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Arts & Culture

Briscoe Museum Will Challenge Your View Of 'The West'

The Briscoe Western Art Museum has a new offering. It’s a distinguished Lecture series to be held the first Thursday of the next three months. I spoke to Jennifer Chowning, who is their Senior Head of Education and Programs.

“It’s entitled 'Voices of the West' and we are bringing in three distinguished speakers to explore some facet of the American West experience.”

They start off next week with a bang.

“In October on the second, we are inviting Ben Nighthorse Campbell.”

He’s been an Olympic Athlete, jeweler, rancher and Senator.

“The next speaker is S.C. Gwynne. He’s a writer. He’s most popularly known for his 2010 book 'Empire of the Summer Moon' and he is going to be talking about the opening up of the American west and the decimation of the Comanche tribe.”

I noted that he’s also on the cover of this month’s Texas Monthly. "Yes he is!" I then asked Ms. Chowning for the next speaker.

“The Third one is Delores Huerta, a Civil Rights Activist and Labor Organizer" she said. "Any exploration of the American West that doesn’t address Labor and Immigration and organization of communities would be a gross omission. And so we believe that this is a really critical perspective to bring to our series.”

I told her that’s a nuanced take on history from a Western Art Museum, and she agreed.

“All of these speakers represent voices that we as an institution seek to include in the dialogue about the American West" she said. "It’s not just about cowboys riding across the plains. This is a turbulent region, this is a dramatic region."

“And the history’s a little complicated” I said.

“It’s the American West; it’s very complicated!” she said.

More on the Briscoe Western Art Museum’s Distinguished Lecture Series here:  http://www.briscoemuseum.org/news/voices-of-the-west-ben-nighthorse-campbell