True West Magazine

September 2012

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame was named #3 in True West magazine’s Best Western Museums of the Year! Click the link below to see the article…

True West Magazine – Best Western Museums

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

June 28, 2012

Click below to see two articles about the National Cowgirl Museum published on

A Visit to the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Fort Worth, Texas

Five Cowgirls Who Changed History

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

June 26, 2012

Click Here to see an article about the National Cowgirl Museum published in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Barbara Van Cleve Photography Exhibit opens May 18

May 18, 2012

Click Here to see the press release featuring the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame’s newest exhibit  Hard Twist: Western Ranch Women.

Boston Herald

March 18, 2012

Click Here to see the article featuring the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame in the Boston Herald written by Arthur Pollock.

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor Exhibition at National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame

October 24,2011

The Cowgirl Who Became a Justice: Sandra Day O’Connor at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame from Oct. 27 through March 25, 2012 examines the intersection and divergence of ranch life and bench life.

The Cowgirl Who Became a Justice: Sandra Day O’Connor opens Thursday, October 27, 2011, and runs through March 25, 2012, at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Justice Sandra Day O’Connor to the United States Supreme Court in 1981; she was the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court since its inception in the late 1700s. Opening in celebration of the 30th anniversary of her appointment, this exhibition is not the typical lifetime retrospective. Drawing largely from the book co-authored by Justice O’Connor and her brother, H. Alan Day, Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest, the exhibition takes moments from her life and expands upon them. Issues of practicality connect both ranch life and bench life, while distinctive issues faced either on the ranch in Arizona or during confirmation in Washington are explored.

Encompassing 3,000 square feet, the exhibition features family and public-life photos, a film prepared by the Arizona Historical Society, ranch artifacts on loan from the Day family, and selected editorial cartoons. Arid desert scenes are juxtaposed with the confirmation hearings and the publicity that surrounded the future Justice.

Another attraction for visitors will be the opportunity to play iCivics, the Web-based interactive computer game designed to teach students about American history, law, and government to inspire their active participation in democracy ( Partnering with the museum, iCivics will provide access to its programs. The museum has set up 25 computer stations for the visitors to experience what it is like to be President, work as a legislator on the federal budget, or make a decision as a Supreme Court Justice.

Since her retirement in 2006, Justice O’Connor has been active in the creation and launch of iCivics which occurred this past July. She conceived the idea for iCivics after learning that nationwide two out of three students tested poorly on civics tests and that currently only 29 states require high school students to take a civics or a government course.

“While most students can name one of the judges on ‘American Idol,’” said Justice O’Connor, “few can name the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.”

“We have created an exhibition for one of our own,” said Patricia Riley, Executive Director of the museum. “Justice O’Connor, who was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 2002, is the archetypical Honoree. Raised on an isolated ranch, she was expected to hold her own with the ranch hands, and, when she was appointed Justice, no one doubted she could hold her own in that arena as well.”

Additional programs related to the exhibition will include distance learning programs from the museum’s award-winning video-conferences, teacher work-shops for incorporating the exhibit, and lesson plans to use in the classroom. Lazy B: Growing Up on a Cattle Ranch in the American Southwest is available in the Cowgirl gift shop, along with other titles authored by the Justice.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame Receives Two National Education Awards for Its Distance Learning Program

September 1, 2011

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame has received two national awards for its distance-learning program, the 2010-2011 Pinnacle Award from the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC) and the 2011 Teachers’ Choice Award from the Berrien Regional Education Service Agency for the second year in a row.

For the 2010-11 school year, the Cowgirl Museum was one of the 25 distance-learning providers in the United States to receive the coveted Pinnacle Award and the only recipient in Texas. This is the first year for the museum to receive the award, having received honorable mention in 2010. 

Through its 26 distance-learning programs, the Cowgirl Museum reached 16,963 students in 2011 (a 75% increase over the last school year) via 435 distance-learning program sites— more than any other content provider through the Connect 2 Texas program, sponsored by the Texas Education Agency. The museum also provided 91 classes to students in other states and four classes to international audiences. Listed on the museum’s web site at are the programs available to elementary and secondary schools and other organizations. Each program lasts 45 minutes. For information, contact Cindi Collins, school services director of the Cowgirl Museum, at 817-509-8697.

“We are extremely proud of our school services staff and programs” said Patricia Riley, the museum’s executive director. “These awards bring validation to what we already knew. Reaching out in this medium is a key part of our mission and deserves this recognition. This and the other educational services we offer will continue to grow.”

About the Pinnacle Award

The Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (, established in 1994, is an Indiana-based not-for-profit organization specializing in access to applications and the utilization of videoconferencing for live interactive content and professional development, as well as web-based collaborative learning environments for K-20 education. CILC provides consulting expertise in videoconferencing, integration, problem-based learning products, school-community partnerships and effective techniques for the delivery and development of quality programs.

The CILC’s Pinnacle Award is presented annually to organizations posting outstanding K-12 standards-based interactive videoconferencing programs to To qualify for

the award, the provider must receive a minimum 2.85 average score out of a possible 3 on its program evaluations from educators during the school year. The evaluation assesses seven areas, two related to the effectiveness of the presenter and five related to the educational content of the program. All content posted to by Pinnacle Award winners is marked with the CILC flame.

About the Teachers’ Favorite Award

The Berrien Regional Education Service Agency, the cooperative based in Michigan’s Berrien County, maintains a content provider database with a listing of videoconferencing resources. For its annual Teachers’ Favorite Awards, educators from across the country vote to select the best content and videoconferencing service providers. (

Wild West Magazine

October, 2011

Click Here to see the article featuring the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame in the October 2011 issue of Wild West magazine written by Linda Wommack.

National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame Names Patti Colbert Fern Sawyer Award Winner 

July 26, 2011

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame has named Patti Colbert of Bertram, Texas, as the 2011 recipient of the Fern Sawyer Award.  The Fern Sawyer Award, whose namesake is a 1976 Honoree and champion cowgirl, is awarded to an individual or organization that has worked toward and contributed to the advancement of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.  Previous award winners include Edward P. Bass,Georgia Mae Ericson,Anne W. Marion, Van Romans and Sheila Welch.

Colbert, a member of the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Board of Directors, is credited with creating the concept behind the Museum’s popular Cowgirl U program, and has long been an advocate for the museum among the many horse industry groups through which she has served as a leader.

She has gained her most recent accolades as Executive Director of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the creator of the Extreme Mustang Makeover through which more than 2,000 of America’s iconic wild horses have been placed for adoption. Working in cooperation with the Museum and the Bureau of Land Management, Colbert oversaw “Camp Wildfire,” a dynamic educational program that introduced youth to the plight of America’s wild horse, as well as the work of Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree Velma “Wild Horse Annie” Johnston. More than 50 young people from the Dallas Fort Worth area took part in the program. The National Western Heritage Museum and Cowboy Hall of Fame, as well as the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum also hosted the program.

Furthermore, she partnered with Road to the Horse creator Tootie Bland to create “Project Cowboy” and is a national director for the American Quarter Horse Association. She formerly served as the American Quarter Horse Foundation Executive Director where she developed a number of scholarships for youth and grants for equine research. She owns Colbert Ranch, along with her husband, Joe, which offers programs for juvenile detainees and horseback riding experiences for the public.

THE AMERICAN HORSE PUBLICATIONS: National Cowgirl Museum Receives Teacher’s Choice Award 

July 11, 2012

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the2011 Teacher’s Choice Award for content in the Best American History Museum category for distance learning.  The Museum delivered programs to more than16, 000 students nationwide; more students than any other participating museum or organization.

“Teachers continually search for programs that engage their students in ways they have not experienced,” said Diana Vela, PhD, Museum Director of Education and Exhibits. “The Museum is truly honored to have been recognized by the educators we work to serve and we commend the efforts of Director of School Services, Cindi Collins for her accomplishments.”

One of the most successful programs involved collaboration between the Museum and the Dublin, Texas, based Sierra Dairy, through a live video conference. More than 4,000 students experienced this event, the largest audience in the state for video conferencing.  Sierra Dairy, owned and operated by Alan and Becca Vander Horst, is a 5,000-cow operation. Sierra was originally built in the late 1980s with 900 head in open lots and a double 14-herringbone milking parlor barn. It was remodeled in 2008 to the current 4200 cows and 5000 stalls. The Vander Horsts have a deep commitment to education with Ms. Vander Horst being a life-long educator.

 “Partnering with Sierra Dairy was truly a once-in-a lifetime experience for students who have never seen a dairy, and have not known how milk and butter get from the livestock to their table,” said Vela. “While most students are exposed to the standard lessons surrounding American history, very few have been exposed to the real stories and accomplishments of not only women of the West, but even of the modern-day dairy farmer.”

Video conferencing provides live interaction between the classroom and a remote site. Students are able to see the host site and interrelate – as if they were in a live classroom. The Museum offers nearly two dozen video conferencing programs, ranging from topics that cover social studies to courses on math and science. All courses are aligned with the TEKS. Cindi Collins, the Museum’s Director of School Services, content developer and deliverer for all programs provided by the Museum noted that, “The success of this program has been phenomenal. The Vander Horst family was very accommodating – and we are getting requests for another program live from the dairy.”

Through video conferencing, students get an authentic taste for the lives of women who were the early change agents in American history. Among the video conferences offered, students can learn about science by sorting, classifying and discovering how the basics of science play a role in the life of a rancher, or they can discover the story of the women of the American West during the late 19th and early 20th century’s who displayed extraordinary courage and pioneer spirit in their trail blazing efforts. While they’re at it, students learn that “cowgirl” is a word that is broadly construed and incorporates many people who all played a role in the West—from artists to ranchers.


June 8, 2011

Click Here to see a sneak preview of the article featuring cowgirls and National Cowgirl Museum Honorees Lindy Burch and Terry Stuart Forst.


April 21, 2011

Click Here to watch this AQHA TV video and to learn more about nominations for the National Cowgirl Museum’s Hall of Fame.


My-West.Com, March 15, 2011

Click Here to see the post by about the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame’s Apron Chronicles Exhibit.


December 27, 2010

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame is premiering a traveling exhibit Apron Chronicles: A Patchwork of American Recollections that will be on display January 7 – April 3. This unique exhibit pairs powerful photography with real world stories and sentimental ties to the past in the form of over 100 vintage aprons.

The exhibit, which was acquired from The Women’s Museum in Dallas, is told through the emotional stories of more than three-dozen men and women who have unique memories about aprons and the people who wore them. The diverse contributors include a 111-year-old mother and her only child; a Holocaust survivor; a biology professor from Mali, Africa and a preteen and her grandmother. Their stories explore the people behind the aprons and give life to the fabrics and the exhibit. Adding emphasis and history to these stories, the gallery space also features a variety of vintage aprons, hung on clotheslines in the exhibit.

Prompted by project writer and apron curator EllynAnne Geisel, the contributors to Apron Chroniclesrecall the women in their lives who wore aprons and what they represented to their family; an event when an apron was worn; recipes; values and traditions from gentler, less complicated times; the bond between parent and child; survival; friendship; opportunity; challenge; and modern perspective.

Portraits in the exhibit were taken by award-winning photographer Kristina Loggia. Loggia’s portraits have been described as preserving the storytellers’ images in an environmental style that complements the unadorned honesty of their recollections. Like the oral histories, the portraits’ strength is their directness and lack of pretension. Apron Chronicleshas been described as “one of the most nostalgic, thought-provoking and generational-friendly exhibitions currently touring America.” In addition, Loggia’s portrait of Ada Florence Ashford, which is included in the exhibit, recently won first prize in “The Best of Photojournalism 2005 (Magazine Portrait and Personality).”

“So often we think of aprons as being gender-specific, yet if we look to history, we see that aprons cross gender and class lines,” said Diana Vela, director of exhibits and education. “You find aprons on chuckwagon cooks, on blacksmiths, and on carpenters to cite a few of the traditional male trades that made use of aprons. And – this apron exhibit certainly represents our Museum in that so many of the women we honor crossed so many class and gender barriers themselves – just like the apron itself.”

As a complement to this exhibit, select restaurants in the Metroplex have donated aprons autographed by their chefs. On display and up for raffle, aprons from Lonesome Dove, Bonnell’s, Reata, Brownstone, Eddie V’s, Ellerbe and Grace have been donated to raise funds for the Museum’s education programs. The public will be able to purchase raffle tickets for $1 for a single entry; price breaks are available for entries over $20. The drawing for the aprons will be held on April 2 at the Museum. Additionally, the Museum will offer a $1 discount off the price of admission for visitors who wear an apron to the exhibit.


Fort Worth Business Press, October 21, 2010

Click here to see the article in the Fort Worth Business Press about the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame’s Induction Luncheon.


Southern Living Magazine, November 2010

Click here to see the article in the November 2010 edition of Southern Living Magazine.


July 27, 2010

The National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame announced today the sixth annual Heart of the sixth annual Heart of the West Art Exhibition will be held October 1-December 5, 2010. The Sale will be held October 27th, the evening before the thirty-fifth annual National Cowgirl Hall of Fame Induction Luncheon.  

Established in 2004 to honor women who embody the Western spirit and express their passion for the American West through art, the Heart of the West Art Exhibition and Sale is the premiere all-female Western art show and sale in the country, and features themes of the West as captured through bronze, sculpture, oil, watercolor, pencil and other fine art media. The event will feature 49 outstanding artists including 2003 Hall of Fame Honoree, Glenna Goodacre, 2007 Hall of Fame Honoree, Donna Howell-Sickles, and 2009 Hall of Fame Honoree, Deborah Copenhaver Fellows.  New artists for 2010 include Shelley Muzylowski Allen, Mary Buchholz, Jenny Forge-Schmalstieg, Moni Heil, Barbara Ivey, Jan Mapes and Deborah Oropallo.

“Through this exhibition, we want to recognize the contributions of contemporary women in the arts; women who interpret the American West through a variety of viewpoints, styles and media,” said Pat Riley, executive director of the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame. “These women have contributed to the fabric of American culture and their insights and perspectives bring new life to the art of the West.”

Works of art will be sold at the fixed-price sale on October 27 during a gala reception at the Museum beginning at 6:00 p.m. Works of art not purchased that evening will be available for sale to any interested party through December 5, 2010 at the Museum.  A portion of each sale of artwork from the Heart of the West benefits the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame, and purchases on October 27 are sales tax-deductible. Tickets to the Heart of the West Art Reception and Sale are available now for $60 per person.  The commemorative catalogue will be available on October 1.  For more information or to purchase tickets or catalogues contact Emmy Lou Prescott at 817-509-8965.

National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame Receives Pinnacle Award Honorable Mention from CILC

September 2, 2010

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame received a 2009-2010 CILC Pinnacle Award Honorable Mention from the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC). The award is presented annually to organizations delivering outstanding K-12 standards based interactive videoconferencing programs.

To qualify for Honorable Mention the provider must receive an average score of 2.8-2.84 out of a possible 3 on their program evaluations from educators during the school year. The evaluation assesses seven areas: two related to the effectiveness of the presenter and five related to the educational content of the program. All content posted to by Pinnacle Award winners is marked with the CILC flame.

This is the first year that the Museum has received the CILC Pinnacle Honorable Mention Award.

Cindi Collins, director of school services, commented that the Museum’s “increased program offerings provide opportunities on a national level for students to learn about those women who made, and are making, a difference in the West. We are thrilled with this recognition and humbled to have been selected.”

The Museum offers over 20 programs ranging from such topics as “A Walk Through Time – A Walking Tour of the National Cowgirl Museum,” “Fact or Fiction in History,” “Coming to the United States” and “Cowgirl Science.”  Programs offered cross all curriculum areas and are aligned with the TEKS.

Collins said that “this upcoming school year offers even more learning opportunities as we have received funding by the Stephanie and Charles Roven foundation for a Discover the Wild West videoconference scholarship which will allow students from at-risk schools to participate in our programming.”

Annie Oakley’s Artifact Joins National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame Collection      

August 18, 2010

The traveling trunk used by famed female sharpshooter Annie Oakley has found a permanent home at The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame  in Fort Worth, Texas.

Annie Oakley’s (born Phoebe Ann Moses) trunk is displayed in its own case and is particularly relevant to Oakley’s life as she traveled continually, offering demonstrations and performing in Wild West shows.  It was typical for the time to use trunks for personal belongings when traveling away from home for extended periods of time.

Oakley was inducted posthumously in 1984 to the Hall of Fame and the 150th anniversary of her birth was celebrated at the Museum on August 13.

“Annie Oakley was not just an extraordinary female sharpshooter for her era; she was an extraordinary sharpshooter, period. She mastered and excelled in a sport traditionally reserved for men, yet she was very focused and acutely aware of maintaining her femininity as it was defined in her day,” noted Diana Vela, director of exhibits and education for the Museum. “We are honored to be the Museum where this trunk will reside and indebted to the generosity of the benefactor who donated this artifact,” she added.

Oakley’s trunk joins another Oakley artifact housed at the Museum, a late 19th century cabinet card autographed by Oakley and inscribed to Buffalo Bill. The cabinet card was the successor of the carte de visite (visiting card or calling card)  replacing it as a more popular form of portraiture. The popularity of the cabinet card reached its peak in the late 1800’s, when Annie Oakley was enjoying much success in her career.  

Click here to view Annie Oakley’s travel trunk.

Click the link below to watch a video about Annie Oakley’s cabinet card and travel trunk.

American Mustangs Celebrated at Camp Wildfire      

July 8, 2011                                                                                              

Youth in Dallas, Fort Worth and the surrounding area are set to experience an exciting summer as members of Camp Wildfire, August 13-14, at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame.

Funded through a grant from the Mustang Heritage Foundation (MHF) in cooperation with the Bureau of Land Management, youth ages 9 and older are invited to take part in two days of activities that center around the stewardship of the land and protection of the wild horse.

The program will focus on National Cowgirl Hall of Fame inductee Velma “Wild Horse Annie” Johnston and will feature an opportunity to learn from professional horse trainers involved in the $100,000 Supreme Extreme Mustang Makeover at the Will Rogers Memorial Equestrian Center. Each camp participant will receive a souvenir t-shirt, backpack and camera, as well as tickets to a Supreme Extreme evening performance.

Cost for the program is an affordable $10 for both days to include lunch. Scholarships are available. Activities on August 13th are 1 p.m.-4 p.m. and August 14th are 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

For more information, please contact the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame at 817.509.8961.

About the Mustang Heritage Foundation
The mission of the Mustang Heritage Foundation and the goal of the Extreme Mustang Makeover are to increase the adoption of mustangs across the country. The Mustang Heritage Foundation created the Extreme Mustang Makeover event to showcase the recognized value of mustangs through a national training competition.
About the Bureau of Land Management
The BLM manages more land – 253 million acres – than any other Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The Bureau, with a budget of about $1 billion, also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands. For more information, visit or call 866-4MUSTANGS.

Georgia O’Keeffe and the Faraway: Nature and Image


Fort Worth, Texas (January 25, 2010) – The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame announced today the never before seen Georgia O’Keeffe and the Faraway: Nature and Image exhibition, which will be displayed in Fort Worth, Texas, from February 12th through September 6th. The exhibition, a collaboration between the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe, explores the relationship that artist and Cowgirl Hall of Fame Honoree O’Keeffe had with nature through her camping experiences and artifacts.

The two museums spent more than two years creating the exhibition in which visitors will find O’Keeffe’s personal effects, including clothing, letters, drawings and camping equipment, displayed alongside her artwork. This union of artistry and personal belongings is recognized nationally as an endeavor that harbors the art, geography, photography and artifacts in an effort to understand how O’Keeffe explored the American West through camping and hiking in a variety of environments.

“It is terribly exciting for our Museum to be able to first display this fresh look at the brilliance of Georgia O’Keeffe,” said Patricia Riley, executive director of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. “Our mission is to promote the women of the West, and we are the first history museum to ever curate an O’Keeffe exhibition. In addition, this is the first time in a decade that a major O’Keeffe show has been presented in the state of Texas.”

The exhibition begins with the artist’s early camping years as a young teacher in Virginia. The visitor then progresses to an area reserved for her work in New Mexico and photographs taken by Ansel Adams, who spent several trips camping with O’Keeffe. After viewing some of the artwork on loan from the Amon Carter Museum and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, guests can explore a significant location in O’Keeffe’s camping experience known as the “Black Place.” This specific area will give visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the site through camping displays, a large scenic photograph of the area, and through a video documentary. The exhibition then transitions to the “White Place,” a remote location near Abiquiu, New Mexico, and includes a sketchbook completed by O’Keeffe of this area.

The National Cowgirl Museum exhibition is unique in that it offers a perspective in which visitors can view O’Keeffe alongside the other extraordinary women who came and lived in the West, and made a difference. The very existence of someone like Georgia O’Keeffe, camping and creating art in the Southwest, is an indication of the previous lack of knowledge about the Western female experience. As an American artist, she was responsible both for bringing a new vision of Modernism to the world, and for revealing the infinitely interesting natural side of New Mexico and Texas.

“O’Keeffe’s life embodied those qualities that go into the word cowgirl,” said Director of Exhibits and Education Diana Vela. “She dedicated her life to something she valued, and in the way she absorbed the natural elements in northern New Mexico, she exemplified those same qualities that made the West, and defined our women.”

O’Keeffe was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1991. Other inductees that year included Nancy Sheppard, Jonnie Jonckowski and Mary Ann “Molly” Goodnight.

Patricia Riley said: “Georgia O’Keeffe was courageous and innovative; she did what she loved and loved what she did. As an institution, we are demonstrating with this exhibition that there remains much to be shared with the public about the exciting women who have been named Honorees in the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.”



Fort Worth, Texas (March 15, 2010) – The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame announced today that The Old Jail Art Center in Albany, Texas has temporarily loaned artifacts belonging to Hall of Fame Honoree Sallie Ann Reynolds Matthews to the Museum. These items are currently on display in the new Ranching Gallery.

Artifacts on display include a gold, silver and pearl battle-axe pin worn by Matthews – referred to by her children as “Mama’s battle-axe pin” and a gold with cloisonné pendant watch. Additionally, the Museum has displayed a copy of the book “Interwoven: A Pioneer Chronicle.” Originally intended as a family history for her children, “Interwoven” has become a basic source of information on the history of the Texas frontier. The copy at the Museum contains an inscription from Sallie Reynolds to her son Watt Matthews, a successful manager and operator of the family-owned Lambshead Ranch.

Enduring the hardships of pioneer life, raising a family in the isolation of cattle ranches and witnessing the transformation of West Texas to a region moving towards modern communication, led Matthews to having the honor of being inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame in 1982.

“Matthews’ items are a great temporary addition to our collection,” said Pat Riley, executive director of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. “It gives visitors the opportunity to see that even as a hardworking, cattle wrangling rancher, Matthews’ still found time to record a family history for her children.”



Fort Worth, Texas (March 1, 2010) The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame announced today the addition of several educational programs that will coincide with the Georgia O’Keeffe and the Faraway: Nature and Image exhibition. The curriculum allows students, parents and educators the opportunity to teach art and education, while learning about O’Keeffe, her passion for nature and why she was inducted into the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame.

The education programs were developed for students in grades K – 12 and provide an opportunity to encourage students to look at artifacts and architecture from a different point of view. Programs include an art contest that allows students to submit traditional or innovative pieces of art that focus on nature and the environment to correspond with the groundbreaking temporary exhibit. Students may also participate in a scavenger hunt to analyze O’Keeffe’s artwork in a nontraditional perspective, attend a drawing class designed for 4th – 6th graders, or sign up for a video conference that educates young people to view nature as an artist sees it. Additionally, there will be a Teacher In-Service class that provides educators with in-depth knowledge of O’Keeffe and access to corresponding curriculum offered through the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Educators can contact Cindi Collins at for more information.*

“These programs open another avenue for the Museum to reach the community,” said Diana Vela, director of exhibits and education. “Part of our mission is to educate individuals about the women who have contributed to the shaping of the American West, and through these curriculums we have a tremendous opportunity to teach students of all ages that much can be learned through an artist’s eye.”



Fort Worth, Texas (November 9, 2009) The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame announced today the opening of the updated “Kinship with the Land” gallery. This exhibit conveys the stories of women from both prominent and historic ranches and identifies the connection they have to the land, livestock and the weather.

Exhibit cases within the updated gallery contain artifacts that examine these elements in the ways that historical women had to negotiate the harsh environment, and how women, both historical and present day, carry on the business of the ranch, while fulfilling their role as wife, mother and cowgirl.

Artifacts within the exhibit are on loan from the King Ranch, including those from extraordinary Hall of Fame Honorees Helen Groves and Henrietta King. The centerpiece of the updated gallery is a freestanding case containing saddles, which serve as a reminder that the work of the cowgirl was often on horseback.

“Part of our vision is to connect each gallery within the Museum to one another and show the many sides of the women of the West,” said Patricia Riley, executive director of the Museum. “The ‘Kinship with the Land’ gallery contains the foundational story of the land and animals that makes the other galleries possible.”