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Cowboy Photographer: Erwin E. Smith

While many are familiar with the romantic notion of the American cowboy as crafted by Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell, few share intimate knowledge of a lesser known artist, Erwin E. Smith. This online exhibit, created by the Amon Carter Museum in Texas, seeks to rectify that situation through this extensive archive of photographs by Smith that capture the world of the cowboy around the turn of the 20th century. Smith grew up in Texas collecting prints of paintings by artists like George Catlin and Frederic Remington. He later ended up studying art with Lorado Taft at the Art Institute of Chicago, and then at the School of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Smith later moved back West, and between 1905 and 1912, he took thousands of photographs on ranches throughout Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. The photographs available online here are divided into several main sections for convenient browsing, including Cowhand clothing, Rodeo, and Ranches. Along with a biography of Smith, the site also includes a glossary of terms used by cowboys and ranchers, as well as several teaching resources for educators.
Archived Scout Publication URL
Scout Publication
Date of Scout Publication
March 14th, 2003
Date Of Record Creation
April 8th, 2003 at 11:05am
Date Of Record Release
April 8th, 2003 at 11:05am
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