Cowboy Photographer: Erwin E Smith
About Erwin E Smith  Teaching ResourcesCollection Guide

   Bar Diamond Bar
   Cross B, Tex.
   ED, Tex.
   JA, Tex.
   LS, Tex.
   LS - panoramas
   Matador, Tex.
   Matador - panoramas
   Shoe Bar, Tex.
   SMS, Tex.
   Spur, Tex.
   Three Circles, Tex.
   Turkey Track, Tex.
   Bar W, N. Mex.
   Three Block, N. Mex.
   OR Ranch, Ariz.
   Other Ranches

Smith's immersion in cowboy life began with a love of the land and extended to the heroic characters who inhabited it. Childhood memories of traveling from his home in the bustling town of Bonham, Texas, to his uncle's ranch in Foard County, near the base of the Texas Panhandle, fueled his passion for the open plains. Wishing to preserve these legendary times, Smith photographed on ranches throughout the Southwest. He selected only the largest and most colorful ranches, where working methods most closely resembled those of the open range. These included the Turkey Track, JA, LS, Matador, and Spur Ranches in Texas; the Three Block Ranch in New Mexico; and the OR Ranch in Arizona.

Erwin E. Smith (1886–1947)
One cowgirl, four cowboys posed by old bunkhouse. Matador Ranch, Texas, 1908
Gelatin dry plate negative
Erwin E. Smith Collection of the Library of Congress on deposit at the Amon Carter Museum
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Made possible through generosity of Erwin E Smith Foundation
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