In this gallery talk, museum guests will learn about Visalia Stock Saddle Company’s significant contributions to the development of Western saddlery in the 19th and 20th centuries. Reno, Nevada historian Griff Durham will reference a number of the company’s products in The Abe Hays Family Spirit of the West Collection while highlighting the history, detail and impact of the Visalia Stock Saddle Company and to demonstrate the company’s variety in both production and style.
For more than 30 years, Griff Durham has conducted research on cowboy horse gear and the Visalia Stock Saddle Company. Throughout his career, he has exhibited at cowboy gear shows, acted as a consultant to museums, dealers and collectors, and organized three historical saddlery exhibits. Durham and Paradise Valley collector Abe Hays met in 1990 at an auction in San Francisco, where the pair formed a long-standing friendship over a mutual interest in cowboy horse gear and Western art. Hays is a Scottsdale’s Museum of the West trustee.