Hold on Cowgirl! We can't leave Fort Worth without talking about the only museum in the world dedicated to honoring and documenting women who's lives exemplify the pioneer spirit of the American West.
Originally founded in 1975 in Hereford, Texas, the museum moved to Fort Worth in 1994, then broke ground in 2001 (February 22 to be exact - the birth day of my mother, who loves horses. This one's for you Mom!)
In June 2002, The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame opened its new 33,000 square foot building on a 1.5 acre site in the Fort Worth Cultural District. It has become a major resource for and about western women, with a research library and over 3,000 rare photographs.
Velma B. Johnson (right) earned the name Wild Horse Annie for her tireless work beginning in the 1950's to save the wild horses of Nevada from cruel roundups. Finally, in 1971, Congress passed the Wild Horse and Burro Act that was supposed to protect them. It has not, and today, wild horses and burrows face continued cruel roundups. You can learn more here.
The horse and lariat is an important design element throughout the museum, from lighting fixtures to door handles.
Women with exciting dreams and powerful stories grace the galleries, and every year the museum inducts women into the Hall of Fame from all walks of life. Among them: painter Georgia O'Keeffe, author Laura Ingalls Wilder, of Little House on the Prairie books fame, Wilma Mankiller, the first woman to serve as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, and Henrietta Chamberlain King, co-founder of the massive King Ranch in southern Texas.
The Apron Chronicles: A Patchwork of American Recollections is the result of a chance meeting and eventual collaboration between writer and apron curator EllynAnne Geisel and photographer Kristina Loggia. The exhibition pays tribute to every woman who has worn an apron and what she represents to family - and community - when in that apron.
I've yet to be in another museum gift shop where a woman on a horse bursts through the ceiling. You go girl!
To learn more: National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame
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