Horns and More

Down she came, 1,500 pounds of longhorn beef with a speckled red hide, 4 feet of horns and a majestically glowering look in her red-rimmed eyes. ~ Wayne King

Art shows can be held in the most interesting of places.  Two of my pastel paintings were juried into a National Society of Artist show held at the Butler Longhorn Museum in League City, Texas.  There are many things “Longhorn” in Texas and it’s pretty common place to see restaurants, hotels, bars and roads named Longhorn something or another, but a museum dedicated totally to Longhorns was something I had never seen…..until this past weekend.  The art show was set up on the second floor of the museum beneath a ceiling crammed full of hanging bleached white cattle skulls sporting longhorns of every size and description.  Off in one corner was a longhorn steer made completely out of iron and around the corner was a blackened room with multiple rows of cattle heads and horns dimly lit to give the impression of a stampeded – or, at least, that was my immediate impression.  Downstairs was a massive longhorn steer stuffed and standing sentinel in the entry while the third floor housed interesting cowboy and ranch paraphernalia.  There were doors made from six shooters, old saddles, rifles, Indian spears and a headdress and lovely old photos of gaunt looking men working on the ranches located in and around the Clear Lake area back in the olden days.  Evidently the Butler Ranch was originally a large enough tract of land to now have a museum named after it.  All in all, the museum made for an interesting visit.  I love when I can take a peek into the past and touch belongings that were once cherished by someone else long long ago.  The families I saw in the old ranch photos looked like they had very little time to appreciate art in any form.  Daily living back then must have been a continuous struggle and most likely took most of their energy.  I count myself lucky to be alive in today’s world where we have an abundance of free time to devote to personal pleasures and pursuits, although, some days I do find myself daydreaming of riding the range and throwing a big lasso around massive longhorns.

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