Will James: The Eternal Cowboy

08.16.2024 – 08.10.2025

Earl E. Snook Family Gallery

Coming Soon

Will James: The Eternal Cowboy explores the archetypal cowboy figure as presented through the work of Montana artist and author Will James (1892 – 1942). Will James began working on ranches at the young age of 15 and continued working in the cow country throughout his life. James’ artistic portfolio is centered around the cowboy figure, and his famous cowboy novels, such as Smoky (1929) and Uncle Bill (1932), tell of an exhilarating life in the American West. In James’ final novel, The American Cowboy (1942), the book culminates with the declaration: “The cowboy will never die.” Will James: The Eternal Cowboy examines James’ archetypal cowboy figure through a selection of drawings, writings, and various archival materials from the YAM’s Virginia Snook Collection, and explores the artist’s contemplation of this role within a rapidly changing landscape.