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Arts and Culture

Preserving The Tools Of The Trade: Elko's Cowboy Arts And Gear Museum

The front door of the Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum in Elko, Nevada, on a sunny day.
Paul Boger
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Dedicated to preserving the tools, traditions and culture of the old west, the Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum opened its doors in Downtown Elko earlier this year. The museum houses a large collection of antiques including bits, spurs and bridles, but mostly, it focuses on the art of saddle making and one of the craft’s greatest practitioners, G.S. Garcia. Housed in a building Garcia built as a shop and showroom in the early 1900’s, Museum Director Jan Petersen takes us on a tour…

A saddle is on display at the Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum in Elko, Nevada.
Credit Paul Boger
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On display at the Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum in Elko is the saddle ordered by the NV 150 Commission as a nod to the state’s Western heritage during the state’s sesquicentennial celebration. The saddle showcases the style and craftsmanship perfected by G.S. Garcia – a world-renowned saddle maker from Elko.

A woman, Jan Petersen, stands in front of a display case at the Cowboy Arts and Gear Museum in Elko, Nevada.
Credit Paul Boger
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Cowboy Arts and Gear Director Jan Petersen explains how Spanish and Moorish influence from the 1500’s played a part in crafting bits, bridles and spurs used by cowboys in the early 20th century.

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