Thirty years after its publication, McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize–winning novel, which follows two retired Texas Rangers on a cattle drive from Texas to Montana, will be celebrated with “The Lonesome Dove Reunion & Trail,” a series of programs and exhibits held throughout the spring at multiple venues in Fort Worth and Albany. Bill Wittliff, who wrote the Lonesome Dove screenplay, is organizing the event through the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University.
The festivities will culminate in late March with an already sold-out reunion of the cast and crew, including Robert Duvall and Tommy Lee Jones, but will began with the exhibit “Lonesome Dove: The Art of Story” at the Sid Richardson Museum.
The latter is a good primer for the subsequent activities, including the exhibit “Bullets and Bustles: Costumes of Lonesome Dove” at the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, that opens today/February 19, and the panel discussion “Vaqueros, Cowboys, and Cowgirls: Texas Cattle Trails to the World” at the Fort Worth Library, on April 2.
The Sid Richardson show displays production materials from the Lonesome Dove shoot along with the annotated first and last three pages of the first draft of McMurtry’s manuscript. These pieces and others are paired with paintings and bronzes by the great Western artists Frederic Remington and Charles M. Russell to illuminate the Lonesome Dove story line. For example, Remington’s painting The Stampede features a cowboy wrangling livestock during a storm, not unlike the Lonesome Dove character Newt, who faced a stampede while riding a horse gone wild. Meanwhile, the Russell painting Breaking Camp depicts cowboys taming unruly horses, a skill displayed by both Newt and Call. “These artists’ iconic works illuminate the West’s vitality of action, archetypal characters, scenes of danger as well as camaraderie, and sense of place in time,” museum curator Mary Burke explained.”
Annie Ambles shares Lonesome Dove information from Texas Monthly