Past Events & Exhibits
Initiation of the Tenderfoot by Charles M. Russell
4th Annual Heritage Dinner & Fall Exhibit Opening
September 15 and 16, 2017
On Friday, September 15, the Museum of the Big Bend’s 4th Annual Heritage Dinner was held in honor of Al & Jane Micallef and Family at the Gage Hotel’s Ritchey Brothers Building in Marathon and catered by the Gage Hotel. The dinner was sponsored by Kathy & Mac Stringfellow, Anne & Johnny Weisman and the Gage Hotel. On Saturday, September 16, an Afternoon with Charles M. Russell Scholars took place at the Espino Conference Center on the Sul Ross State University campus. These talks were followed by an Exclusive Cigar Party at the Reata Restaurant in Alpine, sponsored by the Reata Restaurant and Micallef Cigars. In the evening, the Museum of the Big Bend hosted the Opening Receptions for the exhibits Charlie Russell Heads West and They Savvy Russell.
Al & Jane Micallef have called Texas home for decades. Al was born with an entrepreneurial streak. At the age of 7 he was selling his own brand of rust remover which combined sand and Ajax. He sold Christmas trees and started a dance club while in high school. By 25, he stepped in to help his friend’s parents manage their company, Detroit Silicone Rubber Co. Three years later, when the company was sold to K&M Plastics and renamed Jamak, Inc., Al became vice president and general manager. He then purchased 20% of the company. Al now is the sole owner of Jamak located in Weatherford, Texas.
Al’s other business ventures include the Reata restaurants in Alpine and Fort Worth; CF Ranch, Land and Cattle Company, Jeff Davis and Brewster Counties; Sierra La Rana, a planned housing community outside of Alpine and Micallef Cigars as well as many others.
Al, through his sponsorship of Trappings of Texas, helped to create a permanent collection of Trappings art and gear for the Museum, while supporting the artists who made those works.
Al & Jane have three wonderful children, Mike who resides in Fort Worth; Amanda who resides in Los Angeles, California and Sarah residing in Alpine, Texas.
Turning Points in Teaching:
Early Education and the Annual Summer Normal in Alpine
In 1886, shortly after then Murphyville, now Alpine, was established, a one-teacher school was established. The school continued to grow and by 1907 the Alpine Independent School District was established.
The president of the AISD was Joseph Daniel, J.D., Jackson and he along with school superintendent George W. Page oversaw the expansion of the district. More importantly, however, they created the Annual Alpine Summer Normal that offered continuing education courses to teachers in the area beginning in 1910.
With the incredible success of the Summer Normal, Jackson and others began a campaign to secure a permanent Normal School in Alpine.
This exhibit explored these historic times in Alpine, what a Normal School is, the story of J.D. Jackson and the start of Sul Ross State University! The exhibit ended September 3, 2017.
Images courtesy of the Archives of the Big Bend, Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library, Sul Ross State University.
Alpine Photo Weekend
June 16 – 18, 2017
On Friday, June 16, there was an Opening Reception for Terry Cockerham: Big Bend and The Terlingua Project featuring color and black & white photographs of the Big Bend area by fine art photographer, Terry Cockerham of Dallas, Texas. Also on display was Write with Light: An exhibit of cameras from the personal collection of Monika (Moni) Rodgers.
On Saturday, June 17, several experienced photographers shared their work and techniques. Classic to contemporary photography topics were discussed. All presentations and demonstrations were in the Museum of the Big Bend Womack Education Room:
Robert Haspel: The Digital Advantage: The Importance of Post Capture Processing, Where the Magic Happens
Monika Rodgers: Writing with Light: History of the Camera
Carolyn Macartney: From Family Photographs to Film
Terry Cockerham: Why Projects?
On Saturday evening there was a sunset hike up Hancock Hill behind the Sul Ross State University campus with local guide, Jim Glendinning and on Sunday morning, there was a sunrise walk through the Sul Ross campus with Alpine photographer, Caneel Cardwell. These excursions gave a wide range of photo-making opportunities for participants.
A Feeling of Humanity:
Western Art from the Ken Ratner Collection
September 17, 2016 – March 26, 2017
On Saturday, Sept. 17, A Feeling of Humanity: Western Art From The Ken Ratner Collection, opened in the main gallery of the Museum, located on the Sul Ross State University campus. The exhibition featured 70 works by both contemporary artists along with works by early 20th century painters including Kenneth Miller Adams, John Sloan, Boardman Robinson, Georges Schreiber and Bettina Steinke. This exhibit explores and celebrates the beautiful in the ordinary. Included in the show are works by contemporary Texas artists Julie Davis, Tony Eubanks, David Forks and V…. Vaughan.
Saturday, Sept. 17th activities began with Morning Gallery Talks, 10 a.m.-noon. Ratner presented “Forming the Feeling of Humanity Collection,” followed by exhibit artist Erin Hanson, Los Angeles, California, who made a powerpoint presentation on her painting style known as “Open Impressionism.” The opening reception for the show was scheduled from 6-8 p.m.
New Deal Murals: The Amarillo Competition
October 18, 2016
Espino Conference Center, Sul Ross State University
About Michael Grauer:
Michael Grauer directs the PPHM’s curatorial staff, is the museum’s Curator of Art, and oversees the weapons, sports, and cowboy and ranching artifact collections. Born in Kansas City, Kansas, he received a bachelor’s degree with a double major in art history and painting from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in Art History from Southern Methodist University.
After college he worked at the National Museum of American Art (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum) in Washington, D.C. Michael didn’t always plan on an art career, though. Originally, he wanted to play professional football or be a cowboy. Instead he went to art school, “because I could draw horses better than anyone and I didn’t know what else to do.” If Michael could live anywhere else in the world, it would be Taos, New Mexico (for the art scene) or Saskatchewan (because the name “sounds cool”).
About Our Sponsor:
This event was made possible by CASETA, Center for the Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art whose mission is to promote the preservation, study and appreciation of Texas visual arts and its history.
3rd Annual Heritage Dinner honoring Leighton & Jim Donnell
Friday, September 16, 2016
On Friday, September 16, the Museum of the Big Bend honored and recognized Leighton and Jim Donnell of Marfa and Fowlerton, Texas at the third annual Heritage Dinner. Begun in 2014, the Heritage Dinner is an annual fundraising event that supports the exhibits and programming at the Museum of the Big Bend and each year honors an individual or individuals that have made a significant contribution to the heritage, culture and history of the region and the museum. Past recipients include Victor J. Smith, 2014, and Miriam and Emmett McCoy, 2015.
Leighton and Jim Donnell became friends with the museum in 2000 when they donated works from the Beryl Lowe and John Rice estate. Beryl, Jim’s mother, was an accomplished artist who worked in a variety of media including monotypes, stitchery, primitives, sculpture, and ceramics. From this initial donation, the Donnell’s continued their enthusiastic support of the museum by contributing funds through the Beryl Lowe and John W. Rice Foundation for the museum’s capital campaign to restore its historic 1936 Texas Centennial era building and to support children’s programming at the museum beginning in 2001. The Donnell’s contributions have impacted people from all walks of life through their financial support.
Museum Director, Liz Jackson said, “The Donnell’s epitomize the impact of philanthropy in our region with their long standing support of the Museum of the Big Bend and our larger community. I hope our Big Bend friends will come join us in celebrating the contributions of this exceptional family.” In honor of the Donnell’s, the Friends of the Heritage Dinner have come forward to support this event. These generous contributors include the Gage Hotel, Anne & Malcolm Calaway, Yana & Marty Davis, Susan Combs & Joe Duran, Kay & Don Green, Kathleen & Pat Kennedy, Poco Reata Properties, John Poindexter, Leslie & David Pohl, Paula Wilson & Lonnie Rodriquez, and Anne & Johnny Weisman.
Texas Photographic Society
TPS 25: The International Competition
June 3 to September 4, 2016
In association with the TPS 25: The International Competition:
Below is a brief description of TPS 25: The International Competition:
Juror Rixon Reed of Santa Fe, New Mexico, has selected 60 images from 25 photographers for TPS 25: The International Competition. Reed writes of his selections:
In today’s image-laden world, it’s not hard to find interesting photographs to view. There are an incredible number of websites with constant streams of images, but usually with very little context. Scroll through them long enough and you’ll almost always find something to linger on. But for me, it’s rare that these images give me the desire to delve deeper and learn more about the work scrolling past me.
So, what do I respond to?
As a bookseller who sees hundreds of new titles each year, I get most excited about work that uses the medium in aesthetically interesting ways. I’m drawn to all kinds of imagery from documentary, street photography, portraiture, nudes, to constructed photographs and studio work. In judging whether or not a book is successful, I ask myself, does this present an unusual viewpoint? How creative is the design? Does the form it takes make sense aesthetically with the work it contains?
As a gallerist, I’m drawn to artists who are exploring their world in exciting new ways and producing images with fresh ideas and/or aesthetic beauty. I’m particularly interested in the use of alternative processes in the age of the digital image or unusual uses of digital photography.
But ultimately, when looking at individual images, I want to be struck by their originality. I want to feel the image emotionally and I want it to be smartly done. I want to find images that make me think, “Here is a creative mind working on something different.”
The Bike Tree
Hallie and Dadie Stillwell
©James H. Evans
Jim Bones: 50 Years of Bagging Light in the Big Bend
June 3–August 31, 2016
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Jim Bones was born in Monroe, Louisiana, in 1943. His father was an Air Force officer so he attended many primary schools, graduating from high school in Lompoc, California, in 1962. He enrolled at UT Austin in 1962 to study aerospace engineering, but soon switched to geology. He then changed to fine arts to study and work with the documentary photographer Russell W. Lee.
In 1965 Bones began a lifelong career working with a large-format camera that makes 4x5 inch transparent slides. His first professional job was as production assistant to filmmaker Ron Perryman, for the H.E.W.-sponsored ﬁlm, Pandora’s Box, Austin, Texas (1967) and the following year as a research photography consultant, for Programma de Education InterAmericana, for Texas A&M University. From 1971 to 1972 he was a photography teacher at Laguna Gloria Art Museum in Austin, Texas. He spent a year (1972-1973) at the Dobie-Paisano Ranch, near Austin. The photographs made during his residency were published in 1975 in Texas Heartland: A Hill Country Year with John Graves.
From 1975 to 1978 he worked in Santa Fe, New Mexico, as the dye transfer printing assistant to Eliot Porter, who was widely respected for his large-format color work, especially of nature. Bones’ other works include the black and white book Texas Earth Surfaces (1970), Texas Wild, with Richard Phelan (1976), Junks of Central China, with Joseph E. Spencer (1976), Texas West of the Pecos (1981), Rio Grande, Mountains to the Sea (1985), Texas, Images of the Landscape (1986), Seeds Of Change-The Living Treasure, with Kenny Ausabel, (1994), The Smithsonian Guides To Natural America, The South Central States, with Mel White (1996), and A Long View Southwest, with J. Frank Dobie (2012). Encino Press of Austin, Texas, published two portfolios of Bones’ handmade dye-transfer prints, A Texas Portfolio, with John Graves (1977), and A Wildflower Portfolio (1978).
While living in Santa Fe from 1978 to 2005, he was a self-employed photographer, writer and guide and upon moving to Alpine in 2005 has been the Interpretive Exhibit Photographer and Design Consultant for the Brewster County Tourism Council. Bones also produced Images and Memories, an 8-part series of video programs about nature with writer Bill Porterfield for The Public Broadcasting System at KERA-TV, Dallas, Texas (1970-1971). In 1998 he produced The Seed Ball Story, a half hour video about a unique habitat restoration technique. His most recent video, Dreams of the Earth, Love Songs for a Troubled Planet, was made in collaboration with Terlingua songwriter, June Rapp. All are viewable on Youtube.
His works are in the permanent collections of: Alexander and Alexander of Texas, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas ; Allen State Bank Collection, Dallas, Texas, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth; Greg Copeland Collection, Fairfield, New Jersey; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; Photography Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin, Southland Royalty Company, Fort Worth, Lucent Corporation, Dallas, Wittliff Collection, Texas State University-San Marcos, and Story Sloane Collection, Houston.
Photo Learn Talks & Demonstrations
(Scroll down for Hike and Walk details)
Caleb Jagger and Farm Worker Portraiture
Caleb Jagger, Fort Davis, has been working on an art project since the summer of 2014 photographing farm harvests in the American Southwest. He started this project “because farm workers and people that harvest the food that we eat, don’t get enough respect and are not represented.” Jagger has visited over a dozen farms and taken over 360 portraits of people harvesting fruits and vegetables, from oranges to onions.
Jim Bones and Dye Transfer Printing
Jim Bones, Alpine, will demonstrate the ancient art of dye transfer printing, a technique derived from the Technicolor motion picture film process developed in the 1930s. From the 1940s, until Kodak quit making materials in 1994, it was the premier photographic color print process. Jim began making prints for Eliot Porter in 1975, and continued to use stored supplies for his own work until 2005. Three primary colored dye images, cyan, magenta and yellow, are each applied by a delicate sponge-like matrix, one after another, to a single sheet of white paper, to make a complete image. The actual “rolling” of the print is performed in full light, in a wet tray, darkroom environment. He will roll one straight print, and then roll a second modified version to show basic color control techniques. All ages are encouraged to attend. “Dye transfer prints are simply without peer. They have a richness, depth, and fidelity unmatched by any other kind of photographic print. They can show extraordinary subtlety of tone and hue, combined with a brightness range of 500:1 from blackest black to whitest white. Nothing else comes close to the magnificence of a dye transfer print.“ Ctein, Master Dye Transfer Printer
NOTE: Please enjoy the video at left about the entire process.
Crystal Allbright and Traveling Light in the Backcountry
Crystal Allbright, Terlingua, will present a program that encourages photographers that they can go minimal and still get great images, whether on the river or on the trail. Allbright’s talk is perfect for beginner to intermediate photographers.
Hallie and Dadie Stillwell
©James H. Evans
James Evans and Select Images
James Evans, Marathon, has chosen 12 images from his catalog of work for discussion.
Steve Goff and iPhoneography
Steve Goff, Odessa, will lead a lively presentation on the ever expanding use of cell phone imagery for photographers as their primary camera. Goff will provide shooting tips and apps for mobile photography. Terrific topic for beginner to intermediate photographers.
Photo Shoot Hike & Walk Led Tours
The Bike Tree
Hancock Hill Sunset Photo Walk with Matt Walter
Join Matt Walter, Alpine, for a guided tour up Hancock Hill at Sul Ross State University to two iconic sites: The Bicycle Tree and The Desk. Excellent views overlooking Alpine. Photographers will meet Walter at the old Mountainside Dorm on the campus of Sul Ross, at 7:00 pm for an approximately 2.5 hour round trip photo hike. Attendees are highly encouraged to wear comfortable hiking style boots and to dress for being outdoors. In addition photo hikers should bring a flashlight/headlamp and bottled water. Hike has a 400 foot elevation change and rocky terrain, and is considered to be a moderately strenuous hike.
Downtown Alpine Morning Photo Tour with Caneel Cardwell
Join Caneel Cardwell, Alpine, for a morning tour of Alpine, Texas. Photographers will meet Caneel at 6:30 am in the parking lot across from Murphy Street Raspa Company, 100 W. Murphy Street, for a photo tour of the downtown area. Photo hikers will walk up to Baines Park, then pass Our Lady of Peace Catholic Church. The tour will continue down Murphy Street and into the downtown area. IMPORTANT: the group will be crossing over the train tracks ONLY when there is NO TRAIN IN SIGHT OR IT IS A SAFE DISTANCE AWAY. IT IS ILLEGAL TO STOP ON THE TRAIN TRACKS TO TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS. There will be ample opportunities to take photos of the tracks as the group walks along. Photo hikers will be walking by the depot and the railroad park, and either – or both – of those locations are great spots to take photos safely and within the law. Photographers are highly encouraged to wear comfortable hiking type shoes/boots and to dress for being outdoors and to bring a bottled water. This is a moderately strenuous hike.
Tom Lea, The Left-Handed Buffalo Hunter, 1937, oil on canvas, 41 x 41”, El Paso Museum of Art, Bequest of Billie Ruth Simpson
Tom Lea, Snake Dancers, 1932, dry brush and ink on paper, 28.5 x 24”, El Paso Museum of Art, Gift of Patsy M. Taylor, Henry and Pat Taylor Collection
EXHIBIT OPENING RECEPTION
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2015 6 to 8 PM MUSEUM OF THE BIG BEND
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EXHIBIT DATES: September 18, 2015 – March 20, 2016
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Knowing the North Star: The Life and Art of Tom Lea
Presented by Adair Margo, President of the Tom Lea Institute Saturday, September 19, 2015 at 10 AM Sul Ross State University – Morgan University Center – 2nd Floor * * * * * * * Though largely unknown outside of El Paso, Texas, Tom Lea, 1907-2001, knew where he belonged. A muralist, illustrator, artist, war correspondent, novelist and historian, Lea was probably the only person to have been threatened by Pancho Villa, interrupted by Chiang Kai-shek and regaled by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. However with his worldwide travels, he always returned to his beloved El Paso. Lea created murals for federal buildings across the U.S. during the 1930s, created illustrations for two books with J. Frank Dobie and was an “Accredited War Artist-Correspondent” for Life magazine during World War II. His firsthand account of the Marine landing on the Peleliu beachhead was a turning point in his career. He published a fine press book of his eyewitness account with illustrations with the help of master printer Carl Hertzog. His eleven paintings from this landing including “The Two Thousand Yard Stare” have been reproduced in countless publications. After his WWII experiences, he became an author in his own right. His works which he fully illustrated include The Brave Bulls and The Wonderful Country, which were both made into major motion pictures, and the two volume set of the history of the King Ranch. In the 1970s he returned to his studio full time. His painting Rio Grande hung in the Oval Office during the administration of President George W. Bush. Over twenty original works of art from the El Paso Museum of Art were on display.
Big Bend Plein Air
Opening Reception, Friday, June 19, 2015
Exhibit and Sale Dates: June 19 to August 30, 2015
Museum of the Big Bend
“Big Bend Plein Air,” an exhibition and sale of art from the Plein Air Painters of the Four Corners, opened Friday (June 19) at the Museum of the Big Bend at Sul Ross State University. The exhibit will remain on display until Sunday, August 30. Five exhibiting artists, including Marilyn Taylor, Farmington, NM (bottom photo) were present at the opening reception. Also present were Carolyn Dailey, Moab, UT; Deborah Doty, Mancos, CO; Stephen Unger, Aztec, NM; and K. K. Walling, Farmington, NM (Photos by Steve Lang)
Federico Villalba: Mexican Pioneer in the Big Bend
Exhibit Dates: February 10-August 30, 2015
Based on research by Federico Villalba’s great-grandson, Juan Manuel Casas, and his publication Federico Villalba’s Texas this exhibit tells the story of Villalba and his rise to rancher and merchant in the Big Bend. Included in the exhibit will be numerous family artifacts.
War Stories Project Invitation
Saturday, June 13 from 10 am to 4 pm
Museum of the Big Bend
The Department of History at Angelo State University, supported by a three-year grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, invites West Texas residents to participate in a new historical preservation project, “War Stories: West Texans from World War I to the Present.”
The project’s goal is to collect and preserve the stories and experiences of armed forces personnel and their families with a West Texas connection, past or present. The result will be a digital archive to serve as a research resource for future generations and a memorial to those Americans who helped shape the course of the 20th and early 21st centuries.
The digital archive, which will be at ASU’s Dr. Ralph R. Chase West Texas Collection, will include photographs, letters and other memorabilia, as well as oral and video interviews from military members, veterans and their families.
Angelo State University’s
History Department & West Texas Collection
The Archives of the Big Bend and Museum of the Big Bend
Join in our project to preserve experiences of West Texas veterans and their families from World War I to the present in a digital archive and website.
See Poster Below for Details!
Russell Lee Photographs
Exhibit Dates: February 10-March 29, 2015
“The legacy of Russell Lee’s documentary photography is profound,” said Dr. Don Carleton, director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. “From his work with the photographic unit of the Federal Farm Security Administration during the Depression, his controversial study of Spanish-speaking people in Texas, and his political work as a photographer for the Texas Observer, Russell evidenced a singular compassion for the human condition.” This traveling exhibition of 37 black and white photographs by renowned documentary photographer Russell Lee draws from the magnificent archive that he donated to the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History just prior to his death in 1986. Russell Lee Photographs offers a rare glimpse into the remarkable images he produced in 1935 and 1936 when he first took up a camera and goes on to highlight the vast body of important work that Lee produced from 1947 through 1977. This program was made possible in part with a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fugV-Ukdt7c An illustrated discussion with Jim Bones and Lonn Taylor in conjunction with the show Russell Lee Photographs at the Museum of the Big Bend, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas, February 19, 2015.
Kurt Lange and the Art of Bootmaking
Exhibit Dates: February 10-March 29, 2015
In 1939 Russell Lee traveled to Alpine, Texas, where he photographed the art of bootmaking at Kurt Lange’s Bootshop. Lange a native of Dresden, Germany, was born on February 29, 1888. He immigrated to America and arrived in Galveston, Texas, in 1905. After working with H.J. “Joe” Justin in Nocona, Texas, and owning a shop in Ozona, he moved to and opened a bootshop in Alpine in 1911, which he operated until 1959. This exhibit includes the story of Lange and photographs of his men building a pair of boots.
Aerial Views of Big Bend Country
by Paul V. Chaplo
Exhibit Dates: September 19, 2014 – January 18, 2015
“The landforms that are obstacles to ground travel in Big Bend become awe-inspiring sculptures when viewed from above.” – Paul V. Chaplo
The Museum of the Big Bend is proud to have been chosen as the premier venue for the exhibit and book launch of Paul V. Chaplo’s Marfa Flights: Aerial Views of Big Bend Country. The exhibit features over thirty large format color photographs taken during Chaplo’s aerial sorties over the rugged terrain.
The work covers a large area from the Rio Grande north to Alpine and Fort Davis including the Chisos Mountains, Santa Elena Canyon, Marfa Flats, Capote Falls, Davis Mountains, Chihuahuan Desert, and many more mountains, canyons, and badlands.
Chaplo works as a professional photographer specializing in corporate and architectural photography. He spends most of his time working from a helicopter flying with the doors off over Dallas, producing both still images and stabilized HD video.
The opening reception and book signing was on Friday, September 19th at 6 p.m at the museum. A Roundtable Discussion and book signing was held on Saturday, September 20th at 10 a.m. in the Morgan University Center. Panelists included Paul V. Chaplo, Roger Amis, pilot, Larry Francell, historian, John Morlock, NPS, and Dr. Kevin Urbanczyk, SRSU geologist. The exhibition was on display from September 19, 2014, through January 18, 2015. All events were free and open to the public.
Treasures from the Frederic Remington Art Museum
An exhibit of art from the Frederic Remington Art Museum, Ogdensburg, New York
Exhibit Dates: September 24 – December 8, 2013
The Museum of the Big Bend brought “Treasures from The Frederic Remington Art Museum” to West Texas. Frederic Remington is considered the most influential and important artist to portray the American West. Works from the Remington Museum rarely leave their home in Ogdensburg, New York.
This historic exhibit displayed a large number of Remington’s best known works from September 20th through December 8th. The iconic bronze, The Broncho Buster, and the never-before toured painting, The Charge of the Rough Riders, were but two of the pieces in the exhibit. Brought to the museum through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mallory and The Holland Hotel, the exhibit contained more than twenty-two works that explored the diversity of the media and styles that Remington used in his pursuit of creating fine art while chronicling the West.
Brought together for the very first time was the nation’s leading Remington scholars presenting new scholarship and research during the course of the weekend. Presenters included Mr. Peter Hassrick, Dr. Ron Tyler, Dr. B. Byron Price and Mr. Michael Duty.