, Blankets, Bracelets, Necklaces, Shawl, Basket, Yarn, Feathers
Pioneer Women
Dress, Bonnet, Skirt, Washboard, Suspenders, Shirt
Hats, Sketch Books, Journals, Cameras
Follow-up and Assessment
Students will create a display of their photographs that documents their participation in "making the
characters" come alive in a Western landscape.
Lesson II: The Cowboy or "Buckaroo" From Head to Toe with Stetson and Boots
Students will:
1. Learn about the cowboy, his lifestyle, his clothing and specialized gear.
2. Learn about the skills needed to herd cattle.
3. Identify the qualities that personified the cowboy.
4. Sketch horses, cowboys and gear.
5. Research and give short reports on the artistic context in which two famous cowboy artists, Frederick
Remington and Charles M. Russell worked.
These objectives meet the communication standards 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, and art and humanities standards 1, 2, 3.
Show Slides # 9-13 from List of Images
Slides, posters, art prints, books, sketchbooks, pencils, markers.
1. Find the cowboys specialized equipment and gear, including chaps, quirt, bandana, lariat, bridle,
hackamore, girth strap, bedroll showing slides (9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
2. List and define each piece of equipment.
3. Draw a cowboy and his horse. What does he need to do his job? Show them. Identify relevant items and
describe how they were used.
Follow-up and Assessment
Students will discuss, research and analyze a variety of aspects about the cowboy and his life. Students will
write and sketch to document this. Reading from the student-reading list is recommended. Look for diaries and
first-hand accounts.
Lesson III: Cattle Trails of the Western U.S.
Students will:
1. Read a large map on the computer screen or on an overhead transparency to locate the plains, the mountains,
and prairies.
2. Discover and retrace the paths and trails the cattle herds followed from Texas to the mid-west, east and west.
3. Identify some of the vegetation, elements of nature, people, establishments, barriers, obstacles and hardships
that the cowboys encountered on their trail rides.
4. Discuss the hardship and beauty they encountered on the trails.
These objectives meet communication standards 1, 6, 8.
1. Map – Cattle Trails of the Western U.S.
2. Show Slide # 14 from List of Images
List of items to identify and label, list of cattle trails, list of elements of nature and manmade constructions,
Items to identify
1. The Eastern U.S., Canada, Mexico, Territories West of the Mississippi, The Mississippi River, Texas,
Railroads: Southern Pacific, Atlantic and Pacific, Santa Fe, Union Pacific, Kansas City, Atkinson, and Topeka.
2. Shawnee Trail, Chisholm Trail, Western Trail, Goodnight Loving Trail.
3. Elements of nature such as storms, blizzards, wind, water supply, animals, snakes, lightning strikes, prairie
fires, open sky, barb wire, star filled nights, plants. Things constructed by men include railroads, barbwire, and
1. Divide students into groups of two of three.
2. View the map.
3. Discover and retrace the trails and paths, identifying them by name.
4. Show slide.
5. Discuss the elements of nature that created hardships and obstacles.
6. Discuss the beauty that cowboys encountered on the trails.
7. Make some comparisons.
Follow-up and Assessment
Students will add their maps to their collection of sketches. Orally review locations identified on the maps.
Lesson IV: Time Line
The students will:
1. Increase familiarity with American Western landscape (real and romanticized) and people from this era.
2. Create a timeline, correctly inserting dates evolving around people and events in chronological order.
These objectives meet communication standards 1, 2, 8.
The American Story, Settling the West, p. 182-183.
Paper, markets, scissors, glue, Xerox images, sketches, western music
1. Engage students in making a large timeline for parts of the nineteenth and twentieth century, focusing
mainly on 1865-1900 using butcher paper and markers.
2. Divide students into groups of two or three and research events and people using reading materials, the
Internet, and visuals.
3. Label the date and record the significant information on the timeline.
4. Provide a box of images, (Xeroxed, downloaded, sketches) to illustrate the timeline and create a visual
impact. Select, cut out, and paste.
5. Continue to listen to Western music selections.
Follow-up and Assessment
Discuss and share responses to this historical era. Analyze the historical significance, context, and impact.
Display the timeline throughout the unit duration.
Lesson V: The American Cowboy: Fact Versus Myth
Students will:
1. Learn how the cowboy image transformed from the ordinary rugged working individual who led cattle
drives into an ever-evolving American myth
2. Discuss, analyze and present facts about the cowboy as well as myths.
3. Express their new knowledge and transfer into pictorial symbols and images.
These objectives meet communication standards 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 and art and humanity standards 1, 2, 3, 4.
Show Slides # 15-22 from List of Images
Sketches for art journal, pencils
1. Show slides to engage students in discussion.
2. Explore the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West shows.
3. Read about specific characters. Example: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Bill Pickett.
Thomas Hart Benton
Oliver Loving
John Butterfield
Susan Shelby Magoffen
Martha Jane Canary (Calamity Jane)
James W. Marshall
Christopher Kit Carson
Annie Oakley
Red Cloud
Buffalo Bill Cody
John B. Stetson
Crazy Horse (Tashunka Witro)
Charles Russell
George Crook
Frederick Remington
Isom Dart
Burk Taylor
John Deere
Bill Pickett
Wyatt Berry Stamp Earp
Gene Autrey
Alice Fletcher
Roy Rogers
Captain John Charles Fremont
Dale Evans
Pat F. Garrett
Tex Ritter
Sara Winnemucca
Sam Houston
Sitting Bull
Chief Joseph
4. Share responses about reality and myths.
5. Sketch at individual pace.
Follow-up and Assessment
Collect sketches, display several and organize them with written material in an art journal in preparation for
the final product, the quilt..
Lesson VI: The Cowboy Quilt
Students will:
1. Become aware of quilting as a process with practical and expressive purposes.
2. Use their sketches to create an individual work of art for a class quilt focusing on the common theme –
3. Exhibit their work.
4. Write a reflection about their composition.
These objectives meet the communication standards 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and the art and humanity standards 1, 2,
3, 4.
Student’s individual sketches.
Western music, scissors, muslin squares, fabric scraps, iron on bonding materials, sketches, reflective writing,
scissors, camera.
1. Teacher prepares square muslin panels by pulling thread at 12" intervals, cutting along pulled thread to
ensure fabric is a true square (one per student).
2. Cut 12-inch square iron on bonding material (one per student). Put fabric scraps, trims, buttons, yarn in
boxes for groups of three of four students.
3. Engage students in discussion. Ask them what they know about handmade quilts that they have seen or
helped to create. Define quilt. Early quilts were made when cloth was scarce and scraps of fabric were saved
and used.
4. Explain that quilting can be a form of personal expression. It can be a group activity. The design may be
symbolic or abstract. It can tell a story. This quilt will be made for display as a wall hanging.
5. Emphasize that the quilt can have textural effects created by fabric, patterns, beads, and yarn. The work is
unified by a frame like border, design or color scheme.
6. Explain that the quilt will be made of individual squares and then assembled with the help of the teacher.
7. Discuss the scope of the group project, each student’s role in designing a square, and whether designs
should be assembled in one large wall hanging or several smaller ones.
8. Explain that the lesson will focus on analyzing their sketches, transferring an image to muslin, cutting out
fabric shapes and arranging them on a 12" bonding material, and ironing it to stick together.
9. Have students discuss their sketches checking relevance, simplicity,
clarity and balance.
10. Make revisions.
11. Distribute muslin, bonding material, and boxes of fabric scrap.
12. Ask students to arrange a simple composition on 12" x 12" panel emphasizing color, shape, line, and motif.
13. Choose cloth and trim carefully
14. Cut large shapes first, then add smaller ones.
15. Arrange shapes from background to foreground emphasizing that each shape unifies the composition.
16. Document these steps with photographs.
17. Set up and supervise an ironing station.
18. Iron fabric until it is adhered.
Follow-up and Assessment
Gather students to lie out finished work on a bulletin board or table. Students should suggest ways to unify the
design. (Example: squares with light and dark backgrounds, alternating rows, checkerboard, rows or columns.)
After the layout is determined, have students tape a number onto each square and then enter number codes on a
grid to show each squares placement. The teacher, with student volunteers, will use the coded grid in
assembling the work.
Students will write a reflection about their artwork and share it orally. Together, plan a school display. Include
photographs and reflections on a bulletin board or on a computer disk..
1. Filled with the Fair of Heaven, 1886 Albert Bierstadt, C.R. Smith Collection of Western American Art The
University of Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
2. The First Ship, 1840-50 Joshua Shaw, C.R.Smith Collection of Western American Art The University of
Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
3. The Golden Hour, 1875 Thomas Moran, C.R.Smith Collection of Western American Art
The University of Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
4. Desert Images, 1940 Maynard Dixon, C.R. Smith Collection of Western American Art
The University of Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
5. Halt on the Praire, 1850 William T. Ranney, C.R. Smith Collection of Western American Art
The University of Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
6. The Praire Fire, 1850 John Mix Stanley, C.R. Smith Collection of Western American Art
The University of Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
7. A Dash for Timber, 1889 Frederick Remington,
Amon Carter Museum Fort Worth, Texas
Source: St. Louis Art Museum slide set.
8. The Oregon Trail, 1951 Oscar E. Berninghaus, C.R. Smith Collection of Western American Art
The University of Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
9. Old Slick Ear, 1914 Henry F. Farny, C. R. Smith Collection of Western American Art
The University of Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
10. His First Lesson, 1903 Frederick Remington, Amon Carter Museum Fort Worth, Texas
Source: St. Louis Art Museum slide set
11. The Fall of the Cowboy, 1895
Frederick Remington, Amon Carter Museum Fort Worth, Texas
Source: St. Louis Art Museum slide set.
12. Coming Through the Rye, 1902 Frederick Remington, Princeton University
Source: St. Louis Art Museum slide set.
13. A Tight Dally and a Loose Latigo, 1920 Charles M. Russell, Amon Carter Museum Fort Worth, Texas
Source: Amon Carter Museum slide collection.
14. Top of the Ridge, unknown Maynard Dixon, C. R. Smith Collection of Western American Art
The University of Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
15. Thornbugh’s Battlefield, 1934 Frank Tenney Johnson, C. R. Smith Collection of Western American Art
The University of Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
16. Horse Thief, unknown Charles M. Russell, Amon Carter Museum
Source: Learning to Look and Create, Dale Seymour Publications, 1988 slide set.
17. Lost in a Snowstorm – We are Friends, 1888 Charles M. Russell, Amon Carter Museum Fort Worth,
Source: Amon Carter Museum slide collection.
18. The Old Stage Coach, 1901 Frederick Remington, Amon Carter Museum Fort Worth, Texas
Source: St. Louis Art Museum slide set.
19. The Scout Friends or Enemies, unknown Frederick Remington, Sterling and Clark Art Institute,
Williamstown Massachusetts
Source: Learning to Look and Create, Dale Seymour Publications, 1988 slide set.
20. Sitting Bull, 1899 Henry F. Farny, C. R. Smith Collection of Western American Art
The University of Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
21. A Calvary Scrap, 1943 Frederick Remington, C. R. Smith Collection of Western American Art.
The University of Texas Art Museum
Source: The Great American West slide set.
22. The Bronco Buster, 1895 Frederick Remington, Amon Carter Museum
Fort Worth, Texas
Source: St. Louis Art Museum slide set.
Ainsworth, Edward, M., The Cowboy in Art, New York: The World Publishing Company, 1968.
Ballinger, James K., Frederic Remington, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1989.
Bloff, Margaret, The Great American West, The University of Texas at Austin, 1980.
Brash, Sarah (ed.), Settling the West, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1996.Brown, Dee, Bury My Heart at
Wounded Knee, New York: Henry Holt & Co., 1970.
Calvert, Patricia, Great Lives: The American Frontier, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997.
Chapin, Louis, Great Masterpieces by Frederic Remington, New York: Crown, 1979.
Chilton, Charles, The Book of The West, New York: The Boobs-Merrill Company, 1962.
Cronon, William, et. al. (eds.) , Under an Open Sky, Rethinking America’s Western Past, New York: W.W.
Norton & Company, 1992.Dary, David, Cowboy Culture, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1981.
Davis, William C., The American Frontier, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999.
Durham, Philip & Everett L. Jones, The Negro Cowboys, Lincoln Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press,
Ernst, John, Jesse James, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, 1976.
Folsom, Franklin, The Life and Legend of George McJunkin, Black Cowboy, Thomas Nelson Inc., 1973.
Gettein, Frank, et. al., The Lure of the Great West, Waukesha, Wisconsin, 1983.
Hassick, Peter H., Charles R. Russell, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1989.
Hassrick, Royal B. History of Western American Art, Bison Books Corp., 1987.
James, Will, Lone Cowboy, My Life Story, New York: Charles Schreiber’s Son’s, 1960.
Jennings, Katie F., Remington & Russell and the Art of the American West, Connecticut: Brompton Books
Corp, 1993.
Jordan, Teresa, Cowgirls, Women of the American West, New York: Anchor Press, 1982.
Katz, William Loren, Black Women of the Old West, New York: Ethrac Publications, Inc. 1995.
Khalsa, Dayal Kaur, Cowboy Dreams, Clarkson, New York: N. Potter, Inc., 1990.
Lampman, Evelyn Sibley, Once Upon the Little Big Horn, New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1971.
Levenson, Dorothy, Women of the West, New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1973.
Marin, Albert, Cowboys, Indians, and Gunfighters, The Story of, and the Cattle Kingdom, New York:
Athenaeum, 1993.
Martin, Russell, Cowboy, The Enduring Myth of the Wild West, Stewart, Tabori and Chang, Publishers, Inc.,
McDowell, Bart, The American Cowboy In Life and Legend, National Geographic Society, 1972.
Miller, Robert H., Buffalo Soldiers: The Story of Emmanuel Stance, Morristown, N.J.: Silver Press, 1995.
Moore, Elanor & Harry Murray, Jr., Frederick Remington Masterworks. St. Louis Museum and Karen Lurk,
Houston Museum of Fine Arts.
Monceaux, Morgan & Ruth Kather, My Heroes, My People, New York: Frances Fosters Books, Farrar, Strauss
and Giroux, 1999.
Pinkney, Andrea D., Pickett, Bill Rodeo-Ridin Cowboy, San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1996.
Pitz, Henry C., Frederic Remington 173 Drawings and Illustrations, New York: Dover Publications, 1972.
Polly, Robert L., The Beauty of America in Great American Art, Waukesha, Wisconsin: Country Beautiful
Foundation, Inc., 1965.
Remington, Frederic, Frederic Remington’s Own West, New York: The Deal Press, 1960.
Renner, Paul A. & David Hunt, The Art of the West, New York: Alfred A. Knopt, Inc. 1984.
Roboff, Ernest, Frederic Remington, New York: J.B. Lippincott, 1973.
Rockwell, Anne, Paintbrush & Peacepipe: The Story of George Catlin, New York: Athensum, 1971.
Santella, Andrew, The Chisholm Trail, New York: Children’s Press, 1978.
Schlissee, Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey, New York: Schocken Books, Inc. 1982.
Seidman, Laurence, Ivan, Once in the Saddle: The Cowboy’s Frontier 1866 – 1896, New York: The New
American Library, Inc., 1973
Shapiro, Michael Edward & Peter H. Hassride, Frederick Remington, The Masterworks, New York: Gary N.
Abrams, 1988.
Slatta, W. Richard, Cowboys of the Americas, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990.
Stotter, M. , The Wild West, New York: Kingfisher Chambers, Inc., 1997.
Stovall, Taressa, The Buffalo Soldiers, Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1997.
Tinkle, Lon Tinkle &Allen Maxwell (eds.), The Cowboy Reader, New York: David McKay Company, Inc.,
Winter, Jeanette, Cowboy Charlie, New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1995.
Yost, Nellie Snyder, Buffalo Bill, His Family, Friends, Fame, Failures and Fortune, Chicago: The Sallow
Press, Inc. 1979.
Other Media
Songs of the West Volume 4, 1993.
The Lone Ranger (William Tell Overture) ABC Orchestra
Rawhide, Frankie Lane
Don’t Fence Me In, Roy Rogers
Songs of the West, Volume 1, 1993
Back in the Saddle Again, Gene Autry
Big Iron, Marty Robbins
The Strawberry Roan, Marty Robbins
Web Sites
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas (
Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody Wyoming (
C.M. Russell Museum, Great Falls, Montana (
Frederick Remington Art Museum, Ogdenburgh, NY (
National Museum of American Art, Washington, D. C. (