Texas Cowboy as Myth: Visual Representations from the Late Twentieth Century

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Description

The working cowboy remains part of the contemporary culture of Texas. A visual record of him appeared early in the state's history, in daguerreotypes, followed by representations in contemporary black and white as well as color photographs, film and video. Although the way of life for the Texas cowboy has changed, it remains a thriving part of the Texas economy, society, and culture. Moreover, the image of the cowboy has permeated popular culture and fine art. This paper explores what late twentieth century popular culture and fine art images of the cowboy signify, emphasizing aspects of how they signify in ... continued below

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Seaton, Melynda August 2006.

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  • Seaton, Melynda

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The working cowboy remains part of the contemporary culture of Texas. A visual record of him appeared early in the state's history, in daguerreotypes, followed by representations in contemporary black and white as well as color photographs, film and video. Although the way of life for the Texas cowboy has changed, it remains a thriving part of the Texas economy, society, and culture. Moreover, the image of the cowboy has permeated popular culture and fine art. This paper explores what late twentieth century popular culture and fine art images of the cowboy signify, emphasizing aspects of how they signify in relation to an existing tradition of photographic representations. Using Barthes' "Myth Today," it considers how the documentary aspect of early photographic representations of cowboys is transformed in contemporary popular culture and fine art to become mythology, for example, by the exaggeration of features of dress to connote ideals allegorically.

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  • August 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 14, 2008, 9:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 15, 2008, 4:55 p.m.

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Citations, Rights, Re-Use

Seaton, Melynda. Texas Cowboy as Myth: Visual Representations from the Late Twentieth Century, thesis, August 2006; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5599/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .