The Buffalo Bill Center of the West was pleased to host the debut presentation of stunning images of Italy’s legendary horsemen who have worked the land in the Maremma region, just outside Florence and Rome, for centuries. Through 31 prints and a video, the exhibition celebrated a rich Italian tradition and its connections to the American West.
A project of Gabrielle Saveri, a photographer, writer, and artist based in California’s Napa Valley, the I Butteri della Maremma photo series, taken from 2013–2019, depicts Italy’s “cowboys,” known as the butteri, a group of native cattle breeders and horsemen and women whose origins are said to date back to Etruscan times.
Italy’s Legendary Cowboys of the Maremma, Photographs by Gabrielle Saveri opened in the Center’s John Bunker Sands Photography Gallery on October 8, 2022, and ran through August 6, 2023.
All images are archival pigment prints, unless otherwise noted.
KTVQ-TV out of Billings, Montana, spoke with Gabrielle Saveri about her work and the story behind this special exhibition in May.
Gabrielle Saveri is a photographer, videographer, and writer based in Northern California’s wine country. She has worked as a journalist in the United States and abroad for news and media organizations and publications including: Newsweek, People, In Style, Business Week, National Geographic’s Green Guide, The Washington Post, Travel and Leisure, Cucina Magazine, The International Environment Reporter, Thomson Reuters News Agency, the Associated Press, The San Francisco Chronicle, and RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana).
Saveri has also written and produced television shows for networks and organizations including: The Travel Channel, Discovery, Lifetime Television, Nickelodeon, Fox Family Channel, and UPN.
Saveri was drawn to the rich and historical culture of the butteri as well as the beautiful light
and landscape of Maremma. Her works are portraits of a people – the working cowboys themselves (and more recently, the women of the region who are for the first time ever being offered training and work opportunities on the traditionally male-dominated cattle ranches), and the appassionati (the devoted followers of the cowboy tradition who have fallen in love with the culture), donning traditional buttero clothing and embracing ancient traditions in the hopes of keeping Italian cowboy culture alive.
She is passionate about the environment, nature and wildlife, and her work explores the human relationship with the natural world. Learn more about Saveri and her work at www.gabriellesaveri.com.
All photographs ©Gabrielle Saveri. All Rights Reserved.
To learn more about Saveri and this exhibition, visit gabriellesaveri.com/italian-cowboys.