Born in Fort Worth, Texas Juan Menchaca studied at the Texas School of Fine Art. While working at the Colorado History Museum he painted portraits of local figures and backgrounds for dioramas. His work developed into creating dioramas for the Colorado History Museum and other museums throughout the West as part of the Works Project Association (WPA) program during the Great Depression. Afterwards Menchaca continued to create dioramas; some in Wyoming include the state museum in Cheyenne and Fort Caspar in Casper. The Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum is fortunate to have three Menchaca dioramas: Main Street Buffalo, Wagon Box Fight, and Siege at the TA Ranch.