Hollywood in Cowtown
UPDATE: Due to "unprecedented visitorship," the museum said March 23, the exhibition will continue through April 17.
Texas’ National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame is taking visitors inside the world of 1883, the Paramount+ series that’s become the buzziest show on earth. The new exhibition, “1883: The Journey West,” opens at the Fort Worth museum on Friday, February 11 and runs through March 20.
Organized by the museum in partnership with 101 Studios, Visit Fort Worth, and the Fort Worth Film Commission, the special exhibition includes costumes, props, and photography from the Yellowstone prequel, which was filmed in and around Fort Worth from July to October of 2021.
Highlights include an authentic wagon; a camp setup; and apparel worn by stars Faith Hill, Tim McGraw, Sam Elliott, and LaMonica Garrett. There’s also a display of behind-the-scenes photography.
Also of note is a collection of beaded items from Cowgirl Hall of Fame honoree Cathy A. Smith, an artist who works to preserve the history of the 19th century cowboy and cowgirl and the Plains Indians. The museum notes that Smith’s work was featured as part of the costuming for the Lakota, Crow, and Comanche tribes in 1883.
“A ‘cowgirl’ represents fortitude, determination, tenacity and grit,” says David Glasser, CEO of 101 Studios, in a release. “It is that indomitable spirit that we are so thrilled to celebrate through the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame’s upcoming exhibit, ‘1883: The Journey West.’”
With apologies to Hollywood, there really is no better place for an 1883 exhibition than the Cowgirl Museum. The show is written and directed by Fort Worth native and Weatherford resident Taylor Sheridan, who also created Yellowstone (along with Sicaro, Hell or Highwater, Wind River, and more). His wife, actress Nicole Sheridan, is a Cowgirl Museum board member; and the Hall of Fame’s 2021 Patsy Montana Award recipient, Christina Voros, is the cinematographer on the hit series.
“We are honored to host the ‘1883: The Journey West’ exhibition,” says Diana Vela, the museum’s associate executive director. “The ties to Fort Worth history, pioneers, and trailblazers make it a natural fit. The captivating series complements some of the real-life stories of our very own honorees.”
Yellowstone and 1883 follow the lives of the Duttons, first with the modern-day Western drama of the John Dutton family, then with the late 19th-century story of James and Margaret Dutton’s move west across the U.S.
When it filmed in Fort Worth last year, 1883 employed hundreds of local production crew and extras, used local businesses, and heavily featured locations like the Fort Worth Stockyards, the release notes. The show — whose official trailer featured a killer line about the city delivered by star Billy Bob Thornton — was built up as one of the buzziest newcomers of the year.
1883 debuted in December and reportedly set a premiere record, reaching 4.9 million households. The Yellowstone season finale drew an estimated 65 million viewing households.
Powered by the success of the shows, Fort Worth recently shot onto a prestigious list of top filmmaking cities for first time; the city landed at No. 25 on Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker, an annual list compiled by Los Angeles-based publication MovieMaker.
A couple of visits to the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo by two of the shows’ biggest stars February 1 and 2 drew swarms of fans from near and far.
“We are proud to partner with the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame and 101 Studios on this exhibition,” says Bob Jameson, president and CEO of Visit Fort Worth (which includes the Fort Worth Film Commission). “Film and television production not only creates jobs locally, [but] it provides an opportunity to drive tourism to our city through location tours and exhibitions like this one.”
“1883: The Journey West” runs February 11-March 20 at the National Cowgirl Museum & Hall of Fame in Fort Worth. Entrance is included with museum admission. Find tickets and more information at cowgirl.net.