Culture & Literature
Wild West

Wild West February 2020

Wild West Magazine presents the great American frontier from its beginnings to today. America’s western frontier has been a vital part of the country’s myths and reality, from the earliest exploration beyond the territory of the first colonies, to the wide expanses of the western prairies and deserts. Experience the old west and cowboys and Indians from top historical writers. Wild West brings to life the fascinating history, lore and culture of the great American frontier.

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6 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
boone, crockett all a crock?

Pioneers and frontiersmen (and, yes, frontierswomen, too) were the backbone of westward American expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries, though most of their names have been lost to history. Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett must have had backbones stronger than the rest, as their names stand out to this very day. Often they are paired, like Meriwether Lewis and William Clark or Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. It helped (or didn’t help, depending on your point of view) that the same actor, Fess Parker, played buckskin-clad Crockett in the five-part serial Davy Crockett (1954–55) on ABC-TV’s Disneyland and then buckskin-clad Boone in 165 episodes of the NBC-TV action-adventure series Daniel Boone (1964–70). Yet the real-life Boone was born more than a half-century before Crockett, lived 36 years longer…

1 min.
visit our website for online extras wildwestmag.com

The Last Days of David Crockett “Those of us who grew up on the movie portrayals by Fess Parker and John Wayne would not have recognized the pilgrim politician who arrived in Texas the winter of 1836,” writes Stephen Harrigan. “Crockett—whose preferred name was David, not Davy—was 49.…He was one of the most famous men in America, but in the winter of 1836 celebrity was almost all he had left.” More About Greg Woodard The master sculptor from Brigham City, Utah, also works with concrete and sometimes with a little steel, rebar and even a barrel or two thrown in. “I need a tetanus shot,” he jokes. Extended Interview With Mark Sublette “While we [in Tucson, Ariz.] don’t have the number of galleries as Santa Fe or Scottsdale, the galleries we do have are longterm…

3 min.

FIRST PRISON In the June 2019 issue of Wild West on P. 76 [“Formidable, Fearsome Fun,” by Linda Wommack, Collections] you indicate that the Old Montana Prison [see photo] in Deer Lodge, Montana Territory, opened on July 2, 1871, and was the first territorial prison in the Western United States. Yet the penitentiary in Utah Territory, located in Sugar House, opened in January 1855. Allen Williams Layton, Utah Editor responds: Yes, it seems the multiple sources that tout Deer Lodge as the first territorial prison in the Western United States are wrong. It wasn’t. On receiving your letter, we ran an online search for “territorial prison.” At the top of the results were pages devoted to the Minnesota Territorial Prison, in Stillwater, which beat both Deer Lodge and Sugar House to the punch, opening…

10 min.
10 white actors who appeared in ‘red face’

1 Anthony Quinn: Born in Mexico to a Mexican mother and Irish-Mexican father, he played Indians in several films, including a sympathetic portrayal of Crazy Horse in They Died With Their Boots On (1941) and Chief Flapping Eagle in the comedy-drama Western Flap (1970). 2 Iron Eyes Cody: Though of Italian ancestry, he appeared as an Indian in nearly two dozen films and on TV, notably a Keep America Beautiful ad campaign in which he wept over pollution (see related story, P. 12). 3 Ray Danton: Born in New York City to a Jewish family, he played turncoat Lakota villain Little Big Man in Chief Crazy Horse (1955), his film debut. 4 Jeff Chandler: Born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family, he played Cochise in three Westerns, notably Broken Arrow (1950). 5 Debra Paget:…

3 min.
events of the west

Levi Strauss The Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco presents “Levi Strauss: A History of American Style” Feb. 13–Aug. 9. The exhibition will feature more than 150 items, including vintage apparel, advertising materials and ephemera, related to the life and career of Levi Strauss. In 1873 the San Francisco–based Bavarian Jewish dry goods merchant obtained a U.S. patent with tailor Jacob Davis on the process of putting metal rivets in men’s denim work pants to make them more durable. It marked the birth of the blue jean and Levi Strauss & Co. Call 415-655-7800 or visit thecjm.org. Maynard Dixon “Maynard Dixon’s American West” continues at the Museum of the West in Scottsdale, Ariz., through Aug. 2. Co-curating the exhibit is Mark Sublette (see Interview, P. 16). Dixon drew inspiration from the raw beauty and remoteness…

4 min.
tucson’s medicine man

Medicine Man Gallery in Tucson, Arizona, feels more like a museum of Western art and history, while the gallery’s website [medicinemangallery.com] strives to reach fans of both traditional and contemporary Western and American Indian art. The man who keeps it all running is gallery founder and owner Dr. Mark Sublette. When he’s not buying, selling or researching art, Sublette is either writing (he’s the author of the Charles Bloom murder mystery series and the recent biography Maynard Dixon’s American West: Along the Distant Mesa) or hosting the Art Dealer Diaries podcast [artdealerdiaries.com]. The former physician recently spoke with Wild West about his interest in Western art and history and painter Dixon. What sparked your interest in Maynard Dixon? I’ve threatened to write a significant book on Maynard Dixon for a dozen years,…