The Briscoe Takes You Back in Time with this Summer’s Blockbuster Exhibition, Still in the Saddle: A New History of the Hollywood Western
Saddle up for The Briscoe ‘s Summer of Cinema which includes a Special Exhibition, Trivia Night and Summer Film Series that brings Hollywood to the River Walk!
Dim the lights, grab the popcorn, and don’t let your spurs catch on the red carpet as the Briscoe Western Art Museum showcases the Hollywood Western in a new light during Still in the Saddle: A New History of the Hollywood Western, premiering at the Briscoe May 28 – Sept. 6. Step back in time and see the classic films in the context of then-current events, including the turbulent 1960s. Pairing historical context with film insights and facts to highlight the films and the genre in a new perspective, Still in the Saddle showcases the cinematic art and storytelling of the Western.
From an actual red carpet, velvet ropes and the unmistakable smell of popcorn to film clips rolling throughout the exhibition, the Briscoe will transform into a 1960s movie theater featuring almost 60 vintage original movie posters, as well as movie costumes and dozens of authentic lobby cards. Display screens throughout the exhibition will feature film clips illustrating representative moments of the genre, and costumes worn by John Wayne in the movies “Chisum”, “The Cowboys” and “The Undefeated” will be on display.
The cinema focus is an opportunity for the Briscoe to spotlight the culture of the American West through the art of movies. “In the 1940s and 50s, the Western was the most popular movie genre in America. Even through the social unrest, political turmoil, economic uncertainty and generational change we witnessed from 1969 to 1980, Hollywood Westerns continued to capture audience attention,” explains Michael Duchemin, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Briscoe Western Art Museum. “As the world outside of the theater doors changed, many thought the Western would ride off into the sunset. Yet the Western remained as rich and complex as at any time in its history. Looking at these films in the social context of the period provides a renewed appreciation of the stories these films share.”
Still in the Saddle was organized by the Briscoe with guest curator Dr. Andrew Patrick Nelson, a historian of American cinema and culture, film programmer, museum curator and media commentator. Nelson is Chair of the Department of Film and Media Arts and Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Utah, as well as the author and editor of numerous books and essays on Western cinema, including “Still in the Saddle: The Hollywood Western, 1969-1980”, and “Contemporary Westerns: Film and Television since 1990”.
A Summer of Fun on the River Walk
Perfectly paired with the exhibition, the Briscoe’s popular Summer Film Series returns, kicking off with “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” on Sunday, May 30. The Summer Film Series features an iconic film on the third Sunday of each summer month, with 1970’s “Little Big Man” on June 20, “True Grit” on July 18, and “The Long Riders” on August 22. “The Shootist” will close out the summer on Sept. 5. Guest curator Andrew Patrick Nelson will introduce each movie and explain how it relates to Still in the Saddle. Each film is free for members and $10 for future members or enjoy both general admission to the Briscoe and the film for $12. Briscoe Summer Cinema passes include three films for $25 or enjoy all five films for $50 and receive an individual museum membership, granting you unlimited access to the Briscoe’s exhibitions and programming throughout the year. Tickets are available online.
Trivia fans can test their knowledge of all things Western during Wild West Trivia Night at the Briscoe. the Briscoe’s McNutt Sculpture Garden on June 10, when the questions will flow alongside beer, wine and light bites during a Western trivia competition. Gather your posse and see who ends the night still in the saddle, with the top three teams taking home prizes.
Red Carpet Fun
Still in the Saddle events and programming include an opening preview party, a curator’s talk and meet and greet, and the kick-off of the Briscoe’s popular Summer Film Series. Note: All events will follow COVID safety protocols. Event details and scheduling are subject to change.
Exclusive Preview Party:
Still in the Saddle: A New History of the Hollywood Western Exhibition
Thursday, May 27, 6 – 8 p.m.
Join guest curator Andrew Patrick Nelson, Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Film and Media Arts and Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Utah, and Briscoe CEO and President Michael Duchemin, Ph.D., to go behind the velvet ropes for a first look at Still in the Saddle. The event includes complimentary valet, beer, wine, specialty cocktails and light bites. Free for Briscoe members and $25 for future members, tickets are available by calling 210.507.4864.
Meet & Greet and Curator’s Talk with Andrew Patrick Nelson
Saturday, May 29, 2 p.m.
Join the Briscoe’s guest curator Dr. Andrew Patrick Nelson, Chair of the Department of Film and Media Arts and Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Utah, for an in-depth look at this summer’s blockbuster exhibition, Still in the Saddle. Nelson will analyze the films that comprise the exhibition and discuss how the 1960s made the Western richer and more diverse. Included with museum admission.
Briscoe Summer Film Series: “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”
Sunday, May 30, 1 p.m.
Start your summer with a Western classic, paired with an old-fashioned malt from Cheesy Jane’s food truck, sweet treats from Candy Counter and free beer from Ranger Creek Brewing as the museum morphs into a draft house cinema to give everyone the full movie theater experience. Guest curator Dr. Andrew Patrick Nelson, Chair of the Department of Film and Media Arts and Associate Professor of Film Studies at the University of Utah, will introduce the 1969 classic, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” and highlight how it fits into Still in the Saddle. Free for members and $10 for future members or enjoy both general admission to the Briscoe and the film for $12.
Wild West Trivia at the Briscoe
Friday, June 11, 7 – 9 p.m.
Enjoy a fun night of Western trivia and test your smarts at the Briscoe’s first Wild West Trivia Night. Bring your friends to create a team or join a table of soon-to-be-friends and test your smarts. Teams will revel in some friendly competition while enjoying food and signature cocktails. Participants must be 21 to attend. Tickets are $10 for members, $25 for future members and include two drink tickets.
Head West This Summer at The Briscoe
An oasis of Western beauty just off the River Walk, the McNutt Sculpture Garden and the museum grounds feature 32 sculptures portraying various aspects of Western life. Inside the museum’s beautifully restored historic home inside the former San Antonio Public Library building, the Briscoe’s collection spans 14 galleries, with special exhibitions, events and a fantastic museum store, providing art, culture, history and entertainment. Museum hours, parking and admission details are available online. The museum is operating with health and safety protocols that require both staff and guests to wear masks.