Museum Exhibits

Red McCombs Main Gallery

SaddleUP: Texas Ranching Tradition

March 4, 2022 – September 4, 2023

SaddleUP uses the photography of Joe Vitone to portray tough people living on a tough land doing a tough job. In Jeff Davis County, ranchers, cowboys, and their families work the arid semi-desert of far West Texas, where rainfall is rare and the soil only grudgingly produces grass and brush for livestock to eat. In contrast, Lavaca County ranchers work the Southern Texas Plains landscape where post oak, elm, and pecan trees provide shade and cover from the weather, and grass is more abundant on more fertile soil. However, ranchers in both areas struggle with drought, fire, cattle ticks, and finding enough hired help. In these two diverse landscapes, such hardships and trials are part of the ranching life.

Don and Kay Cash Gallery

1883: A Ranching Origin Story

Taylor Sheridan’s 1883 production helps tell the very real story of early settlers moving west to make a better life while struggling to conquer and endure harsh environments and unforgiving weather. These pioneer struggles turned the Western frontier into the dynamic region it is today, and portraying these struggles gives us a more accurate idea of what it took to cross the frontier, settle and survive.

This exciting exhibit features props, scripts, and other items used in the production of the hit series 1883.  The series provides the origin story for the popular Yellowstone series.

You will have an opportunity to see costumes and props used by actors and actresses in the series including Tim McGraw (James Dutton), Faith Hill (Margaret Dutton), Sam Elliott (Shea Brennan), LaMonica Garrett (Thomas), Isabel May (Elsa Dutton), and Audie Rick (John Dutton Jr.).  The exhibit includes a buckboard, campsite equipment, a saddle, and many other items that are displayed in a camping vignette that is populated with mannequins attired in costumes from the show.

Images courtesy of 101 Studios and Paramount+.

G.W. “Blue” and Lenora Stevens Gallery

The Burk Burnett Bedroom is being moved to this gallery space due to the construction of The Cash Family Ranch Life Learning Center.

Duplicating one of 11 bedrooms in “the big house” at the Four Sixes Ranch headquarters in Guthrie, Texas, this is a permanent NRHC exhibit with items donated by Samuel Burk Burnett’s great-granddaughter, Anne W. Marion. The Four Sixes Ranch was founded by her great-grandfather, one of the most well-known and respected ranchers in Texas. Among the Burnett pieces are the brass bed, grandfather clock, secretary, side table, fireplace and mantle, rug, books and saddle (by saddle maker R.T. Frazier). The gold-plated chandelier was originally made to function using either gas or electricity.

Mary Belle Macy Gallery

Oil & Ranching

March 4, 2022 – September 4, 2023

In cooperation with the Petroleum Museum and the Haley Library in Midland, this exhibit will demonstrate how the production of oil on a ranch is incorporated into the other ranch endeavors. Text panels and possibly documents will tell the story of the discovery of oil and how that affected land use across the country. With documents and oil production equipment from the Petroleum Museum, the process of accessing oil under ranch lands can be explained. Text panels will carry the narrative of the history of ranching and oil.

Before the discovery of the large oil deposits in places like the Permian Basin, ranchers, such as John Chisum, John T. McElroy, C.C. Slaughter and Clarence Scharbauer understood that their enterprises were economic gambles dependent on scarce rain and drought-beaten grass. Water supplies were difficult to establish or find. There were more lean years than those with a profit. Only the hardy and self-reliant ventured into the arid lands of Texas and New Mexico. The railroads brought some opportunities, but it was a discovery of oil on those hard lands that would change the fortunes of the pioneers.

Many of the early oil wells came about by drilling for water wells. The oil discovered in the Permian Basin was a by-product of water wells. Drilling then was done by hunches of prospectors before oil geology entered as a more scientific method of finding the black gold.

McKanna Gallery

Cogdell’s General Store

October 2022 – June 2023

Cogdell’s General Store has been moved to the McKanna Gallery while construction for The Cash Family Ranch Life Learning Center featuring Hank the Cowdog is underway.

Cogdell’s offers a wide array of modern and western items ranging from apparel, gifts and toys to fine jewelry, books and home goods.

Be sure to follow @cogdellsattheranch on Instagram and Facebook to be the first to know about new available merchandise!

Burnett Gallery

Under Construction | Temporarily Closed

Joe Flores Family Gallery

John Montford Spur Collection

This exhibit features a selection of spurs from among those donated by John Montford to the NRHC many years ago. The Montford Spur Collection covers a wide range of spurs, and this exhibit focuses on the most interesting or significant spurs from the collection. Spurs featured in the exhibit range from simple iron spurs to gleaming pairs of decorated spurs.