The Cowboy Museum is celebrating the diversity of the American West with two upcoming exhibitions spotlighting Mexican and northward migration. “¡Viva Mexico!”, on exhibit July 9 – October 17 and Find Your North, on exhibit August 20 – October 17, use images, artifacts, maps and stories to share the influence the people “south of the border” had on cowboy and Western culture.

“The American West was and continues to be built on diversity of thought and experience,” said Natalie Shirley, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum President and CEO. “It was an embodiment of a shared hope and future, even for those for whom the west was actually north.”

This year marks the bicentennial of Mexican Independence from Spain in 1821, an event that played a significant role in the history of Central America to Western Canada. After Mexico gained independence, the nation retained its cultural mexcla of Spanish, criollo, African, mestizo and native Mexican traditions, eventually bringing them to the North and creating the American Cowboy. Both exhibitions will be open during National Hispanic Heritage Month celebrated annually September 15 – October 15.

“¡Viva Mexico!” highlights how hombres a caballo (horsemen) affected key historical events like Mexican Independence, the Texas Revolution, Mexican War and the Mexican Revolution through artifacts, art objects, and photographs. The exhibition showcases how Mexican culture, faith, food, popular culture, and trade contributed to and continues to shape the Americas we know today.

Find Your North shows how a change in perspective can highlight different histories. The exhibition will focus on Hispanic experiences and influence on the borderlands. Diverse archival materials and collections preserved in the Museum’s Dickinson Research Center will be highlighted.  

For more information on “¡Viva Mexico!” and Find Your North, visit nationalcowboymuseum.org/all-exhibitions.