Big Bend Saddlery
2701 East Hwy 90 Alpine, Tx 79830
Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:30 pm
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Since he first dreamed of a career in photography, Guy Gillette has traveled regularly to his wife’s family’s ranch, located outside the small town of Crockett, Texas. When Gillette first came to the Porter Place, as the ranch has always been known, he began to photograph the Porter family and their land. Thanks to Gillette’s sense of composition, these wonderful black-and-white photographs, dating from the 1940s, led to his career as a magazine photographer. Collected here for the first time, they document small-town life in East Texas, where Guy Gillette’s sons, the musical duo the Gillette Brothers, still run cattle. A Family of the Land offers a portrait of a community over a half century during which remarkably little has changed.
Midway between Dallas and Houston, the Porter Place is where the South meets the West. The pastures began as cotton fields carved out of piney woods, and the cowboys use southern curs to control the cattle. One of the photographs presented here, of a boy and his dog at the veterinarian’s office, is said to have moved Museum of Modern Art curator Edward Steichen to tears. Gillette also captures cowboys at work and at play, branding and marketing their animals, enjoying a game of dominoes, driving trucks with “2-50” air conditioning—two windows down, fifty miles an hour.
“Though photography is often called art,” says Gillette, “I have wanted to be artless: to be a documentarian, not an artist. . . . Telling a story was always the attraction of photography for me.” The story ends with the outdoor wedding of Guy Porter, one of the Gillette Brothers, at the Porter Place. Family, labor, and land remain, inseparable.
Order with Confidence from Big Bend Saddlery. We make only top quality products from the best materials that money can buy. We stand behind all our products with a guarantee against defects in materials or workmanship. We want you to be 100% satisfied with any product you buy from Big Bend Saddlery. If not, simply return it to us for a credit, refund or exchange. Items eligible for returns must be received by to our store within 30 days and items must be new, unused and contain original product packaging and accessories. Some items are non-returnable such as CD's, DVD's, Video Tapes, Books, and Customized Items. Shipping charges will not be refunded unless we are at fault in shipping incorrect or damaged merchandise.
We stock or have access to many products not shown on our website, and would be happy to help you find anything that we can. We do custom leatherwork and custom silverwork.
As far as we can tell, our shop was opened in 1905. It was named for this area, the Big Bend Region of Texas, which got its name from the bend or turn made by the Rio Grande River just south of us. We are located in the Davis Mountains with the 800,000-acre Big Bend National Park to the south. We are a small shop located on the east side of Alpine, Texas with employees who feature personalized, friendly service. Let us help you any way we can.