Yakima Valley Museum

Cowboys on the Silver Screen
February 8 - July 2, 2008
Western movie posters and artifacts from the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City will be loaned to the Yakima Valley Museum to become part of a new temporary exhibit titled Cowboys on the Silver Screen.  This exhibit will also have local stories connected to western movies including the filming of The Hanging Tree and actors such as Yakima Canutt and Nipo Strongheart.  Cowboys on the Silver Screen is made possible through the generous support of Yakima Theatres, Inc. The exhibit will open Friday, February 8, 2008 and continue through July 27, 2008.

This special exhibition will showcase exciting colorful movie posters from the 1920s and 1930s, some as large as 7 feet square. These posters are a special loan from The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City ("The Cowboy Hall of Fame") and were selected from their extensive collections by the Yakima Valley Museum. Supplementing these posters will be artifacts, including the shirt and hat worn by John Wayne in The Searchers (1956), a hat and poncho worn by Sam Elliott in The Sacketts (1979), and a saddle used by Tom Selleck in Monte Walsh (2003).  Images, posters, and lobby cards, from the silent movie westerns to the present will fill two special exhibit galleries. This exhibit will also have a local flavor, with stories and photos of rodeo star and stuntman extraordinaire Yakima Canutt (of Colfax, Washington); artifacts and images of Yakama native and screen star Nipo T. Strongheart; stories, photos, and artifacts from the 1958 filming of The Hanging Tree in the Ahtanum and Nile Valleys; and 12 original hand-painted "lobby card" posters from Yakima Mercy Theatres from the 1920s and 1930s, including films starring Buck Jones, Hoot Gibson, Ken Maynard (the first "singing cowboy"), Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, and others. The exhibit text will focus on the role of "real cowboys" and rodeo stars in these early action movies, and labels will feature photos of early Hollywood stars competing in rodeo events, movie stills, and other related images.

CowboysThe National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is one of America’s premier institutions of Western history, art and culture. Founded in 1961, the museum in Oklahoma City collects, preserves, and exhibits an internationally renowned collection of Western art and artifacts including works by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell  while sponsoring dynamic educational programs and ground-breaking scholarly research to stimulate interest in the enduring legacy of our American West. More than 10 million visitors from around the world have sought out this unique museum to gain better understanding of the West: a region and a history that permeates our national culture.


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