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Bullock Museum media and press coverage

2014

10/24 French explorer La Salle’s ship sails into Austin museum

French explorer La Salle’s ship sails into Austin museum

by Wes Martin

The skeletal wreckage of a 17th-century French warship lay buried deep in the mud of Matagorda Bay for more than 300 years.

But on Saturday, La Belle will make its final port of call — the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.

The 60-foot keel of La Belle and more than 1.6 million artifacts of a failed French settlement effort are all that remain of a colonial fleet meant to establish control over the Mississippi and permanently incorporate this part of the New World into Louis XIV’s empire. The expedition, which met its grisly end in Texas, was led by French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle. read more

10/24 Remains of French ship being reassembled in Texas

Remains of French ship being reassembled in Texas

by Michael Graczyk, Associated Press

A frigate carrying French colonists to the New World that sank in a storm off the Texas coast more than 300 years ago is being reassembled into a display that archeologists hope will let people walk over the hull and feel like they are on the ship's deck.

The 1686 wreck of the 54-foot oak frigate La Belle — in an expedition led by famed Mississippi River explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle — is blamed for dooming France's further exploration of what would become Texas and the American Southwest. read more

10/23 New exhibit features 1686 wreck of French ship La Belle

New exhibit features 1686 wreck of French ship La Belle

Visitors to the Bullock Museum will be able to watch as experts reassemble ship’s hull.

By Pam LeBlanc

Coming soon to a museum — or computer — near you: A team of experts, rebuilding a 17th-century shipwreck found along the Texas coast.

Starting Saturday, visitors to the Bullock Texas State History Museum will be able to watch curators and technicians reassemble the hull of the French ship La Belle, which sank in Matagorda Bay in 1686. The work, which will be broadcast live via webcam, is part of a new special exhibit called “La Belle: The Ship That Changed History.” read more

10/23 La Belle: Scale Replica

La Belle: Scale Replica

Source: Austin-American Statesman

Dr. Jim Bruseth, director of the La Belle excavation, talks about the skeletal remains of a man that worked as a sailor found on the French ship.

10/22 Historic LaBelle shipwreck ready for Bullock Museum

Historic LaBelle shipwreck ready for Bullock Museum

by David Scott

One of the most historically significant shipwrecks ever found off the Texas coast, after millions of dollars and years of restoration, is finally ready to make its splash this weekend at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. KXAN News got an exclusive sneak preview Wednesday.

LaBelle sank in a savage storm in the Matagorda Bay in 1686, effectively ending LaSalle’s French expedition here, as Spanish influence came in like a high tide. Thirteen people aboard were lost, and it was the last of LaSalle’s three ships, changing Texas history forever. read more

09/22 A 17th century French ship is arriving at the Bullock State History Museum

A 17th century French ship is arriving at the Bullock State History Museum

by Cécile Fandos

“This week marks the arrival at the Bullock State History Museum of rare artifacts for the upcoming exhibition, La Belle: The Ship That Changed History, and the movement of two key ship timbers into place in preparation for this highly anticipated exhibition,” informs the museum.

It’s a great opportunity for me to share the link towards my recent French Morning story on that French ship that motivated the Spanish to be more present in today’s Texas and ultimately gave birth to the Tejanos. read more

09/17 How to Reassemble a 300-Year-Old Lost Ship

How to Reassemble a 300-Year-Old Lost Ship

by Jacqueline Detwiler

In a winter storm in 1686 a 54-foot French frigate carrying a skeleton crew on an exploratory mission off the Texas coast sank in Matagorda Bay, halfway between Galveston and Corpus Christi. For more than 300 years it sat and decomposed, but portions of its keel and hull were mummified in 6 feet of mud. When those diminished but very important remains were raised in 1996, preservationists had an astonishing piece of good luck almost unheard of in the world of shipwreck rescue: Every important plank of wood had been marked with a Roman numeral, like a model in a box. Jim Bruseth, one of the research archaeologists leading the $17 million effort to recover and rebuild the frigate's remains—which are currently in some 600 pieces—calls it a ship kit.  read more

08/27 Texas travels: Bullock Museum tells story of Texas
The Revolution Theater tells of the fight for Texas independence from Mexico.

Texas travels: Bullock Museum tells story of Texas

by Murph Little

You can't miss the Bullock Museum. Located in downtown Austin just north of the Texas State Capitol, the front entrance to the Museum is marked by a towering 35-foot bronze star presiding over the Lone Star Plaza. Inside the sunset red granite building, three floors and 34,000 square feet of exhibition space tell the many stories of Texas through a continually changing collection of artifacts. IMAX® Theatre and immersive 4D films as well as hands-on experiences and special exhibitions connect Texans and visitors from across the globe to the history and cultures of the Lone Star State. Margaret Koch, the Museum's Deputy Director says, "Whether you are interested in the history and culture of native peoples, Spanish colonial history or the accounts of settlers who came to Texas for land and opportunity, or special exhibitions of a more modern era, there are hundreds of intriguing stories that can be found within our walls."

From the American Indians who inhabited the land 13,000 years before Europeans arrived, to the bloody struggle for independence, to the first footprint on the moon, the Bullock Museum brings to life the grand as well as the intimate stories of how Texas became Texas. Beginning in October of 2015, the exhibition, La Belle: The Ship That Changed History, presents the story of French explorer La Salle's ill-fated journey to establish a colony in North America through hundreds of artifacts,  interactive experiences, and an original 4D film. The wreckage of his ship La Belle, sunk in Matagorda Bay in 1686 and excavated during the 1990s, will be rebuilt timber-by-timber inside the Museum, in full view of visitors.

You really can't miss the Bullock Museum.

 

 

08/19 Exhibit at Bullock Museum Memorializes Texas' Fallen in Vietnam
Patriot Guard Riders honor the arrival of 3,417 dog tags as part of Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibit

Exhibit at Bullock Museum Memorializes Texas' Fallen in Vietnam

by Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

A military procession passed under the Bullock Museum's iconic bronze star to deliver the Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibition, which honors fallen Texans. Members of the military were joined by veterans, Boy Scouts, Texas State Troopers, and Patriot Guard Riders in the moving ceremony. Once inside the lobby, the procession presented an American flag to Linda Kaplon, the widow of fallen serviceman Corporal Phillip Felix Kaplon, Jr. The exhibition featured 3,417 dog tags with the name, rank, service branch, and date of loss for each Texas soldier.

The Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibition was on display at the Museum until September 9, 2014.

08/18 Traveling Vietnam Heroes Exhibit Arrives in Austin

Traveling Vietnam Heroes Exhibit Arrives in Austin

by Chris Cybulski

"We accomplished something meaningful for a group of people that weren't recognized for the service they gave to their country," said Robert Floyd, with the Vietnam Veterans Monument.

The Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibition was created to honor the soldiers who died during the Vietnam War. The exhibition—displaying 3,417 dog tags displaying name, rank, service branch, and date of loss— pays tribute to each soldier lost during the conflict. "It's part remembrance, part honor and part healing," said Vietnam veteran Chuck Collum. "Honor and respect. We will honor and respect our fallen. They will not be forgotten."

The Texas Vietnam Heroes Exhibition was on display at the Museum until September 9, 2014.

07/20 Restored La Belle sails on final journey

Restored La Belle sails on final journey

French explorer Sieur de la Salle's ship, La Belle, remained in murky waters off the Texas coast for over 300 years before it was brought to Texas A&M University.

by DDN Correspondent

The historical ship restored some of its lost glory while at the university and it sailed again via an 18-wheeler on its final journey. The final destination of this ship was the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin.

At this museum the ship will be on exhibit in a unique fashion. The remains of the vessel have been reassembled by some experts in public view. read more

read more

07/18 Psychedelic Acid Trope
Bullock, Briscoe, and LBJ explore our recall of the Sixties

Exhibits at the Bullock, Briscoe, and LBJ explore our recall of the Sixties

by Kate X Messer

In a testament to the lingering impact of the 1960s, three Austin institutions offer a visit to the psychedelic past. At the Bullock Museum, The 1968 Exhibit features the instantly-recognizable 1960s den, complete with a set of World Book encyclopedias and Walter Cronkite on the news. It's the other object in that familiar space— a Huey helicopter— that reminds us that the Vietnam War was really the first conflict to come into our homes and join us on that couch in the den.

Curated by the Minnesota History Center, The 1968 Exhibit tells the personal and national stories of war, civil rights, devastating loss, cool music, hot trends (avocado and harvest gold, anyone?), humans on the moon, and much more. Interactive displays, games, video lounges, and over 150 artifacts recreate the pivotal twelve months of 1968.

The 1968 Exhibit was on display at the Museum until September 1, 2014.

07/18 17th Century History 'Sails' Into Austin

17th Century History 'Sails' Into Austin

by TWC News staff

Seventeenth-century ship La Belle is being reconstructed right inside the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

The ship was part of French explorer Robert de La Salle's fleet and went down in Matagorda Bay in 1686 and there it rested until Jim Bruseth brought it back to the surface in 1996. read more

07/18 300-Year-Old Ship La Belle Transferred to Austin for Reassembling

300-Year-Old Ship La Belle Transferred to Austin for Reassembling

by Pierrot Durand

Texas A&M researchers have transferred the keel of the 300-year-old ship La Belle from a gigantic preservation-aiding freeze-dryer at Texas A&M University to the state museum in Austin for reassembling on July 17, 2014.

French explorer La Salle was looking for the Mississippi river in 1685, but he unwittingly took the ship in the Gulf of Mexico where La Belle sank after getting struck by a storm off the coast of Texas. The ship was found 12 feet under water in 1995. read more

07/17 Ship used by 17th century explorer La Salle headed for Texas museum to be reassembled

Ship used by 17th century explorer La Salle headed for Texas museum to be reassembled

by Michael Graczyk

The recovered remains of a ship belonging to the famed French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier Sieur de la Salle, which sank off the Texas coast more than three centuries ago, were launched on their final journey Thursday.

The keel and other large structural pieces of La Belle, which have been preserved in a gigantic freeze-dryer at Texas A&M since 2012, were gingerly loaded onto a flatbed truck for the 85-mile trip to the Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, the last stop in a voyage that began in 1685 with La Salle's ill-fated expedition to find the mouth of the Mississippi River. read more

07/17 Centuries-old ship makes final voyage

Centuries-old ship makes final voyage

by Elena Watts

The largest portions of a centuries-old ship found on the floor of Matagorda Bay sailed into Austin on a gooseneck trailer Thursday.

The La Belle was one of four ships that embarked on a 1684 French expedition led by Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle that ended badly in 1686. The ship, which missed the mouth of the Mississippi River where crew members were to establish a colony, was wrecked by a violent storm. read more

07/17 A&M Ships off Centuries-Old Ship to Austin

A&M Ships off Centuries-Old Ship to Austin

by David Norris

Preservation experts at Texas A&M University have spent more than a decade on one of their latest projects. On Thursday, it was time to say goodbye.

The French trading ship La Belle ran aground in Matagorda Bay more than three centuries ago. It would remain in that watery, muddy grave until 1995 when it was excavated. Since then, a team of preservation experts at the Riverside campus have been painstakingly restoring what's left of the old ship. read more

07/17 Bullock Museum to house 330-year-old ship

Bullock Museum to house 330-year-old ship

by Ashley Goudeau

Thursday afternoon a piece of history, wrapped in a tarp, arrived at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. It's a piece of history that's demise changed the course of Texas.

"If the ship had not gone down in that storm, La Salle's French colony may have stood the test of time, and we may have been speaking French today instead of Spanish," said Jim Bruseth, guest curator at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. read more

04/25 Planks from French ship La Belle coming to Bullock Texas State History Museum for reassembly

Planks from French ship La Belle coming to Bullock Texas State History Museum for reassembly

Starting in late October, public can watch reassembly of ship that sank in Matagorda Bay in 1686

by Pam LeBlanc

More than three centuries after a French ship sank off the Texas coast, timbers from its hull are arriving in Austin, where they’ll be reassembled and put on display at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

The French ship La Belle went down in Matagorda Bay in 1686. It was one of four French ships led by Robert Cavelier de La Salle in an expedition to establish a French colony at the mouth of the Mississippi River. read more

04/25 World archeologists admire shipwreck at Bullock museum

World archeologists admire shipwreck at Bullock museum

by David Scott

It is one of the greatest shipwreck discoveries off the coast of Texas and soon it will be the centerpiece exhibit at the Bullock State History Museum.

Archeologists from around the world admired it during a sneak peek Friday in Austin as part of their annual international conference. read more