Ladies of the Canyons Museum Exhibit

Carol Bishop Stanley

Ladies of the Canyons, Winner of 2016 WILLA Award and Winner of 2015 Reading the West Nonfiction Award

Ladies of the Canyons is an exhibit based on Lesley Poling-Kempes’ book of the same name that tells the true stories of remarkable women from the East Coast, among them Ghost Ranch founder Carol Bishop Stanley. She, along with a handful of other pioneering women, left the security and comforts of Victorian society and journeyed into the rugged terrain of the American Southwest in search of discovering their individual potential within the rapidly changing world of the early 1900’s.

As part of an influential circle of women that included Natalie Curtis, Louisa Wade Wetherill, Alice Corbin Henderson, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Mary Austin, and Willa Cather, these ladies made history as artists, authors, businesswomen, and advocates, breaking ground for the women who would follow in their footsteps.

Hours of Operation

  • Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • Sunday:  1:00 to 5:00 p.m.

There is a $5.00 conservation fee payable at the Welcome Center or at the Museums that allows guest access to hiking trails, labyrinth, Museums, bathroom facilities and campus grounds.

Join us on this compelling adventure that shaped Ghost Ranch as we know it today.

Ladies of the Canyons_LesleyPolingKempesbuyyourcopynowLesley Poling-Kempes is the author of many books about the American Southwest including Bone Horses, winner of the WILLA Literary Award for Contemporary Fiction and the Tony Hillerman Award for Best Fiction. Her nonfiction books include Ghost Ranch, Valley of Shining Stone: The Story of Abiquiu, and The Harvey Girls: Women Who Opened the West. She lives in Abiquiu, New Mexico.

Ladies of the Canyons is the winner of the 2016 WILLA Award and Reading the West 2015 Nonfiction Award Winner.

Learn more about the book and see other reviews at University of Arizona Press.

We’ve long been told, boringly, emphatically, that the American West was ‘won’ by men… What has been generally lacking is great narratives about great western women, but here… we have just such a tale. Part Willa Cather, part Thelma and Louise, here is a story of heroines, of mischief-makers and epic-builders, told by a writer who knows and loves the grand landscapes on which these larger-than-life women left their indelible mark.” —Hampton Sides, author of Bloodand Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West

“Poling-Kempes has done an admirable job scouring archives for these women, who have been largely left out of the historical record of the West. It’s a kind of prequel to our common history of the Southwest, peopled by women with long skirts and cinched waists in the desert heat, riding cowboy style, trying to do right by the land they all loved.” —Los Angeles Times

“A wonderful and inspiring story of women who wanted more to their lives than that set in their rather tedious, staid world. Women will love the book; and men can’t help but admire the rare and admirable ladies who came west and never looked back. It is a fitting tribute to the land and peoples of the Southwest and those who challenged their own society, embraced and enriched their new wild canyon country and who thrived because of it.” —True West Magazine


Share Ghost Ranch with a Friend
Sign Up for Enews