The Cowboy

This gallery details the evolution of the cowboy from the open range era on the Texas grasslands through the modern ranching period of the late twentieth century. As the most iconic image of the American West, the cowboy represents the fusion of Anglo and Spanish colonial traditions within the region and the gallery presents different traditions from the southwestern vaquero to the northern cowboy. In addition, the gallery contrasts the different forums of "cowboying" including the sport of rodeo and the working ranch. Highlighted in this gallery are the tools which developed with specific reference to the cowboy trade including an array of beautifully crafted saddles and bridles.
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Exhibitions and events


Permanent exhibition

The Conquest gallery picks up the story of the American West after the Civil War. The flood of Americans into the West overwhelmed native people and created new and deadly conflicts. The gallery...


Permanent exhibition

The Opportunity gallery explores the turbulent period between 1820 and 1860 when thousands of migrants moved to the West in search of a better life. Learn about the experiences of the explorers,...


Permanent exhibition

The Autry announces the reconfiguration of part of its Romance Gallery to prominently feature Western art from the early twentieth century. Focused on the unique, regional landscapes of the desert...

Greg Martin Colt Gallery

Permanent exhibition

On July 23, 2011, the Autry unveiled a new exhibition in the Greg Martin Colt Gallery that explores the history of Samuel Colt’s revolutionary revolver in the American West. The exhibition looks at...


Permanent exhibition

The Community Gallery interprets the West through the lens of the racial, ethnic and religious communities important to Western development between 1885 and 1895. Using 1890 census data, the gallery...

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