Rough Riders from the series History

Media - 2017.41.30 - SAAM-2017.41.30_1 - 134093
Copied David Levinthal, Rough Riders from the series History, 2014, inkjet print, 17 × 22 in. (43.2 × 55.9 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Donald Standford Rosenfeld, Jr., 2017.41.30, © 2014, David Levinthal

Artwork Details

Rough Riders from the series History
Not on view
17 × 22 in. (43.2 × 55.9 cm)
© 2014, David Levinthal
Credit Line
Gift of Donald Standford Rosenfeld, Jr.
Mediums Description
inkjet print
  • Figure group — male
  • Occupation — military — soldier
  • Dress — uniform — military uniform
  • History — United States — Spanish American War
  • Object — other — flag
  • Object — weapon — gun
  • Equestrian
  • Architecture Exterior — military — battlefield
Object Number

Artwork Description

Rough Riders was the nickname given to a unit of cavalry volunteers recruited by Colonel Theodore Roosevelt in 1898 to fight in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Comprising a diverse group of Western riflemen, Ivy League athletes, Texas Rangers, and Native Americans, they became instantly famous--symbols of a new American masculine ideal rooted in the West. Roosevelt cultivated this image through written accounts of the group's triumphs and defeats, which helped to enhance his own carefully crafted personal mythology. Although not represented in Levinthal's photograph, Roosevelt became synonymous with the Rough Riders and celebrated as the ultimate cowboy-soldier-statesman icon


Media - 2017.32.10 - SAAM-2017.32.10_1 - 133751
American Myth & Memory: David Levinthal Photographs 
June 7, 2019October 14, 2019
Populated with toy cowboys and cavalry, Barbie dolls and baseball players, David Levinthal’s photographs reference iconic images and events that shaped postwar American society.