The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame – the only museum in the world dedicated to honoring women of the American West who have displayed extraordinary courage in their trailblazing efforts – is proud to announce its 2016 inductees. This year’s inductee class includes a Western sculptor and painter from Colorado, an Arizona rancher and philanthropist, a Hereford cattle rancher dedicated to preserving Jewish history in Texas and a skilled trick rider from California.
Veryl Goodnight has dedicated her life to exploring the relationships of pioneer women, wildlife and the West through bronze sculptures and oil paintings. As a wildlife rehabilitator, Goodnight has always been close to the natural world. She has utilized that knowledge to bring authenticity to her work on more than 200 sculptures and 20 monuments.
Her award-winning pieces have been displayed throughout the country at museums, zoos, universities and presidential libraries, and in places as far-reaching as Beijing and Botswana. Her most famous piece, “The Day the Wall Came Down,” is a larger-than-life bronze statue depicting five horses leaping over the crumbled Berlin Wall. It currently sits outside the Allied Museum in Berlin with matching castings placed outside the George Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas, and at the entrance to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) headquarters building in Langley, Virginia.
Marilyn Williams Harris
As the co-manager of historic Sands Ranch for the last 20 years, Marilyn Williams Harris has made protecting wildlife habitats, repairing ecosystems and preserving Arizona’s Western landscapes a priority. Through her work with non-profits, Harris has raised millions of dollars for a variety of organizations ranging from the Arizona Horse Lover’s Foundation to the Barrow Neurological Foundation.
Harris’ passion is horses, and she was the 2008 National Reined Cow Horse Association World Champion and National Champion in the Novice Non-Pro Bridle. In 2012, she received the Arizona Cutting Horse Association Rookie of the Year Award. Harris uses her diverse array of skills and talents to fulfill her mission of preserving Arizona for future generations by leaving it in better condition than she found it.
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