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.
Hixon transformed the field of portrait photography in Kansas City and the surrounding region during a career that spanned more than seven decades. His studios—the first in the Brady Building at 11th and Main Streets, and the second just one block west in the Baltimore Hotel—welcomed thousands of patrons throughout the 1910s and 1920s.