John Wayne: The Genuine Article

John Wayne enthusiasts and culture seekers alike can now step inside the world of an American legend and get to know John Wayne the movie star, world traveler and family man at the new interactive installation, “JOHN WAYNE: The Genuine Article,” at Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville on view through January 1, 2018.

The exhibit, which debuted as part of Gaylord Opryland’s A Country Christmas celebration, takes visitors through the journey of John Wayne’s life with never-before-seen memorabilia, iconic film props, a behind-the-scenes glimpse into John Wayne’s private life and more.

JOHN WAYNE: The Genuine Article, based on the New York Times best-selling book of the same title, features six interactive rooms:

Inventing John Wayne: The first room will tell the story of how John Wayne got his start from his early childhood days to the creation of the persona that defined his character. Known for his walk, visitors can learn his “rolling gate,” as they listen to his legendary voice and learn the origins of his iconic style.

Western Man: The second room highlights what John Wayne is most remembered as, the authentic western man, and captures the spirit of the west with his film costumes, hats, belts, boots, guns, etc. Visitors will be able to try on his hat, beat John Wayne at quick-draw, view a timeline of his 84 Western movies and more.

Our Glorious Industry: Though a humble man, John Wayne was a Hollywood movie star. The third room dives into his role and legacy in filmmaking with a glimpse at original scripts, his nearly 200 feature films, correspondence with other famous Hollywood legends and industry awards including his Oscar.

John Wayne The Patriot: John Wayne loved his country and was a champion of American values both on and off the screen. In the fourth room, visitors can read letters from Presidents, see his Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom, and recognitions from various military branches, his uniforms from films and more.

For The Fans: Highlighting not only how beloved John Wayne was but also how much he loved his fans the fifth room will contain fan mail and correspondence, artwork, memorable stories and more. In this room, visitors can write a letter to John Wayne and post to the wall and take one of his famous “Good Luck” cards.

Family Moments: From the sunny beaches of Newport Beach, California to Wayne’s Arizona ranch, his boat The Wild Goose and film sets, John Wayne was a beloved family man. Visitors will see never-before-seen photos of his family life, treasured family objects and more.

Tickets are on sale now at and on-site at Gaylord Opryland Resort.

This exhibit will travel the U.S. and abroad. To be the first to find where the exhibition will go next, go to: and sign up on the email list.

Some quotes about the exhibit:

It is so exciting to see my father’s world come to life for the public to experience and enjoy. The holidays are always a special time for our family and Nashville is such a fun destination during the holiday season. We can’t wait to kick off the opening of the exhibit for families and friends to enjoy quality time together while learning about my father beyond his personas on screen in an interactive way. —Ethan Wayne

Went there on opening day. Wonderful and exciting. Ethan, Marisa, Patrick were there. So exciting to meet them. Worth a drive from anywhere. –Exhibit visitor

My wife and I were the first ones through the door and who do we see waiting to greet us? Ethan himself. Then Patrick and Marisa walk over. What a blessed day for us. Chatting and getting a few pics with these wonderful down to earth people. A big thank you to the Wayne family for bringing this exhibit to Nashville. Bless you all. –Exhibit visitor

Just a few John Wayne screen costumes on display in John Wayne Enterprises’ Genuine Article exhibit.
John Wayne’s granddaughter, Jennifer Wayne, and daughter, Marisa Wayne, admire John Wayne’s Academy Award for Best Actor in “True Grit.”


2018 John Wayne Birthday Celebration Headliner Announced

If John Wayne had been a western singer, he’d have been Red Steagall. Born and raised in the Panhandle Plains of Texas, Steagall champions the rugged spirit and traditions of his forbears, the same spirit exemplified by John Wayne throughout his entire motion picture career.

It’s our great honor–and pleasure–to announce that Red Steagall will be headlining our 2018 John Wayne Birthday Celebration, May 25 & 26, in Winterset, Iowa.

Steagall’s award-winning RFD-TV television show, “Somewhere West of Wall Street,” is only the latest of his noteworthy accomplishments. He is also the host of “Cowboy Corner,” an hour-long syndicated radio program which airs on 170 stations in 43 states.

In his 45-year entertainment career, Steagall has enjoyed tremendous success as a hit-making singer and songwriter, movie actor and producer and record industry executive–he discovered and launched the career of Reba McEntire and was present in the studio with John Wayne during the recording of Duke’s patriotic album, “America, Why I Love Her.”

Steagall has performed at countless rodeos and western music festivals. He was also invited to perform at the Reagan White House. For the past 27 years he has hosted his own Red Steagall Cowboy Gathering and Western Swing Festival in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards District. His many awards include being honored by the Texas legislature as the Lone Star State’s Poet Laureate and induction into the Hall of Great Westerners at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

Please be on hand to help us welcome one of the most esteemed Westerners of our time.

To learn more about Red Steagall visit


We Love Fan Mail

This delightful letter arrived recently at the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum:

Dear Ladies of the John Wayne Birthplace:

Our visit to the museum on August 7th was awesome!  We were very impressed how well it was put together and we could have spent hours just taking it all in. 

The town of Winterset seemed like a picture postcard and there is a tranquility that one cannot explain.

We want to extend a huge  ‘thank you’ to all the ladies on duty for your generous kindness and thoughtfulness.  Thank you for everything.

We are enjoying our gift shop purchases and sharing with others how great your town is.


Capt. & Mrs. William Bovee, USMC, RET.

Spotsylvania, Virginia