OKC’s National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum features the essence of the Wild West in its newest exhibit, “The Santa Fe Trail.” Running through May of 2022, this historical collection of artwork represents the trails that connected the United States to Mexico. The cross-country road and commercial highway was used by American and Mexican traders, and the NCWHM features images, artifacts, maps, and pieces of art to commemorate the Santa Fe Trail’s influence on the economy, military, and immigration.
“Our visitors will learn the history of the Santa Fe Trail from 1821 to 1880, and why it is important to commemorate its 200th anniversary,” said Michael Grauer, McCasland Chair of Cowboy Culture and Curator of Cowboy Collections and Western Art. “Most of our visitors will learn of the multicultural history of the trail and will learn that it is a diverse story. There are artifacts in the exhibition that can be found nowhere else, especially the pair of mule packs and the dog’s head Bowie-style knife in our collection, as well as artifacts found on the trail that we borrowed from a staff member for the exhibition.”
There’s no better place to witness the beauty of connection through western roads than the National Cowboy Museum, located just off of Route 66.
“It’s very fitting that The Cowboy be commemorating the roads and trails that built America through our Santa Fe Trail exhibition,” said Natalie Shirley, NCWHM president and CEO. “Much of the story of the American West is one of traveling, from cattle drives to family road trips. This exhibition builds on the stories of key trade and travel routes we tell in the Museum’s permanent collections.”
For more information about the exhibitions or related events, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org.