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“Girls of the Golden West”: Photographs from the Permanent Collection

This exhibition takes its name from a 1907 play written for the theater by David Belasco, “The Girl of the Golden West,” and later made into an opera by Giacomo Puccini in 1910, starring Enrico Caruso and Emmy Destinn.  Belasco wrote a novel by the same title in 1911 and his play was made into four films.  “Girls of the Golden West” was also a popular Western music singing duo in the 1930s and 1940s that took its name from Belasco’s play and Puccini’s opera.  Sisters Mildred and Laverne Good were pioneers in Western music who claimed to hale from Muleshoe, Texas, but were actually farm girls born in Illinois.

The exhibition will draw on the PPHM’s vast photographic collection to describe life for women on the Southern Plains.  The multiculturalism of the Panhandle-Plains region and the different “folk islands” that existed here will be emphasized.   It will be featured in the Museum’s Alexander Photograph Gallery beginning March 1, 2014.


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