Even Cowgirls Get the Views

Jenna Johnson, 2006

The vast and challenging American West has within its borders inhabitants of remarkable grit and pluck. For the past nineteen years, Eugene-based artist Lynda Lanker has traveled the region sketching, painting, interviewing, and photographing iconic women. One result of that effort is an exhibition, Tough by Nature: Portraits of Cowgirls and Ranch Women of the American West, now on display at the UO’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. The show presents the portraits and stories of forty-nine women from thirteen western states and documents a way of life that affirms the many contributions of women to the economy and ecology of the West. Lanker uses a variety of media—pencil and charcoal, oil pastel, egg tempera, plate and stone lithography, engraving, and drypoint—in these images, which will remain on display through September 9.