Oct. 27

Nice Jewish Cowboys and Cowgirls

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Married to a Jewish merchant in Deming, NM, Ella Klauber Wormser took what may be the only photographs documenting the transition from cattle drives to rail transport in the late 1880s. Her contribution is but one of many made by Jewish pioneer families to the ranching heritage of New Mexico. At 2 pm on Sunday, Oct. 27, the museum joins with the New Mexico Jewish Historical Society and Temple Beth Shalom to present "Nice Jewish Cowboys and Cowgirls" in the History Museum auditorium. The event is part of the exhibit Cowboys Real and Imagined. 

Members of pioneering Jewish families, Bernard Seligman, Zadoc Staab and Lehman Spiegelberg became freighters on the Santa Fe Trail. Married to a Jewish merchant in Deming, NM, Ella Klauber Wormser took what may be some of the earliest photographs documenting the transition from cattle drives to rail transport in the early 1890s.

In the second half of the 19th century, Jewish families began playing prominent roles in cattle ranching and sheep raising – roles that continue into 21st-century New Mexico.

For “Nice Jewish Cowboys and Cowgirls,” Noel Pugach, professor emeritus of history at the University of New Mexico, will lead a panel discussion featuring members of the Gottlieb and Wertheim families, who will share their families’ stories and explain what “the cowboy way” means to them. Meredith Davidson, curator of 19th- and 20th-century Southwest collections, will present a selection of Wormser’s images also on view in Cowboys Real and Imagined.

Free with admission; Sundays are free to NM residents.

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