The Cowboys of the Twenty-First Century 

The photographer Jane Hilton became enamored with the American West at an early age. Growing up in suburban England, her father made sure she was exposed to John Wayne, Stagecoach, and The Virginian. An infatuation with the American dream took hold and soon, Hilton would find herself roadtripping across the country, camera in tow. She began photographing the cowboys she met along the way, but rather than photograph them on their horses, she shot them in their homes. Their rooms are at once sparse, simple fabrics match traditional wood panels, but also heavily adorned with the trinkets of a life lived out West. “The need to hold onto their heritage is clearly visible,” Hilton said, noting the rising costs of animal feed and many ranches’ struggle to sustain themselves. Her book, Dead Eagle Trail, is a collection of these images. Hilton has shared a selection with The Atlantic, presented below.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Ferdi Awed / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Pug Mugshot, Umbrella Sky, Helsinki Summit

    Splashing in New York City, deadly protests in Nicaragua, a reunited migrant family in Texas, tornado damage in Iowa, mammoth transport in Austria, and much more.

  • HelloRF Zcool / Shutterstock

    A Photo Trip to China’s Qiandongnan Prefecture

    In south central China’s Guizhou province sits Qiandongnan Miao and Dong Autonomous Prefecture, home to nearly four million people, beautiful scenery, and colorful festivals.

  • Marco Longari / AFP / Getty

    Afriski: Lesotho's Only Ski Resort

    High in the Mountains of Lesotho, sits Afriski, one of only two ski resorts in southern Africa.

  • Ilya Naymushin / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Atomic Art, Moon Pool, Giant Iceberg

    The Royal Air Force celebrates its centennial in London, World Cup emotions run high, the Running of the Bulls begins in Spain, Tour de France riders pass through stage six, and much more.