LOS ANGELES – Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971, will feature Herb Jeffries cowboy boots worn in 1937’s Harlem on the Prairie filmed at Murray’s Dude Ranch in Apple Valley. Showcasing at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures until April 2023, the exhibition is “an in-depth look at Black participation in American filmmaking”.
According to the museum site, among the over 225 original objects on view in Regeneration, visitors will encounter photographs, scripts, drawings, costumes, moviemaking equipment, posters, and original contemporary artworks. Highlighted objects including Jeffries cowboy boots.
Jeffries made his acting debut in 1937’s Harlem on the Prairie as Jeff Kincaid. He was one of the first Black actors to sing Western music on screen and was billed as “Black America’s first singing cowboy in the movies.”
A pair of leather boots Jeffries wore in the film are on display at Regeneration.
Murray’s Dude Ranch was a guest ranch and celebrity get-away for Black travelers in the High Desert during the 1920’s to the 1960’s that Nolie and Lela Murray purchased for $100 in 1926.
Jefferies, along with an all-Black cast, starred in several other films shot at the ranch including Two-Gun Man from Harlem (1938), The Bronze Buckaroo (1939), and Harlem Rides the Range (1939).
Other Black cinema legends visited the Murray Dude Ranch including Lena Horne, Nina Mae McKinney and Clark Gable.
Regeneration opened August 21 with seven galleries of memorabilia on display. The museum is also hosting a series of Black film screenings through September 29 that “ranges from showcasing silent era pioneers such as writer-producer-director Oscar Micheaux’s low-budget dramas to the groundbreaking allegories of Spencer Williams and the independently produced, genre-defying works of innovators such as Melvin Van Peebles”.
Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971
Date: August 21 – September 29, 2022
Address: 6067 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Time: 10 AM – 6 PM
Admission: Adults: $25, Seniors (aged 62+): $19, Students: $15, Kids (under 17): Free
For more information about Regeneration: Black Cinema 1898-1971 visit https://www.academymuseum.org/en/exhibitions/regeneration-black-cinema