Western Heritage Awards 2018 Winners

The Museum’s Western Heritage Awards was established in 1961 as the pinnacle commemoration of the American West by honoring the legacy of men and women for their works in literature, music, film, and television. The evening includes the induction of individuals into the Hall of Great Western Performers and the Hall of Great Westerners who made extraordinary contributions to shaping the American West’s rich heritage. The evening continues with the Chester A. Reynolds Memorial Award presentation named after the Museum’s founder, given to an individual for their unwavering commitment to the American West’s future. All award recipients receive The Wrangler, a bronze sculpture of a cowboy on horseback representing an iconic symbol of American West determination, persistence, and pride.



Western Visionary Recipient

Philip Anschutz

Hall of Great Westerners

Walter Vail (1852-1906)

Jim Odle

Hall of Great Western Performers

Lynn Anderson (1947-2015)

Barry Corbin

Chester A. Reynolds Award

Randy Cate

Film & Television

Fictional Drama

“Homecoming”, Godless, S1, E7, starring Jack O’Connell and Michelle Dockery, directed and written by Scott Frank, produced by Netflix

Western Lifestyle Programming

Today’s Wild West, S.1 E6, directed and written by Mark Bedor, produced by Today’s Wild West

Theatrical Motion Picture

Wind River starring Kelsey Asbille, Jeremy Renner, and Julia Jones, directed and written by Taylor Sheridan, produced by Acacia Filmed Entertainment, Film 44, Savvy Media Holdings


Floating Horses: The Life of Casey Tibbs, directed and written by Justin Koehler, produced by Nowlin Town Productions


Home on the Range, starring Buck Taylor, directed by Ken Spurgeon, produced by Lone Chimney Films

Television Feature Film

Unspoken: America’s Native American Boarding Schools, directed and written by John Howe, produced by KUED/PBS


Western Novel

Stranded: A Story of Frontier Survival by Matthew P. Mayo, published by Five Star Publishing

Nonfiction Book

Lakota Performers in Europe: Their Culture and the Artifacts They Left Behind by Steve Friesen, published by University Press of Oklahoma Press

Art/Photography Book

Once Upon a Time…The Western: A new Frontier in Art and Film, Editors: Thomas Brent Smith and Mary-Dailey Desmarais published by 5 Continents Editions with Denver Art Museum and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Juvenile Book

Lotta Crabtree: Gold Rush Fairy Star by Lois V. Harris, published by Pelican Publishing Co.

Magazine Article

“All American Indian Days and the Miss Indian America Pageant” Montana The Magazine of Western History by Gregory Nickerson, published by Montana The Magazine of Western History

Poetry Book

Wooden Lions by Karla Morton, published by Texas Review Press


Original Western Composition

“A Nickel A Head”, recording artists K.R. Wood and Michael Martin Murphey, composed by K. R. Wood.

Traditional Western Album

Take Me Back to Texas, recording artist Mary Kaye, produced by Don’t Fence Me In Records