Texas Tech University

National Ranching Heritage Center

DeVitt Mallet Museum

Frank Reaugh: View from the Easel
McCombs Gallery

Frank Reaugh (1860–1945) was an artist who had early success and lived long enough to see himself referred to as the "Dean of Texas Artists." He devoted his career to the visual documentation in pastel and paint of the Great Plains and the American Southwest.

His interest in Western art was less on the human side than in the natural environment and the animals, particularly the Texas Longhorn. Reaugh took advantage of the Longhorn's sense of curiosity to get close-up sketches, admitting to "a distinct interest, charm and thrill about sketching a wild animal in its native open."

Best of the West: The Art of Frederic Remington & Charles Russell

Few artists are more closely associated with Western American art than Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. Working in the late 1800s and early 1900s, these two artists portrayed the rapidly closing frontier for an American audience mesmerized by the mystique of the West. The NRHC is proud to exhibit four significant paintings by these artists—two by Remington and two by Russell. These paintings are on loan from The Sid Richardson Museum in Fort Worth and have rarely been seen outside the museum. A grant from the Diamond M Foundation helped make the exhibit possible.

Buckskin and Beads: Native American Clothing and Artifacts

Quanah Parker came from a place in time and culture when surnames were unknown. The identity of a man was conveyed in a single word, in this case "Quanah," an Anglo aberration of a word that translates as "eagle" in the Comanche language. The association that grew between the eagle of the Comanche and the cattlemen of Texas is part of history.

This exhibit addresses the unique friendship that developed between Quanah and the Burk Burnett family (6666 Ranch) and the artifacts that were given to the Burnett family from Quanah and his descendants. In addition to the many pieces of clothing and artifacts representing the Comanche tribe, the exhibit also includes clothing and artifacts from other Plains tribes such as the Apache, Kiowa, and Cheyenne Indians.

Recent Acquisition: Remington in Print
Stevens Gallery

Frederick Remington (1861-1909) has long been celebrated as one of the most gifted interpreters of the American West. He worked for the great magazines of the 1880s and 1890s creating images of soldiers, cowboys and Indians that shaped the world's perceptions of the West. Remington's career took off in the mid-1880s when he began making Western illustrations for Harper's Weekly and other widely read New York magazines.

This exhibit features the magazine pages as they appeared in the late 19th century and the paintings that were reproduced by these publications for wide distribution. Remington's pictures brought visual information to the eastern public, and he was praised and trusted for the accuracy of detail in his work. As he matured, however, Remington turned his attention away from illustration and concentrated instead on painting and sculpture.

Lever-Action Rifles: Guns That Won the West
Flores Gallery

The lever-action rifle has a long and interesting history that began in the early 19th century with attempts to create a firearm that was capable of firing multiple shots before reloading. The exhibit includes an exploration into the various personalities involved in the story of the lever-action rifle and features examples of these firearms, all from the NRHC firearms collection.

Wagons That Moved History
Cash Gallery

This exhibit features six wagons important to the evolution of frontier transportation. Probably no wagon in ranching history is better known than the Chuck Wagon, an 1866 invention of rancher Charles Goodnight when he created the first kitchen on wheels to sustain cowboys on long cattle drives. Moving freight, however, required a heavy covered wagon like the Conestoga, which could transport loads up to six tons drawn by horses, mules or oxen. Ranchers used a lightweight Buckboard Buggy for trips to town to carry dry goods and packages back to the ranch. Farm Wagons had higher sides than a buckboard and heavier running gear to haul hay, feed or fencing. By the late 19th century, improved roads and increased mobility made the light four-wheel Town Buggy (with or without a collapsible top) the most popular vehicle in America.

The turn of the 20th century introduced an even more popular and sporty open carriage called the Phaeton Coupe. Used only for short trips or pleasure, the Phaeton had rubber-tired wheels, patent leather fenders and dash, oil carriage lamps and a locking coupe trunk.

Burk Burnett Bedroom
Burnett Gallery

The Burk Burnett Bedroom is a permanent NRHC exhibit with items donated by Samuel Burk Burnett's great-granddaughter, Anne W. Marion. Marion is president of Burnett Ranches Ltd., which includes the Four Sixes ranch founded by her great-grandfather, one of the most well-known and respected ranchers in Texas.

This exhibit space duplicates one of 11 bedrooms in "the big house" at the Four Sixes headquarters. Among the Burnett pieces are the brass bed, grandfather clock, secretary, side table, fireplace and mantle, rug, books and saddle (by saddle maker R.T. Frazier). The gold-plated chandelier was originally made to function using either gas or electricity.


National Ranching Heritage Center