Twelve Mighty Orphans-Behind the Scenes: Laura Wilson

Twelve Mighty Orphans-Behind the Scene
Photo credit: Laura Wilson

“Twelve Mighty Orphans-Behind the Scenes,” an exhibition by acclaimed photographer Laura Wilson, runs through Aug. 8 at The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. The exhibition is sponsored by the museum and the Fort Worth Film Commission, and features photography and props from the Sony Pictures Classics film.

“12 Mighty Orphans,” based on Dallas sportswriter Jim Dent’s book, premiered June 11 in Texas and New York, opening nationwide on June 18. Photographer Laura Wilson is an Honoree in the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame. Her son, Luke Wilson, plays the leading role of Coach Rusty Russell in the film. “12 Mighty Orphans” was filmed on location in Fort Worth. (See our review of the film here).

Twelve Mighty Orphans Exhibition

“This exhibition will be particularly engaging for visitors because it combines the lens of Laura Wilson, an Honoree, with behind-the-scenes views and props from the movie,” the museum’s Associate Executive Director Dr. Diana Vela said.

The film tells the story of the 1930s-era football team from Fort Worth’s Masonic Home, who captured national attention during their Cinderella season. The production was filmed in 2019 in the city, with support from the Fort Worth Film Commission, a division of Visit Fort Worth.

“This special exhibit captures the magic of the movies and this very Fort Worth story,” said Film Commissioner Jessica Christopherson. “This type of community support will help us welcome even more production to the city.”

National Cowgirl Museum

The National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, 1720 Gendy Street in Fort Worth, honors and celebrates women, past and present, whose lives exemplify the courage, resilience and independence that helped shape the West. The Museum fosters an appreciation of the ideals and spirit of self-reliance these women inspire. Established in 1975, the Museum is considered an invaluable national educational resource for its exhibits, research library, rare photograph collection and award-winning distance-learning programs for grades K-12 and adults.

In 2019, the Museum opened the Kit Moncrief Galleries and “It’s Never Just a Horse” exhibition. The museum’s hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults (ages 13+); $7 for seniors (60+), military, first responders and children (ages 3 to 12) and children 3 and under get in free with paid adult. For more news and information visit or call 817-336-4475.

The Fort Worth Film Commission, a division of Visit Fort Worth, was established in 2015 with the goal of serving as a beacon for the creative class. Since 2015 the film commission has worked with hundreds of projects and driven $47 million in economic impact and over 4,000 jobs. Highlights of projects include films such as: “A Ghost Story,” “The Old Man & the Gun,” “Never Goin’ Back,” “No Future,” and “Miss Juneteenth” as well as “12 Mighty Orphans”.For more information visit

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Jo Ann Holt
Jo Ann Holt is an award-winning journalist with 40+ years of experience as a writer and editor. She loves live performances, from country music concerts to Broadway musicals to community theatre productions. Holt also enjoys art and cultural festivals, and good food and wine. She’s toured Amsterdam, London, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, and various cities in Mexico but looks forward to visiting even more countries. She has traveled by boat, plane, and train, but especially likes taking long road trips across the U.S. with her husband, retired history professor Durhl Caussey. They enjoy meeting friendly people, learning about different cultures, and visiting historic sites wherever they go.