Watt Matthews and his sister, Lucile Matthews Brittingham, Lambshead Ranch

MAKER:
Artist

Laura Wilson ( American, 1940 )

DATE:
1987
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General Description

The stark landscape and bleak sky of this work by photographer Laura Wilson reinforces the dramatic lifestyle of the working cowboy. Carefully posed in front of a sharp, imposing barn, Watt Matthews, his sister Lucille, the ranch foreman, and several ranch hands pause for a family portrait under the watchful eyes of a longhorn skull directly above Lucille's head. Watkins Raynolds Matthews, described in his New York Times obituary as "a wiry wrangler who spent more than half a century presiding over his family's showcase Texas cattle spread," grew up on the ranch his family had been working since the middle of the last century. With the exception of four years spent at Princeton University, he never felt the need to leave, and he spent his years in the simple room of the bunkhouse furnished with a bed, bureau, bootjack, and chair.

Adapted from

DMA Label copy.

Web Resources

  • D Magazine
    Read more about the work of photographer Laura Wilson.