Amon Carter print details

Claud Jeffers working with a bronc in a corral on the Matador Land and Cattle Company

Erwin E. Smith (1886-1947)

Object Details

  • Date

    1905, printed ca. 1936

  • Object Type


  • Medium

    Gelatin silver print

  • Dimensions

    Sheet: 10 1/2 x 13 11/16 in.
    Mount: 10 13/16 x 13 3/4 in.

  • Inscriptions

    Mount recto:

    l.r. in graphite: --<>-- \ S59-57

  • Collection Name

    Erwin E. Smith Pettis Collection

  • Credit Line

    Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Bequest of Mary Alice Pettis

  • Accession Number


  • Copyright

    Public domain

Additional details

Location: Off view
See more by Erwin E. Smith


Educator Resources
  • How and why did the cowboy become an iconic symbol for the American West?

    How have representations of cowboys changed over time? How have they remained the same?

    Who or what is missing from popular representations of the American West?

  • Before asking the following questions, find the photograph on Google Arts & Culture. This will allow for zooming in on the details.

    Who do you see in the photograph? How can you tell they are cowboys? Describe what each cowboy is doing.

    Describe the horse. What is the horse doing? How do you think the horse is feeling? How can you tell? What are the cowboys attempting to do with the horse? How does it appear the cowboys are feeling about their task?

    Describe the location. What do you notice about the ground? What do you notice about the fence? Why is there a fence? Look through and above the fence. What do you notice about the background? Where are they?

    How did the artist use the lines of the fence, the rope, and the horse’s position to his advantage? Why do you think the photographer is placing viewers inside the fence and close to the action?

    Using his camera, Erwin E. Smith documented cowboy life during the early 20th century. What are some benefits of using the medium of photography to document such a subject?

    What comes to mind when you hear the words “cowboy” and the “West”? How does this photograph compare to your ideas of those things? How does it compare to other artworks you might have seen depicting cowboys and the American West? Who or what is missing from artworks and stories about the American West?

  • Grades 1–3

    Students will write acrostic poems that relate to what they see in Erwin E. Smith’s photograph. Have them write down the word “HORSE” vertically. Then each letter of the word “HORSE” will be the beginning of a word, phrase, or sentence they will write horizontally. Next challenge the students to create an acrostic poem for the word “COWBOYS.”

    Grades 4–8

    Have students research the history of the cowboy, cowboys of color, cowgirls, or vaqueros and how they have been portrayed in art and literature during the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Grades 9–12

    Through the artistic medium of their choice, students may express what they believe should be one of today’s iconic symbols of the American West.

    All Levels

    Activity 1
    Using Google Arts & Culture, the students can zoom in on the photograph and select three or more details to sketch.

    Activity 2
    Have students compare this photograph to His First Lesson by Frederic Remington or Wild Horse Hunters by Charles M. Russell. Have them consider time period, medium, location, narrative, and composition.

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