In the 1890s Francis Marion Steele began photographing cowboys, recording the work and play of these iconic figures on the open ranges of southwest Kansas, southeast Colorado, northeast New Mexico, and the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma.
This genre-crossing exhibit juxtaposes Steele’s photographs with passages from True Grit to help visitors envision the world in which heroine Mattie Ross and her companions Rooster Cogburn and Texas Ranger LaBoeuf had their adventures.
Before and during the Civil War, Confederate guerrillas – men like William Clarke Quantrill, “Bloody Bill” Anderson, and Frank and Jesse James – battled federal troops and Jayhawker irregulars along the Missouri-Kansas border.
That brutal era comes to life in Guerrillas in Our Midst, an original exhibit of drawings and photographs from the Library’s Missouri Valley Special Collections. It covers not only the war but also its aftermath, when former bushwhackers like the James brothers turned to outlawry.
Begun in 1942 to address labor needs in agriculture and the railroads, the U.S. government’s bracero program became the largest guest worker program in U.S. history, with hundreds of thousands of Mexican workers providing manpower from World War II through 1964.
Bittersweet Harvest, a new bilingual exhibition organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, examines the experiences of Bracero workers and their families, providing rich insight into Mexican-American life and historical background to today’s debates on immigration and guest worker programs.
The newest exhibition of the Orval Hixon Gallery, New Compositions: The Dance Portraiture of Orval Hixon, is on display from June 11, 2011 through 2013 at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. The exhibit features a rich selection of Hixon’s portraits, including images of some of the best-known dancers of his time.