Exhibits

Past Exhibits/Archives

From legendary Texas characters like Davy Crockett, to the Texas-sized fervor surrounding such popular state past times as baseball and high school football, movies, television, and music, to art in the form of photography, paintings, and quilts – the Museum has explored the Texas identity through eleven years of special exhibitions.

Catch up on what you missed!

The McDonald Observatory: 75 Years of Stargazing

May 1, 2014-June 29, 2014

Third Floor Rotunda Gallery

Otto Struve telescope

Previously on view and created in partnership with the University of Texas McDonald Observatory, this 75th anniversary exhibit featured amazing night-sky images as seen from one of the darkest places on the planet, high atop Mts. Locke and Fowlkes near Fort Davis in West Texas. Unique artifacts related to astronomy from the McDonald Observatory collection, such as one giant mirrored panel of the reflective surface that makes a telescope function were also featured.

A 1,000 pound scale model from the 1930s of the Otto Struve telescope was on loan from the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland. The telescope model, along with other equipment from the observatory, was featured with the stories of modern discoveries like the search for Dark Energy, bouncing lasers off of the moon, and discovering the atmosphere of Saturn's moon Titan. The exhibit also discussed the support of the Fort Davis community that makes Mt. Locke the perfect place for viewing the night sky.

A compelling and easily accessible website and blog hosted by UT, http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/anniversary as well as programming that included a series of "space days" at the museum during the run of the installation were some of the educational offerings featured as part of the Observatory's year-long series of celebrations around Texas that begin September 1, 2013 and ran through August 2014.

This exhibition was made possible by Sophia and G. W. Brock and Michelle K. Brock.

Extreme Mammals: The Biggest, Smallest and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time

mammals upcoming-tile

November 23, 2013 - March 23, 2014

The amazing 200-million-year history of fossil and living mammals will be unveiled at the Bullock Texas State History Museum this fall in the upcoming exhibition, Extreme Mammals: The Biggest, Smallest and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time, which opens in the Bullock Museum's Herzstein Hall beginning November 23, 2013.

Visitors will experience the most astonishing mammals to roam the Earth. Some with tongues weighing four tons, and other animals as small as a bumblebee. Meet creatures with gigantic claws, massive fangs and strange snouts. See the largest land mammal that has ever lived, the oldest fossilized bat ever discovered, and the smallest mammal known in the fossil record. And, discover living and extinct Texas mammals that are part of the Story of Texas.

Highlights of Extreme Mammals include a 15-ft tall, life-size re-creation of an Indricotherium, the largest land mammal to walk on land, as well as the smallest mammal known in the fossil record, the rodent-like Batodonaides. Attractions also include taxidermy specimens, from the egg-laying platypus, to the recently extinct Tasmanian wolf. Visitors can examine fleshed-out models of spectacular extinct forms such as Ambulocetus, a "walking whale" and an entire skeleton of the giant hoofed plant-eater Uintatherium.

More

Battleship Texas

battleship-engagedFebruary 1 - April 21, 2014

Battleship TEXAS celebrates the legacy of the USS TEXAS, the most powerful naval weapon at the time of its debut. The TEXAS is the only surviving USN vessel that fought in battles in both World War I and World War II including Operation Overlord/Neptune, also known as D-Day, Operation Detachment at Iwo Jima and Operation Iceberg at Okinawa. The exhibit commemorates the 100th anniversary of the battleship's commission by displaying images and artifacts from its 30 years of service that tell the story of life on board as well as the United States' evolution into a global force. Oral histories of those who served on the battleship provide personal reflections of the men whose lives were shaped by the people, places and events of the time, making them part of history. The Battleship Texas exhibition is a collaboration between The Bullock Texas State History Museum and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The exhibit runs February 1 - April 21, 2014 in the 3rd Floor Rotunda Gallery.

Gallery Loading

Credit: Texas Parks and Wildlife

Views of the Capitol: 125 Years in the Making

August 1 - December 31, 2013

Views of the Capitol: 125 Years in the Making commemorates the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the Texas Capitol Building by displaying both 19th and 20th century materials from the Texas State Library and Archives. Capitol architect E. E. Myers’ original linen drawings provide the 19th-century cornerstone for the exhibit. And, Austin photographer Bill Kennedy’s stunning, large-format photographs draw visitors into the renovation and expansion of the Capitol building in the early 1990s. Views of the Capitol is on display through Dec. 31, 2013 on the museum's third floor, which is free and open to the public.

Gallery Loading

 


Photo Credit

 

Photograph by Bill Kennedy for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas Furniture From The Ima Hogg Winedale Collection

July 13 - October 6, 2013

Before the rise of imported factory-made furniture in the 1880s, most Texans bought home furnishings from their local cabinetmaker. Texas furniture in the 19th century reflects the history and culture of those times, the isolation of the state, and the changes wrought by the coming of the railroads. Enter this bygone era through the stories that every handmade table, chair, and bed have to share in a new exhibition, Texas Furniture From The Ima Hogg Winedale Collection at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. The Winedale Collection is part of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, at the University of Texas at Austin. The exhibition will run July to October 2013, at the Bullock Museum.

The Briscoe Center's Winedale Collection owes its name to Houston philanthropist Ima Hogg (1882-1975), who bought and restored the 19th century farmstead at Winedale, near Round Top, Texas, to house her vast collections. The only daughter of Texas governor James Stephen Hogg, she was a pioneer collector of American furniture and a long-time supporter of historic preservation. The Winedale Collection is recognized as the most significant collection of Texas furniture in the United States.

The Collection includes locally made furniture, much of it produced by German immigrant craftsmen, domestic textiles such as quilts and coverlets, folk toys, paintings, china, kitchen utensils, agricultural implements, and cabinet-making tools.

The exhibition speaks of Texas's immigrant European and native-born cabinetmakers; of their craftsmanship and woodworking techniques; of competing ideas about style, comfort, and gentility; and about what it meant to be a Texan in the 19th century.

Approximately forty pieces of furniture, as well as other highlights from the collection, will be on exhibit in Texas Furniture From Ihe Ima Hogg Winedale Collection at the Bullock Museum. The exhibit is guest-curated by Lonn Taylor, co-author of the recently updated and expanded two-volume edition, Texas Furniture (University of Texas Press). Mr. Taylor is an authority on the architecture, furniture, and decorative arts of the American Southwest and the former director of Winedale. He is also a former curator at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.

Texas Furniture From The Ima Hogg Winedale Collection is a collaboration between The Bullock Texas State History Museum and the Briscoe Center for American History. The exhibit will be on view in the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Hall of Special Exhibitions at the Bullock Museum July 13 - October 6, 2013.

Gallery Loading

 


Photo Credits

  1. Sofa by Carl Steinhagen, ca. 1860, Courtesy Winedale Collection, The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin
  2. Pie Safe, ca. 1860-1870, Courtesy Winedale Collection, The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin
  3. Bed by Johann Umland, ca. 1860, Courtesy Winedale Collection, The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Texas State Parks and the Civilian Conservation Corps

February 1, 2013 - June 30, 2013

The Bullock Museum converted the 3rd floor Rotunda into a gallery space where other state agencies with amazing collections could display their holdings. The second exhibit installed in this space came from the collections of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). The Civilian Conservation Corps in Texas exhibit opened on February 1 and highlighted the parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) between 1933-1942.

In collaboration with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD), the Bullock Texas State History Museum opened Texas State Parks and the Civilian Conservation Corps on February 1 in the 3rd Floor Rotunda Gallery. Photographs, maps, postcards, newsletters, and original furniture highlighted the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the parks built between 1933-1942.

In the 1930s, the United States was in the throes of a financial depression. Businesses were not hiring many young Americans lacked the skills or experience they needed to get the few jobs that did exist. When Franklin Roosevelt became president in 1933, he created the CCC to provide jobs and training to men between the ages of 17 and 25 and also out-of-work World War I veterans.

The Texas legislature had created the Texas State Parks Board in 1923, but declined to fund the development of land into state parks. Within days of Roosevelt's creation of the CCC, Texas Governor Miriam Ferguson submitted a proposal to the federal government requesting funding for 26 CCC projects -- which led to 97 work camps across the state.

Although most camps were devoted to soil-conservation and erosion-control projects, about 27 camps were responsible for the development of state parks. They constructed roads and bridges, built cabins, prepared hiking trails and campsites, and fabricated furniture.

Today, TPWD manages 29 CCC-built parks that form the core of the state park system. Many of the original CCC buildings and features are still in existence and continue to provide recreational opportunities for Texans.

Gallery Loading

Women Shaping Texas in the 20th Century

December 8, 2012 - May 19, 2013

Take a step back into the Texas that your mothers and grandmothers knew, and discover how their contributions helped forge the Texas that you live in today. The story of Texas wouldn't be complete without the many histories of the determined women who stepped out and stepped up to fight for rights, improve public services, and help create the state that we know today. Re-encounter inspirational and pioneering Texas women such as Barbara Jordan, Babe Didrikson Zaharias, Clara Driscoll, and Juanita Craft ... but then discover the impact of countless other women and women's groups in the fields of business, education, civil rights, healthcare, government, the arts, and the preservation of both natural and historic landmarks.

Women Shaping Texas in the 20th Century is guest-curated by Dr. Paula Marks, a Professor of American Studies at St. Edward's University and prominent author on women's history. It is the first major exhibition in 30 years to tell the story of Texas women's critical impact in forging our state's development.

Texas Music Roadtrip

March 17, 2012 - October 14, 2012

With a western persona, southern traditions, and a long history of immigration, Texas is a cultural crossroads. Texas Music Roadtrip explores the people and places that put Texas music on the map. From the explosion of '30s jazz in Dallas's Deep Ellum, to the emergence of '50s Rock and Roll in the Panhandle, to the rise of zydeco, tejano, and country rock — Texas Music Roadtrip takes you past the musical landmarks that compose the Texas landscape with more than 150 rare and unseen artifacts including vintage photos, elaborate costumes, gig posters, letters, hand-written lyrics, oral histories, instruments, and music equipment.

Texas Music Roadtrip is guest-curated by Dr. Gary Hartman, the director of the Center for Texas Music History at Texas State University-San Marcos.

Texas High School Football: More Than the Game

July 30, 2011 – January 22, 2012

From the players and parents, to the band and cheerleaders, fans and fanatics, this exhibit explored the phenomenon that is high school football in Texas and how for at least a few hours every week in the fall, Texas high school football is the glue that transcends cultural, ethnic, and spiritual differences to define us all as Texan.

Arte en la Charrería: The Artisanship of Mexican Equestrian Culture

Organized by International Arts & Artists
February 19 – June 5, 2011

Long before cowboys in the Lone Star State gained iconic status in American lore, the charro – or Mexican cowboy – established a culture in Texas with a nearly 500-year-old heritage dating back to the introduction of horses and cattle to the New World. With more than 120 examples of the excellent craftsmanship and design distinctive to the Mexican cowboy, this exhibition introduced Museum visitors to the work of unique Mexican artisans who manufacture the articles and costumes that embellish and distinguish the charro tradition.

Tango Alpha Charlie: Texas Aviation Celebration

September 12, 2010 – January 9, 2011

The history of aviation in Texas is the story of industry innovation, record-setting achievements, gravity-defying feats, and the soaring human spirit. In celebration of the centennial anniversary of the first Texas flight, this exhibit told the story of how Texas continues to be a leader in aviation manufacturing, hospitality, science exploration and scholarship, driving the global economy with new research and billions of dollars in revenue.

Texas Treasure: Inside Our Governor's Mansion

June 5 - August 1, 2010

This special look at the Texas Governor's Mansion chronicled the ongoing life and history of the state landmark from the time of Sam Houston to the devastating arson fire of 2008, exploring the stories of the people who have lived, worked and visited there—stories that come alive through music, videos, original artifacts and documents that offer a never-before-seen look inside the Governor's Mansion.

American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music

February 13 - May 9, 2010

Created by Experience Music Project in partnership with the University of Washington, this exhibit told the story of the profound influence and impact of Latinos in American popular music by highlighting five major centers of Latino popular music: New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, San Antonio and San Francisco.

A Legacy of Quilts: The Briscoe Center's Joyce Gross Collection

November 21, 2009 - January 3, 2010

Spanning more than 100 years of this enduring American art form and featuring 28 quilts from the Gross Collection from the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, this exhibit presented one of America's most beloved artistic traditions, stories written with fabric, needle, thread and loving hands.

Forgotten Gateway: Coming to America Through Galveston Island

February 21 - October 11, 2009

Forgotten Gateway presented the story of Galveston as one of America's top ten transoceanic ports of entry into Texas and the US during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Through an array of photographs, film footage, graphics, narratives, hands-on interactive experiences, and historic artifacts, the exhibit brought together individual stories that illustrated the experience of coming to America through Texas.

Following its exhibition at the Bullock Museum the exhibit embarked on a national tour to other institutions, including Moody Gardens in Galveston and the Ellis Island Museum in New York City.

Cowboys and Presidents

October 19, 2008 - January 4, 2009

From Theodore Roosevelt to George W. Bush, United States presidents have used the powerful iconographic symbol of the heroic American cowboy to define themselves and their administrations to the nation and the world. The exhibit — organized by the Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA — explored the fascinating and ongoing intersection of cowboy culture and presidential politics, revealing the impact of cowboy imagery in both domestic and international contexts through photographs, political cartoons, motion pictures, and newsreels.

Dallas: Power & Passion on Primetime TV

May 31-September 14, 2008

A wealthy Texas oil family, the Ewings, captured the imagination of the U.S. and the world through the unforgettable primetime television saga, Dallas. Opening 30 years after the program first went on the air, the special exhibition spotlighted the show's enduring legacy by featuring props, artifacts loaned from actors including Larry Hagman and Steve Kanaly, scripts, television clips, and a recreated environment from the program's thirteen seasons.

Eyewitness: American Originals from the National Archives

February 16 - April 20, 2008

The Museum was the only venue in Texas where visitors could view some of the nation's most powerful historical records -- rarely-displayed documents, audio recordings, and film footage from the extensive holdings of the National Archives and its Presidential Libraries and Regional Archives.

In Citizen’s Garb: Southern Plains Native Americans, 1889–1891

September 15, 2007 - January 6, 2008

In addition to historical objects and examples of clothing from the period, the exhibition contained 53 photographs (modern re-strikes made from original glass negatives) taken from 1889 to 1891 by the team of William J. Lenny and William L. Sawyers, that demonstrate how dress and life changed for the Kiowa and Comanche tribes as they gradually adjusted to the new way of life required by the U.S. government.

Made to Walk the Skies: Texas & Space Travel

May 26 - August 12, 2007

From the early Gemini, Apollo and Skylab projects to today's Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs, Texas continues to play a leading role in human space exploration. This special exhibit chronicled the state's role in space exploration by featuring historic equipment and the compelling stories including mission control panel, space suits, and lunar samples.

Revealing Character: Robb Kendrick's Texas Tintypes

February 17 - April 19, 2007

Since 2004, Texas-born photographer Robb Kendrick has been capturing images of those cowboys via the tintype, a 19th-century photographic method. Curated by Margaret Blagg, executive director of the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, the exhibition featured 66 tintypes of cowboys and cowgirls taken all over the Lone Star State plus 12 enlarged prints.

Paula Chamlee: High Plains Farm

March 3 - April 19, 2007

Photographer Paula Chamlee presented a visually stunning and emotionally powerful focus on the Texas farm, revealing a way of life that is quickly vanishing. The collection comprises a portrait of the habits, ethics, and value system that embody the spirit and struggles of an older generation of Panhandle farmers and ranchers.

Miss Ima's Quilts

October 28, 2006 - January 7, 2007

Miss Ima Hogg [1882-1975] was a visionary collector, preservationist, and philanthropist. To highlight her vision as a collector, this special exhibition showcased an extraordinary selection of twenty-five quilts from Miss Ima's collection that ranged in date from the late 1700s to the early 1900s and represented one of the most popular and enduring folk art traditions in America.

It STILL Ain't Braggin' If It's True

May 27 - September 10, 2006

In celebration of its fifth anniversary, the Museum presented an encore look at the opening year exhibit, It Ain't Braggin' if It's True. Just as in the original Braggin' exhibit, STILL Ain't Braggin' explored the qualities of Vision, Friendship, Perseverance, Pride, Showmanship, and Swagger through one-of-a-kind objects (like the rhinestone-studded Cadillac) and the stories they tell.

A Slave Ship Speaks: The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie

February 11- April 15, 2006

Organized by the Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society, this poignant and powerful exhibit brought to the surface artifacts recovered from the wreck of the British merchant slave ship, the Henrietta Marie, which sank about 35 miles off the coast of Key West in 1700. Through interactive displays and hundreds of artifacts, this moving exhibit examined the economic and social forces that drove the slave trade and provided insight into its impact of the material life and culture of Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

The Face of Texas

October 1, 2005 - January 8, 2006

Austin photographer Michael O'Brien spent two decades capturing the "face of Texas" in photographs that celebrate the individuality and independent spirit of Texas. Forty-three large-scale photographs featured a fascinating and diverse array of native and adoptive Texans, from powerful big-city movers to unique small-town characters.

Texas Movies

July 9 - September 5, 2005

From the first documentary footage ever captured of the Galveston Hurricane in 1900 to the recent explosion in filmmaking activities, Texas has made significant cinematic contributions over the past 100 years. The exhibit paid tribute to movies made in the Lone Star State and shined a spotlight on Texas' own homegrown filmmakers, from the unique vision of contemporary directors like Richard Linklater (Slacker), Robert Rodriquez (Spy Kids, Sin City), Tim McCanlies (Secondhand Lions, Dancer, Texas Pop. 81) and Wes Anderson (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore) to the work of historic Texas-based production companies, including the early westerns of the Star Film Ranch, Spanish language films made along the border, and rare films from the 1940s produced by Sack Film Amusement in Dallas.

Drawn From Experience: Landmark Maps Of Texas

February 19 - June 5, 2005

This presentation of more than 60 historic maps (several of which had never before been on display) as well as modern maps created through cutting-edge technology like holography and satellite imaging traced the evolution of the shape of Texas through 500 years of mapmaking -- from the sixteenth century to the present day.

Go West: Selections From The Jack S. Blanton Museum Of Art, C.R. Smith Collection

October 16, 2004 - January 9, 2005

Visitors discovered the drama and majesty of the American West as it appeared over 100 years ago. This exhibition of more than 50 paintings showed how the events, landscapes, and people of the new frontier captured the imagination of such celebrated artists as Albert Bierstadt, Thomas Moran, Charles Russell, Henry Farny and Maynard Dixon. These painters traveled west to document images of breathtaking vistas and romantic valor, creating a new genre of art.

Texas Flags: 1836 - 1945

February 28 - August 22, 2004

Most are familiar with the six flags of Texas, but over the years countless other banners have served the Lone Star State, flying over forts, accompanying men into battle and symbolizing significant passages in history. Organized by the Center for Texas Studies at Texas Christian University, this exhibition explored the history, symbolism and events behind 30 rare banners, including flags from the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836, the Civil War, the Buffalo Soldiers, Texas battalions that fought in WWII, and more.

Play Ball! Texas Baseball

June 14, 2003 - January 4, 2004

The sport of baseball — known as America's "national pastime" — holds a special place in the hearts of Texans and the history of the Lone Star State. This special exhibit captured the excitement of the game with artifacts like original uniforms, equipment, stadium details, mascots, memorabilia, and featured pioneers of the game including native Texan baseball Hall of Famers like superstar pitcher Nolan Ryan, Rube Foster, founder of the Negro National League in 1920, and Austin's own Willie Wells, an African-American shortstop who pioneered the use of the batting helmet.

How the West Was Worn

February 22 - May 4, 2003

From buckskins and rhinestones, to cowboy boots and blue jeans, western wear has played a unique role in the history of Texas, embodying the free spirit, rugged individualism and personal freedom of the American West. Organized the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, this exhibit showcased over 150 items of clothing along with photography, period advertising and design sketches that told the story of how western attire grew in popularity and changed over the years to reflect the evolution of the West itself.

Country Music From The Lone Star State

September 28, 2002 - January 5, 2003

Organized in cooperation with the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, this exhibition traced the roots of Texas country music from the songs of early settlers to modern-day performers, and featured artifacts, instruments, and costumes from some Texas's biggest stars like Bob Wills, Roy Orbison, Townes Van Zandt, Flaco Jiménez, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, and the Dixie Chicks.

Sunrise In His Pocket: The Life, Legend & Legacy of Davy Crockett

March 2 - August 18, 2002

Known as a legendary frontiersman, a backwoods congressman, a martyred hero and a pop culture icon, Davy Crockett has been an integral part of the American and Texan identity. Organized in conjunction with the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, the exhibit paid homage to both the man and the myth by displaying artifacts from Crockett's life along with objects that reflect his ongoing influence in American culture.

It Ain't Braggin' If It's True

April 21 - December 31, 2001

Texas history is about more than facts and figures – it's also about incredible artifacts and the amazing stories behind them. The Museum's inaugural special exhibit paid tribute to the distinctive character of the Lone Star State by telling amazing stories that served as testament to the "braggin' rights" of Texas: Valor, Vision, Pride, Perseverance, Swagger and Showmanship.