Vaquero

  • Luis Jiménez, Vaquero, modeled 1980/cast 1990, acrylic urethane, fiberglass, steel armature, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1980, Luis Jimenez, Gift of Judith and Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., Anne and Ronald Abramson, and Thelma and Melvin Lenkin, 1990.44

Publication Label

The Latino Art Collection at the Smithsonian American Art Museum represents a deep and continuing commitment to building a great national collection reflecting the rich contributions of Latinos to the United States, from the colonial period to the present. These artworks present a picture of an evolving national culture that challenges expectations of what is meant by the words American and Latino.

The monumental sculpture Vaquero confronts popular stereotypes of the cowboy while connecting this classic symbol of America to its Mexican origins. Luis Jiménez is known for his reinterpretations of images associated with the American West and Mexican-American culture. In Vaquero, he wanted to update the traditional equestrian statue. In the composition, horse and rider are inseparable — extensions of a dramatic curve and countercurve. The sculpture is constructed of fiberglass, a material that Jiménez used frequently. The bright colors and glossy finish recall movie marquees, a reminder of how much movies have influence what we know about the American cowboy.

Smithsonian American Art Museum: Commemorative Guide. Nashville, TN: Beckon Books, 2015.

Title
Vaquero
Artist
Date
modeled 1980/cast 1990
On View
Dimensions
199 x 114 x 67 in. (505.5 x 289.6 x 170.2 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Judith and Wilbur L. Ross, Jr., Anne and Ronald Abramson, and Thelma and Melvin Lenkin

Mediums
Mediums Description
acrylic urethane, fiberglass, steel armature
Classifications
Highlights
Keywords
  • Equestrian
  • Ethnic – Mexican
  • Occupation – other – cowboy
Object Number
1990.44
Palette
Emoji
Research Notes
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI
Vaquero Returns: Conserving Luis Jiménez’s Monumental Sculpture

For more than twenty years, Vaquero, a monumental sculpture by Luis Jiménez, has greeted visitors as they enter the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Art conservator Helen Ingalls describes the challenges of caring for this unique sculpture and reveals the unusual materials the artist used. After undergoing careful restoration the cowboy has returned to its place outside the museum.

Media Series

More from artist

1992
lithograph on paper
1977
color lithograph on paper
1981
color lithograph with glitter on paper
1993
watercolor with pencil
1971
colored pencil on paper
1969
fiberglass in acrylic urethane resin on painted wood fiberboard base
1983
oil stick and oil paint on paper

More Artworks from the Collection

1987-1988
Cor-Ten steel
ca. 1770-1818
carved and painted cedar with glass
1974
carved and painted tree limb and plywood, wood pulp, and adhesive
ca. 1875-1900
carved and painted wood, metal, and string