A Secret Gem of Arizona: The Desert Caballeros Western Museum


         


 

THE NAVAJO Charles M. Russell 1919

Permanent Collection of Desert Caballeros Western Museum

It’s hard to believe that the tiny town of Wickenburg, Arizona (population something less than 7,000) could have one of the best and most comprehensive collections of early Western cowboy art. Just about anybody who is anybody as a 20th century Western artist is represented here. In this charming setting, you’ll find the entire panorama of Western art including works by the early explorer artists: landscape painters, the Taos Society, founders of the Cowboy Artists of America, and examples of more recent schools with new perspectives from impressionism to realism. You’ll see George Catlin, Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Remington, Joseph Henry Sharp, Oscar Berninghaus, Joe Beeler, Harrison Begay, and even a stunning large bronze by Earle Heikka.

This museum took my breath away! It’s small and intimate. You feel you belong there. You can almost hear the artist’s voices spinning tall tales. I know my favorite Charlie Russell was there telling one of his yarns filled with his delightful profanity. Bob Fjeld, a handsome docent, said he preferred Russell’s bronzes, but for me, Heikka is the prize winner. I think Bob must be one of my long lost Norse kin from Montana.

And then, before you can catch your breath you’re over at The Old Livery Mercantile, Inc. on Tegner Street trying on Cowboy Hats and buying real Arizona silver and turquoise jewelry. Brett and Mary Ann Gerasim at the Old Livery have a motto. “Don’t hurry—this is Wickenburg!”

I love Wickenburg.


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SPIRIT OF THE WEST


   

Our Spirit of the West <b>ARIZONA DEEUUD</b>

Our Spirit of the West ARIZONA DEEUUD

 I went to a meeting of my Meet-Up group “Spirit of the West” last night. Most of us go dressed in western gear. One of these days I’ll learn how to put pictures on this blog and I’ll post them. My novel BUFFALOed is about the famous Cowboy Artist, Charlie Russell, who was in large part responsible for creating the all-American hero, the cowboy. So, I like to hang out with these people. I met a fellow there, C. L. “Lee” Anderson who is a true 1880’s Arizona Cowboy. He’s a re-enactor and does he ever look authentic. In programs for schools and at special events, Lee and his trusty horse Dusty bring 1880’s Arizona back to life. The real Arizona cowboy, not the Hollywood or Charlie Russell myth. Lee says the American cowboy never would have existed without the Spanish Colonial Vaqueros, the ones who knew how to handle horses.