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‘Vaquero’ photo collection on display at Harmony School

Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy

A photo from 'Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy,' which will be on display from Feb. 14-March 14 at Harmony School of Creative Arts in Marble Falls. Courtesy photo

View the traveling photo exhibition “Vaquero: Genesis of the Texas Cowboy” at Harmony School of Creative Arts from Feb. 14-March 14. The school is located at 1503 Mormon Mill Road in Marble Falls.

The collection features 62 digital carbon prints with bilingual narrative text that reveal the muscle, sweat, and drama that went into roping a calf in thick brush or breaking a wild horse in the saddle, according to a media release from the school.

The exhibition was created by the Wittliff Collections at the Alkek Library of Texas State University-San Marcos and presented in partnership with Humanities Texas, the state affiliate for the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

This is the collection’s only Highland Lakes appearance as it travels across Texas.

“It’s a breathtaking collection that not only captures a remarkable humanities study but the effortless beauty of nature and animals that is reminiscent of our natural surroundings here in the Texas Hill Country,” said Amy Taylor, executive director of the nonprofit arts school. “The exhibit showcases the original cowboy, the vaquero, amidst their strenuous work with cattle and horses.”

In the early 1970s, noted Texas historian Joe Frantz offered Bill Wittliff a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to visit a ranch in northern Mexico where the vaqueros still worked cattle in traditional ways. Wittliff photographed the vaqueros as they went about daily chores that had changed little since the first Mexican cowherders learned to work cattle from a horse’s back. He captured a way of life that now exists only in memory and in the photographs included in this exhibition.

Through a new initiative spearheaded by Taylor, Harmony School was awarded several mini-grants through Humanities Texas to sponsor exhibitions such as this one. This exhibition was made possible in part by a We the People grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. 

For viewing hours or to arrange group visits, call Taylor at 830-693-1791. Visit to learn more about Harmony School of Creative Arts.