Martin H. M. Schreiber: Last of a Breed: Portraits of Working Cowboys


Schreiber depicts the romantic, if embellished, vision of the American cowboy with a more honest approach than many others.
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The image of the cowboy, our subjective concept, is fed by many sources: there is Hollywood with its countless films, there is the American country music in all its facets, there are the famous advertising campaigns of Marlboro cigarettes, and there is - of course - Brokeback Mountain.

What all these images have in common is probably this: they are mostly fiction, but at the very least they are remote from reality. Martin H. M. Schreiber does not claim to depict the reality with his photographs. In him too, romantically transfigured images of a pristine landscape mix with the adversities of hard work, the "smell" of testosterone, and a sultry homo-eroticism. Yet his recordings are more honest, perhaps closer to reality than many others.

It should be noted that Schreiber's photos were created more than 30 years ago, away from any discussion about male roles. This is precisely what makes it attractive. For more than a year, Schreiber moved with his camera through the vastness of Texas, attended cattle farms, rodeo events, portrayed cowboys at work, in their spare time, on the saddle and the couch. With many, he was personally in touch.

Schreiber published a selection of his recordings already 1982 in a book. Many of the motifs have themselves become icons and have shaped our cowboy image. Last of a Breed now appears in a completely revised new edition, which has been extended by numerous, previously unpublished recordings.
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