The Official Website of Gene Autry, America's Favorite Singing Cowboy

Photo Album

2004 Founder's Day Exhibit

Installation of the 2004 Founder's Day exhibit at the Museum of the American West, "Gene Autry: A Champion Clotheshorse." Exhibit runs September 14, 2004 through January 20, 2005.

September 10, 2004

Zach Schrock, Rigney Graphics

Each fall, the Museum of the American West presents a special Founder's Day exhibit that showcases one aspect of Gene Autry's life. This photo album provides a behind the scenes look at how such an exhibit is installed by the museum’s Collections Management, Conservation, Curatorial, and Exhibits departments.

Below is the actual text from the exhibit.

Gene Autry: A Champion Clotheshorse

Gene Autry's entertainment career spanned more than sixty years, and as a result he is the only individual honored with all five categories on the Hollywood Walk of Fame: one star each for recording, radio, motion picture, television, and live performance. His astounding popularity was in part due to his unique and striking public image as America's Favorite Singing Cowboy.

In the 1930s, Gene Autry set a fashion trend for singing cowboys and country music performers that endures today. Early in his career, Gene's hats varied in style, color and size. After breaking into film, however, all his hats had two things in common: white with the characteristic Autry double crease on top. His favorite brand was Stetson.

Gene's western clothing, combined with custom spurs, neckerchiefs, boots and hats, made him a stylish entertainer on and off the screen. When performing live, Gene punched up his wardrobe with elaborately embroidered or satin shirts. More subdued but equally dashing was Gene Autry's business and travel attire. Gene Autry became the best-dressed cowboy hero in America.

His wardrobe boasted hundreds of pairs of boots and countless outfits by renowned tailors such as Nudie, Nathan Turk, Rodeo Ben, Manuel, and H Bar C. Presented here is a mere sampling from his immense collection of fine Western wear.

Mural of Autry playing guitar among his many boots, shirts, pants courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Autry. T94.45.51.108

Images of Autry as businessman, movie star, rancher, and rodeo cowboy: Alex Gordon Collection, courtesy of Mrs. Gene Autry.

Clothing courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Gene Autry and from the Museum of the American West Collection, donated by Mr. and Mrs. Gene Autry.

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