University 'Honors the Horse' at Knowledge Center exhibit

9/13/2010 - By: Claudene Wharton

Fall 2010 is the 50th anniversary of the filming of The Misfits in Reno, Dayton and the Pyramid Lake area. The star-studded film, written by Arthur Miller and directed by John Huston, was the last movie appearance for both Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable, and also featured Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter and Eli Wallach.

However, other “stars” in the movie were four-legged creatures – wild horses, rodeo horses and trained movie horses played prominent roles in the film. To pay homage to these horses, along with horses in general, which have played such an important role in Nevada’s history, the “Honoring the Horse” exhibit will be featured in the University of Nevada, Reno’s Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center beginning Sept. 15.

The “Honoring the Horse” exhibit will not only include “glamour shots” and posters of horses from the movies, but will also highlight the major roles that horses have played in Nevada’s mining, farming, ranching, transportation and tourism industries. Additionally, it will illustrate the sometimes-conflicting interests and views surrounding the treatment and desired fate of Nevada’s wild horses.

Materials on display will include film and audio recordings of Reno’s Wild Horse Annie (Velma Johnson), who successfully advocated for passage of the first federal legislation protecting wild horses and burros from inhumane treatment. This September marks the 51st anniversary of the passage of the Wild Horse Annie Act. Helping Annie to make her case in Washington D.C. were Gus Bundy’s powerful photos of wild horse round-ups, which will also be featured at the exhibit.

Additional exhibit items will include rich, primary research materials from the Knowledge Center’s Special Collections, including photographs, Congressional papers, divorce ranch business records, book and movie research files, and literary manuscripts. Special Collections books about horses by Will James, Terri Farley, Marguerite Henry, Anthony Amaral and others will also be displayed.

The “Honoring the Horse” exhibit will run through March 2011, and in February, the Knowledge Center will host a discussion and showing of The Misfits, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the film’s release.

For more information call (775) 682-5665.


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