A visitor in a cowboy hat seen from the back standing in front of a painting in The Western Exhibition

Tip Your Hat to Cowboys on the National Day of the Cowboy

The annual National Day of the Cowboy is July 22, 2017. Visit The Western: An Epic in Art and Film to discover how cowboys have been portrayed in fine art and film throughout the evolution of the Western.

In this exhibition, you’ll meet some of the cast of stock characters that appear in Westerns, including fictional and real cowboys and cowgirls. Real-life people featured in the exhibition include Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley, and “Buffalo Bill” Cody.

The following slide show features just a few of the cowboys on view in The Western: An Epic in Art and Film.

A painting of men on horseback

Frederic Remington, A Dash for the Timber, 1889. Oil on canvas. Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Amon G. Carter Collection.

Frederic Remington, The Broncho Buster, 1895. Bronze

Frederic Remington, The Broncho Buster, 1895. Bronze. Denver Art Museum: The Roath Collection, 2013.91.

Roy Lichtenstein, Cowboy on Bronco, about 1953. Oil on canvas

Roy Lichtenstein, Cowboy on Bronco, c. 1953, oil on canvas, 32 x 26 in. The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein

Thomas Eakins, Cowboy Singing, 1892. Oil on canvas

Thomas Eakins, Cowboy Singing, about 1892. Oil on canvas. Jointly acquired in honor of Peter H. Hassrick by the Denver Art Museum and the American Museum of Western Art and by exchange with funds from 1999 Collectors' Choice, Sharon Magness, Mr. & Mrs. William D. Hewit, Carl & Lisa Williams, Estelle Rae Wolf-Flowe Foundation and the T. Edward and Tullah Hanley Collection, 2008.491.

Bucking Broadway (film still), 1917

Bucking Broadway (film still), 1917. Directed by John Ford, with Harry Carey, Molly Malone and L.M. Wells © Collection Centre National du Cinéma et de l’image animée (France).

William H. D. Koerner, "The Tent Law," Don't You Go Frettin', Sallie, I'll Tend To It

William H.D. Koerner, "The Tent Law," Don't You Go Frettin', Sallie, I'll Tend To It, 1922. Oil on canvas; 36 x 28 in. Denver Art Museum: The Roath Collection, 2013.121.

While you're here, wet your whistle in the Callahan Café in the Hamilton Building Shop with a special Western-themed drinks menu that includes:

COWBOY COFFEE
Brewed coffee with 2 shots of espresso

HIGH NOON
Black tea lemonade with raspberry syrup

SNAKE IN MY BOOT
Iced caramel macchiato with an extra shot of espresso

LASSO (ADULT)
Half & half coffee Frappuccino with caramel drizzle

LASSO (KIDS)
Vanilla bean Frappuccino with caramel drizzle

For more cowboy arts and history, visit Backstory: Western American Art in Context at History Colorado Center, which features a trove of objects from the DAM’s western American art collection.

The National Day of the Cowboy organization works to get a national holiday recognized on the fourth Saturday in July “to celebrate the contributions of the cowboy and cowgirl to America’s culture and heritage.” Currently 12 states recognize this day.

Photo at top: @cowboy_snowboard

Carolyn Davidson is a 2017 summer writing intern in the marketing department at the Denver Art Museum.