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CTHM hosts 'Two Women Look West'

By Robert Proctor

The Cuero Record


Two women had the foresight to capture images from the King Ranch encompassing nearly three decades. Now, those images are featured at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum’s (CTHM) newest exhibit, which will be on display through Nov. 1.

“Two Women Look West” showcases the photographs for Helen Kleburg and Toni Frissell, from the 1930s to the 1950s. Their images focused on the work life and home life of those on the ranch.

Helen Kleburg was the wife of Robert Kleburg, who at the time was the CEO of the King Ranch. Robert’s grandfather, Richard King, started the ranch.

“Frissell got her start as a fashion photographer, very much the nightlife of New York,” Bryan Gonzales explained, CTHM education coordinator. “She was featured in many of the fashion magazines of the time.”

Upon going to the King Ranch, Frissell chose to focus on the work of the vaqueros, including the cattle, horses, and cowboys.

“She’s coming from the New York social life,” Gonzales said. “She’s not coming from Texas, so she really wanted to get that Texas feel.”

“Helen Kleburg was a huge fan of photography and had her own sort of photography going,” Gonzales added. “They partnered up and were both taking pictures about the same time from the 1930s to about the 1950s.”

The photos of Helen Kleburg and Frissell are able to complement each other.

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