“For the past decade, I’ve been writing about what I call the “Cowboy Renaissance,” a revival of interest in all aspects of the nation’s cowboy and ranching heritage. I’ve looked at how we research cowboy history (Comparing Cowboys and Frontiers, 2001), The Mythical West (2001), Cowboy: The Illustrated History (2006), and most recently the cultural and social history of the National Cowboy Symposium & Celebration (2010) in Lubbock, Texas. How delightful, then, to have Corinne Joy Brown introduce me to something I knew nothing about. As she notes, “the last two decades saw the renaissance of Western-themed china,” and she has wonderfully documented the history and varieties of this unique dinnerware.
Collector or not, you’ll quickly be drawn into this fascinating topic. As a social historian, I am intensely interested in everyday life and everyday activities. Thus I find the story of this mass-market dinnerware far more engrossing than looking at silver and jeweled items used by European royalty.
Brown’s no-nonsense criteria for what to include also appeals to me. “I asked myself if the maker was attempting a new interpretation in the spirit of the time,” she writes,”or evoking an old idea in a new way. As a result, I’ve selected those examples that seemed chronologically significant, aesthetically pleasing, and well made.” Thus whatever theme or motif one associates with the Old West, you’re likely to find it represented in this engrossing collection of dinnerware.”
– Richard W. Slatta, PhD, “The Cowboy Professor”