The Bryan Museum is thrilled to accept a generous donation from James E. Parkman of 13 paintings created by artist Lee Cable as a permanent gift to the Museum. This portfolio of stunning oil paintings details the life and story of famous cowman and plainsman Charles Goodnight and demonstrates the historical wonder of the cattle drive and its importance in the history of the west.

The paintings look at the story of Goodnight’s life through the lens of a contemporary artist, and are a balancing act between solid historical research and artistic license. They are carefully researched, accurate interpretations of significant moments in Charles Goodnight’s life. Goodnight pioneered the marketing of longhorn cattle, which could survive the rough conditions on the trail through Texas and up through New Mexico to Fort Sumner, and he invented the concept of the chuckwagon. He was also the inspiration for the historic novel, Lonesome Dove.

The paintings will be used primarily as a traveling exhibit with the purpose of promoting the educational goals of Mr. Parkman and The Bryan Museum, helping to enable the Museum to expand its reach and impact into Houston and the greater region. This extraordinary portfolio with story boards and hands-on saddles, spurs, and other Western artifacts that the Museum will provide, accompany the paintings when they travel to partner museums and schools for a fuller educational experience. Parkman says, “This donation is made in honor of JP Bryan who has shown the same spirit of courage, innovation and leadership we have learned from the life of Charlie Goodnight. Through the efforts of Mr. Bryan to educate and inspire Texans it is my hope that this donation can add in some way to the bright future ahead for Texans of all ages.”

The Bryan Museum brings to life the diverse stories of the individuals who lived in the West through its nationally significant collections. Housed in the 1895 Galveston Orphans Home, the Museum boasts more than 70,000 works of art and artifacts that span 12,000 years of history, highlighting the lives of indigenous peoples, Spanish explorers, and frontier pioneers.

Pam Dean Cable
Executive Director