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Girls of the Golden West

Girls of the Golden West

May 18 - October 18, 2020

“But have we preserved the memory of the women?” E. W. Marland, 1930

This exhibition takes its name from “The Girl of the Golden West,” written, produced, and directed for the theater by David Belasco. Giacomo Puccini wrote an opera based on the play 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 hail from Muleshoe, Texas, but were actually farm girls born in Illinois.

This exhibition draws on the Museum’s vast photographic and art collection to describe life for women in the American West.

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