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2014

La Belle artifacts rolling into Austin July 17

La Belle artifacts rolling into Austin July 17

Arrival of 325-year-old keel the start of famed ship's final journey

On Thursday, July 17, 2014, a 325-year-old piece of Texas history is scheduled to arrive at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. The keel of the historic ship, La Belle, along with the keelson, a portion of the mast and numerous hull timbers, will be transported that day from the Riverside Campus of Texas A&M University under the direction of conservator Peter Fix of the university's Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation. Transportation of the timbers requires intricate handling that will be orchestrated by John Clegg of Clegg Industries of Victoria, Texas, who has been a volunteer involved with the La Belle project since it began. La Belle sank off the coast of Texas in Matagorda Bay in 1686 and was excavated by the Texas Historical Commission in 1996 in one of the most extraordinary engineering feats ever associated with an archaeological excavation. The nine-month, multi-million-dollar excavation yielded more than one million artifacts and the main timbers of the ship. Those timbers, select artifacts, photographs, maps and more will be part of an exhibit opening October 25, 2014 at the Bullock Museum. As part of the exhibit, Fix and a team of conservators will reassemble the hull in front of visitors in the gallery.

**La Belle Artifact Arrival Event

What: Arrival of the largest portions of the historic La Belle ship, including the 800-pound keel, the 1,100-pound keelson and assorted timbers, including the forefoot, rising wood, deadwood, sternpost, stem, 20+ floors, 40 first futtocks, 20 plus second futtocks, 25 third futtocks, keelson riders, buttresses and the mast.

Who: Peter D. Fix, assistant director, Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation Conservator and Head of Reconstruction for La Belle; project volunteer John Clegg, Clegg Industries, Inc.; and other project representatives from the Bullock Museum, the Texas Historical Commission, and Texas A&M University.

When: 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 17, 2014

Where: Bullock Texas State History Museum - Meet at Information Desk on First Floor

1800 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas

About the Exhibit

One of the most important shipwreck discoveries in North America, La Belle has risen after 300 years at sea to tell a captivating story filled with piracy, murder and miscalculation that doomed the 17th-century voyage and changed the course of history in Texas forever. A new exhibit, La Belle: The Ship That Changed History, opens at the Bullock Texas State History Museum on October 25, 2014 to reveal this intriguing Texas story.

Follow the incredible journey of La Belle from 1684 when it set sail from France under the aegis of King Louis XIV and explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, to its demise in Texas's Matagorda Bay two years later. Experience its archeological resurrection in the 1990s and subsequent preservation that continues this fall with the live-action reassembly of the original ship's hull in full view of visitors at the Bullock Museum in Austin.

La Belle: The Ship That Changed History is organized by the Bullock Texas State History Museum and guest curated by Jim Bruseth, former director of the Archeology Division of the Texas Historical Commission, which sponsored the ship's excavation. Partners include the Texas Historical Commission, Texas A&M University's Conservation Research Laboratory and the Musée National de la Marine. Project support provided by the State of Texas, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute for Museum and Library Services and the Texas State History Museum Foundation. Visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-4649 for more information.

icon La Belle artifacts rolling into Austin July 17 (49.97 kB)

Music Under the Star free concerts start July 11

Music Under the Star free concerts start July 11
Celebrate Texas music with Ray Benson, Carrie Rodriguez and more

JUNE 30, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) — Celebrate Texas music and take a trip back to 1968 during the Bullock Texas State History Museum's 11th annual free summer concert series, Music Under the Star, beginning July 11. Bring your camp chairs and blankets (no coolers, please) and dance the evening away to a fantastic lineup of Texas artists, such as Ray Benson, Roky Erickson and Carrie Rodriguez. Music will take place on the museum's Lone Star Plaza from 6 to 9 p.m. for the last three weeks of July.

The Bullock Museum, located at the corner of MLK and North Congress Avenue, is proud to celebrate its eleventh season of outstanding Texas music with the free summer concerts sponsored by KUTX, Frost Bank, the Downtown Austin Alliance and Texas Music Water.

To complement The 1968 Exhibit now on view at the Bullock Museum, a new rotunda exhibit, When Austin Got Weird, will open at 6 pm July 11 during the first Music Under the Star concert. This exhibit features music posters by renowned local artists that helped define Austin's counterculture in the 1960s and 70s. Musical guests for the July 11 concert will include two bands that dominated that era, Shiva's Headband Experience and Roky Erickson.

A pioneer of the psychedelic rock genre, Erickson was a founding member of the Austinbased 13th Floor Elevators and his 2010 album, True Love Cast Out All Evil, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Opening for Erikson will be Shiva's Headband Experience, bringing the psychedelic rock sounds inspired by the original Shiva's Headband that formed in 1967 and performed regularly at the Vulcan Gas Company and Armadillo World Headquarters.

On Friday, July 18, fiddler, singer and songwriter Carrie Rodriguez and San Antonio native Tish Hinojosa will take the stage to continue the series. Rodriguez, who has written, recorded and toured with a number of favorites, such as Lucinda Williams and Alejandro Escovedo, will perform songs from her fifth solo album, Give Me All You Got, and more. Hinojosa will open the show with her unique mix of traditional bluegrass and contemporary folk and Tex-Mex sounds.

Grammy-Award-winning frontman for the legendary western swing band, Asleep at the Wheel, Ray Benson will highlight the final Music Under the Star concert on Friday, July 25. With the release of his second solo album, Benson has teamed up with Austin jazz-grass string band, Milkdrive, to explore new frontiers in Texas music. Opening for Benson is another Grammy Award winner, Jason Roberts. Building on a lifetime working alongside western swing giants, Roberts has teamed up with world-class talents to launch The Jason Roberts Band.

During the outdoor concerts, visitors can cool off with beer, soda and more for sale on the plaza or shop in the Museum Store. For more, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746. Look below for full 2014 lineup.

Music Under the Star 2014 Lineup

All concerts from 6-9 p.m. on the Bullock Museum Lone Star Plaza, 1800 N. Congress Ave. Free parking after 6 p.m. in the garage.

July 11 - The Bullock Celebrates 1968

Roky Erickson
A pioneer of the psychedelic rock genre, Roky Erickson was a founding member of the Austinbased 13th Floor Elevators and his 2010 album, True Love Cast Out All Evil, was nominated for a Grammy Award. Don't miss this uniquely Austin performance!

The Shiva's Headband Experience
Shiva's Headband Experience will open for Erickson. Celebrate 1968 with the psychedelic rock sounds inspired by this band formed in Austin in 1967 that played regularly at the Vulcan Gas Company and Armadillo World Headquarters. Join us for the opening of the Bullock Museum's new exhibit, When Austin Got Weird, exhibit from 6 to 7 pm.

July 18

Carrie Rodriguez
Fiddler, singer and songwriter Carrie Rodriguez has established an impressive roster of touring, recording, and co-writing affiliations —with Lucinda Williams, Rickie Lee Jones, John Prine, Mary Gauthier, Alejandro Escovedo, guitarist Bill Frisell, and others. Her fifth solo album, Give Me All You Got, is filled with original, soulful songs.

Tish Hinojosa
Opening for Rodriguez is Tish Hinojosa. Originally from San Antonio, Hinojosa spent years in Germany, inspired by the city of Hamburg, where the Beatles lived and performed. The result is a mix of traditional bluegrass and contemporary folk and Tex-Mex sounds uniquely her own.

July 25

Ray Benson with Milkdrive
In his 40 years as front man for legendary western swing band, Asleep at the Wheel, Ray Benson has received nine Grammy awards and countless other musical accolades. Now with the release of his second solo album, Benson has teamed up with the Austin jazz-grass string band, Milkdrive, to explore new frontiers in Texas music.

Jason Roberts Band
Grammy Award-winning fiddle player Jason Roberts will open for Ray Benson, bringing his signature style to his latest musical venture. Building on a lifetime working alongside Western Swing giants, he has teamed up with world-class talents to launch the Jason Roberts Band.

icon Music Under the Star free concerts start July 11 (134.14 kB)

Relive Austin's 'Golden Age' in new poster exhibit

Relive Austin's 'Golden Age' in new poster exhibit
Poster art reflects city's live music and counterculture movemen

JUNE 26, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) – Relive Austin's "Golden Age" through poster art that captures the spirit of the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 70s in the capital city of Texas. When Austin Got Weird, curated by the Bullock Texas State History Museum, opens Friday, July 11, 2014 and is on view through Sunday, September 14, 2014 in the third-floor Rotunda Gallery.

Although the slogan "Keep Austin Weird" was not trademarked until 2000, it had its roots in Austin long before. Using music posters from two Austin collections, the exhibit explores the poster artists and music venues that defined Austin's cultural scene between 1967 and 1980.

A visible counterculture emerged during this time, launching a cultural revolution often referred to as the Golden Age of Austin by those who experienced it. Rent was cheap, the music was great, and the once small, sleepy town emerged as a breeding ground for activism.

From the archives of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and the Austin History Center, 29 posters have been selected from artists Jim Franklin, Gilbert Shelton, Robert Burns, Micael Priest and others to trace Austin's transformation from simply the political capital of Texas to a music capital of the world.

Highlights of When Austin Got Weird include posters by artists featuring famous musicians, such as Janis Joplin, Willie Nelson, Pete Seeger, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Fats Domino and the Ramones. Texas favorites, such as Asleep at the Wheel, Sir Doug and the Texas Tornadoes, and Shiva's Headband are featured as well.

In addition to the posters featured in the exhibit, a series of podcasts have been created to be accessed through QR codes scanned with smart phones and other mobile devices. These podcasts include music relative to a specific poster, with narrative context often provided by musicians, including Ray Benson, Marcia Ball, Gary P. Nunn and Jimmie Vaughan.

The exhibit complements The 1968 Exhibit, on view through Sept. 1, 2014 in the museum's Herzstein Hall. This exhibit reveals the social forces that crested in 1968, a year that shaped the rest of the 20th century, and brings to life this pivotal American year through photographs, artifacts, vintage pop culture items and interactives. Visitors will see an iconic purple jacket worn by rock legend Jimi Hendrix, Mr. Rogers' sweater and sneakers, vintage album covers and Vietnam-era artifacts, such as a full-size Huey helicopter.

The Bullock Museum is located at 1800 N. Congress Avenue in downtown Austin and is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Visit www.thestoryoftexas.com or call (512) 936-4649 for more information.

Lone Star, The National Beer of TexasThis exhibition is generously sponsored by Lone Star, the National Beer of Texas.

icon When Austin Got Weird (530.84 kB)

Bullock Texas State History Museum Names New Director

Bullock Texas State History Museum Names New Director

JUNE 16, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) - Victoria Ramirez, Ed.D. has been named director of the Bullock Texas State History Museum. The announcement was made by John Sneed, executive director of the State Preservation Board, which operates the museum and maintains and preserves the State Capitol, Governor's Mansion and other Texas landmarks.

Dr. Ramirez began her tenure with the Bullock Museum in February 2013 as deputy director. At that time her responsibilities included education initiatives, the film and theater department, technology-based offerings, and museum operations. Under her leadership, the museum has greatly expanded programming for adults, teachers, and students and increased offerings for families, particularly by enhancing activities and programs on the museum's monthly "Free First Sunday's." She has overseen the strategic planning of the film and theater department and the development and improved training of the visitor services area. In addition, Dr. Ramirez has managed the ongoing integration of technology throughout the museum and is leading the way for an innovative, interactive website that will transform the way in which the museum will tell both the historical and ongoing stories of Texas. The website is part of a statewide initiative that will launch in September 2014 and will feature unique and engaging stories of Texas culture, history and present-day events from Texans throughout the state.

Prior to her association with the Bullock Museum, Dr. Ramirez served as director of education for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Before joining the Museum of Fine Arts in 1999, she served as curator of education with the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia.

"Victoria has done an outstanding job as interim director over the past six months," Mr. Sneed said. "She has been instrumental in increasing exhibit revenue by over 40% and increasing school outreach and student visits by more than 30%. As the museum moves into one of its most exciting and challenging periods, Victoria is the right person, at the right time, for this position."

In respect to her new position as director of the museum, Dr. Ramirez stated that "this next venture is an honor and opportunity for me on so many fronts. I am enthusiastic about upholding the tradition of excellence for which the State Preservation Board is known. I find great inspiration from the excellent museum staff, board, and volunteers, all of whom are dedicated to the Bullock and its future."

Brian McLaughlin, president of the Board of Trustees for the Texas State History Museum Foundation, said that "Victoria is poised to move the museum to its next level of stature and into the realms of an exceptional institution. I am thrilled to be working with her in developing the steps and resources to make great thing happen at the Bullock."

icon Bullock Texas State History Museum Names New Director (486.37 kB)

icon Victoria Ramirez (1.55 MB)

World Refugee Day in Austin to be celebrated at the Bullock Museum

World Refugee Day in Austin to be celebrated at the Bullock Museum
Festival celebrates new American citizens with free food, music, family fun

JUNE 10, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) — Join us June 14 as 27 refugees from 18 different countries reach the pinnacle of their journey to receive American citizenship. Saturday is World Refugee Day across the globe and in Austin, and a celebration will be held at the Bullock Texas State History Museum from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. with an official naturalization ceremony and children's activities that will focus on learning about the journey of a refugee.

Sponsored by Interfaith Action of Central Texas and member organizations of the Austin Refugee Roundtable, World Refugee Day highlights the plight of those fleeing their home country due to religious or political persecution. More than 1,000 refugees from nearly 30 countries come to Austin each year to start a new life.

One such refugee recently shared his story with volunteers at Caritas of Austin, an organization that is part of the Austin Refugee Roundtable and promotes self-sufficiency by providing housing, employment, education, and food services to thousands of families and individuals in each year, including international refugees.

Born and raised in Iraq, Sezar worked as an interpreter for the United States military in his home country. This was a good career until the war began and his life and the lives of his family members were at risk due to his ties to the United States. Sezar said they feared for their lives every day.

"Whenever I said goodbye to my family each morning on my way to work, I feared it would be the last time," Sezar said.

Opposition groups kidnapped and killed Sezar's brother, and eventually the U.S. government determined that Sezar and his wife needed to flee Iraq before they were killed. In September 2009, he received a call that his family would have to leave in three days. They had just 72 hours to sell their possessions, say their goodbyes, and gather what they could take with them on the plane.

While Sezar's journey was expedited due to ties to the U.S. government, the majority of refugees wait in refugee camps in neighboring countries for years prior to being resettled. Regardless of their journey, all refugees experience significant challenges transitioning to a new country and culture very different from their own.

"When I arrived in the United States, I told myself that I would be willing to pick up trash for a job if it meant that my family was safe," Sezar said. He said it was helpful for him to know that other refugees who were doctors and engineers also had to start over working low wage jobs. "I knew I could work hard and move up."

Caritas helped the family by providing lessons in how to use public transportation, shop for groceries and open bank account, and volunteers also helped by getting them to and from appointments.

After several jobs over the past five years, Sezar now has a career in the oil industry. "Now I am living the dream. I have a good job, my family is safe, and my kids are going to good schools," he said.

His is just one of the many stories told by refugees who resettle to the Austin community. World Refugee Day is a time for refugees from all over the world to gather and share their experiences with one another and celebrate their newfound freedom and citizenship. This year, refugees from Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burma, Cameroon, Colombia, Cuba, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Nepal, Nicaragua, Russia, Sudan, Venezuela and Vietnam are expected to receive citizenship during the naturalization ceremony that begins at noon in the museum's Texas Spirit Theater. Arrival by 11:45 a.m. is recommended.

The United Nations established World Refugee Day to recognize the courage, resilience, and strength of refugee families and individuals who have fled their home countries because of conflict and persecution. The Austin celebration will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Avenue.

Entertainment will be provided by SeVana Marimba and X8 Interactive Drumming. Refreshments will be free and have been donated by Rosemary's Catering. A passport educational activity will allow children to learn more about the journey of a refugee. Admission to the Bullock Museum's exhibits will be free all day.

The Austin World Refugee Day celebration is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.

icon World Refugee Day in Austin to be celebrated at the Bullock Museum (272.17 kB)

Apollo 8 artifacts tell the story of exploration

Apollo 8 artifacts tell the story of exploration
Smithsonian registrar to install items used on famous 1968 mission

Items used by astronauts aboard the Apollo 8 mission will be installed June 3 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum as part of "The 1968 Exhibit," opening Saturday, June 7, 2014. A registrar from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum will be in Austin Tuesday to oversee installation of the artifacts on loan as part of the traveling exhibit organized by the Minnesota History Center in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, the Chicago History Museum and the Oakland Museum of California, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. "The 1968 Exhibit" will be hosted by the Bullock Museum in Austin from June 7 through September 1, 2014, in the Herzstein Hall. The artifacts are on loan from the National Air and Space Museum.

**Installation Event
What: Installation of 1968 Apollo 8 artifacts, including a full-scale replica of the Apollo 8 command module , a helmet worn by Command Module Pilot James A. Lovell, Jr.; a flight checklist used by Apollo 8 Lunar Module Pilot William A. Anders; and a chronograph, or watch, worn by Apollo 8 Commander Frank Borman.
Who: Erik Satrum, Head Registrar, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
When: 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Where: Bullock Texas State History Museum - Herzstein Hall - 1st floor
1800 N. Congress Avenue, Austin, Texas

About "The 1968 Exhibit"

"The 1968 Exhibit" examines the social forces that swirled through the turbulent 1960s and crested in 1968. The exhibit brings to life this pivotal American year through photographs, music, television broadcasts, artifacts, vintage pop culture items and interactives at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Presented chronologically by the months of the year, the exhibit experience begins in January, 1968, with a Huey helicopter that has "landed" in a circa-1960s American living room. Significant events are highlighted each month, including the peak of the Vietnam War, riots and demonstrations across the country, and the tragic assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy.

The exhibit ends in December on hopeful note with the successful U.S. Apollo 8 manned space flight. It was the first time mankind had orbited the moon, and the mission produced the first-ever images of Earth taken from space.

"The Apollo 8 mission was an amazing technological feat in so many ways," Director of Exhibits Margaret Koch said. "It gave us one of the most beautiful and iconic images of all time, 'Earthrise,' taken while orbiting the moon by astronaut William Anders. It also provided the very first live television coverage of the moon's surface from space."

In the special exhibit, visitors hear details of this event unfold through the dramatic television newscasts made by Texan Walter Cronkite, as he follows the Apollo 8 launch on December 21, 1968 and its safe landing back to Earth six days later. Items from the manned space flight directed by NASA's mission control in Houston include a helmet worn by Command Module Pilot James A. Lovell, Jr.; a flight checklist used by Apollo 8 Lunar Module Pilot William A. Anders; and a chronograph, or watch, worn by Apollo 8 Commander Frank Borman.

"We are privileged to have not just one, but three, artifacts from the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum that were used by the astronauts on their amazing journey," Koch said. The Apollo 8 artifacts will be on view in the exhibit with the replica space capsule, so visitors can get a close-up, first-hand look at the history of space exploration.

Three interactive lounges in the exhibit focus on the music, design, movies and television that shaped a generation. While in the exhibit, visitors will be able to cast a vote in the '68 presidential election, listen to music by '60s rock icons, and challenge friends to a quiz show about the 1960s. Visit http://bit.ly/The1968Exhibit or call (512) 936-4649 for more information.

icon Apollo 8 artifacts tell the story of exploration (148.17 kB)

Celebrate Our Military Heritage

Celebrate Our Military Heritage
Camel Corps, WWII WASP re-enactors, family activities and more in June

MAY 28, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) - The Bullock Texas State History Museum is celebrating the United States Armed Forces in June with Military Day, a hands-on family experience, on June 1, and a special program on June 6 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Plus, active military personnel and their families are eligible for free exhibit admission all summer long through the Blue Star Museums program.

Military Day
Sunday, June 1, Noon to 3 pm; FREE
Bullock Museum & Lone Star Plaza
Free exhibit admission for everyone all day, from Noon to 6 pm.

Explore the role that the military has played in Texas history through demonstrations, hands-on activities, and more. Get up close and personal with live camels from the Texas Camel Corps, a living history group that interprets the military camel experiment of the late 1800s. Design your own dog tags, write letters to deployed troops or veterans, learn about map restoration and encounter living history performers, including WASPs, female pilots from World War II. Partners include the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg; the Texas Military Forces Museum Living History Detachment; and the Texas General Land Office.

icon Bullock Celebrates Military Heritage (185.87 kB)

D-Day 70th Anniversary Commemoration at Bullock Museum

D-Day 70th Anniversary Commemoration at Bullock Museum
June 6 screening of new IMAX film to feature conversation with decorated WWII soldiers Bob Bearden and Johnny Marino

MAY 20, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) – Friday, June 6, 2014, marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied Invasion of Normandy, France which changed the course of the war, and of world history. Learn more about this important operation from two soldiers who landed and fought on the beaches of Normandy during D-Day 70th Anniversary Commemoration on June 6, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Bullock Texas State History Museum IMAX Theatre.

Presented in partnership with the Texas Veterans Land Board's Voices of Veterans oral history project, The D-Day 70th Anniversary Commemoration will begin at 2pm with a screening of the new IMAX film, D-Day: Normandy 1944 . Following the screening, World War II Veterans Robert Bearden, author and former POW, and fellow soldier Johnny Marino, will conduct a panel discussion and Q&A session about their personal experiences in the Battle of Normandy.

After the program, Mr. Bearden will be signing copies of his book, "To D-Day and Back" in the Bullock 2nd Floor Lobby.

This program is free for all veterans and active military and reservations are required and can be made by filling out an online form. For questions, please call (512) 936-4649. Non-military patrons may attend by purchasing tickets here.

D-Day 3D: Normandy 1944 brings the June 6, 1944 landing of Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy, France, to the biggest screen in Texas for the 70th anniversary of this pivotal World War II event.

Blending animation, CGI and stunning live-action images, the film thrills audiences of all ages in breathtaking IMAX® 3D as they discover how 100 days in the summer of 1944 changed the course of history. Narrated by Tom Brokaw. Check www.thestoryoftexas.com/d-day for show times. Call (512) 936-4649 for more information.

About the Voices of Veterans program: The Voices of Veterans oral history program seeks to record the stories of Texas veterans and archive the transcripts in the Office of Veterans Records for future researchers, historians, genealogists and the general public. Any veteran interested may contact the Texas VLB at 1-800-252-VETS (8387), or send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

icon D-Day 70th Anniversary Commemoration at Bullock Museum (75.07 kB)

McDonald Observatory celebrates 75 years of stargazing with new exhibit at the Bullock

McDonald Observatory celebrates 75 years of stargazing with new exhibit at the Bullock
Artifacts and photos document stellar history of iconic Texas institution

APRIL 18, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) – The Bullock Texas State History Museum and the McDonald Observatory have partnered to produce a new exhibit, The McDonald Observatory: 75 Years of Stargazing, that opens May 1 in the museum's third-floor Rotunda Gallery, which is free to the public. This anniversary exhibit will feature large format graphics of the night sky as seen from one of the best stargazing places on Earth, various pieces of astronomical equipment, and a 1,000 pound model of a telescope, among other artifacts and photos.

The University of Texas at Austin's McDonald Observatory was dedicated May 5, 1939 and turns 75 this year. The observatory is one of the world's leading centers for astronomical research, teaching, and public education and outreach. Its facilities are located atop Mount Locke and Mount Fowlkes in the Davis Mountains of West Texas, which offer some of the darkest night skies in the continental United States. The Observatory's administrative offices are on the UT-Austin campus.

Of particular interest in the show is a 1,000 pound model of the Otto Struve telescope currently at the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland. The telescope model and other equipment from the observatory will be featured alongside stories of important discoveries, astronomers, and the unique nature of the McDonald Observatory community.

The exhibit is part of a series of events and celebrations around the state that begin in September, 2013 and will continue through August 2014. This exhibition is made possible by Sophia and G. W. Brock and Michelle K. Brock. For more information, visit mcdonaldobservatory.org/anniversary.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin tells the unfolding story of the history, culture and people of Texas. The museum and IMAX theatre are located at 1800 N. Congress Avenue. For hours, directions, ticket prices and more, visit thestoryoftexas.com or call (512) 936-4649.

Key Exhibit Artifact List

Carnegie Image Tube - This tube was used to explore whether water could be found on Mars. (McDonald Observatory)

Time Magazine Article - Article from the 1940's showcasing the first published color images of Mars made by Dr. G. P. Kuiper with the 82" Otto Struve telescope. (McDonald Observatory)

Mirror from Hobby-Eberly telescope - A mirror from the in-demand HET telescope. The HET has been used to discover planets orbiting other stars, study black holes in distant galaxies, and soon will be used for a study of the mysterious 'dark energy' causing the expansion of the universe to speed up over time. (McDonald Observatory)

Model of 82" Telescope - A 1,000-pound model of the Otto Struve telescope. Construction of McDonald Observatory's first large telescope was completed in 1938 at the Warner and Swasey Company in Cleveland, Ohio. The telescope was installed in its dome on Mount Locke, 18 miles northwest of Fort Davis, Texas, on land donated by Mrs. Violet McIvor for the observatory. (Western Reserve Historical Society)

icon McDonald Observatory celebrates 75 years of stargazing with new exhibit at the Bullock (144.54 kB)

'Big Squeeze' finals slated for Saturday

'Big Squeeze' finals slated for Saturday
Austin to host accordion contest final playoffs for the first time

APRIL 23, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) – The final competition in Texas Folklife's statewide accordion contest, "The Big Squeeze," will take place Saturday, April 26, in Austin for the first time in the competition's eight-year history. The Bullock Texas State History Museum will host the final playoffs, normally held in Houston, for the popular competition that has expanded this year to include grand prizes in three categories, polka, zydeco, and conjunto.

The public is invited to this free celebration from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the Lone Star Plaza as Texas Folklife celebrates all things accordion with the final playoffs and a concert, naming three Big Squeeze champions. While judges deliberate the winners, the crowd will be entertained by an all-star musical line-up.

This year's Big Squeeze playoffs at the Bullock will be headlined by Grammy Award-winning Sunny Sauceda, a Tejano star who likes to collaborate and "mix it up" in other genres, allowing him to stand out, breakout, and crossover into one of the top solo artists performing today. Also on this dynamite program are zydeco accordionist Curtis Poullard and the Creole Zydeco Band and the Austin-based Fabulous Polkasonics famous for their "old country polkas." The 2013 Big Squeeze Champ, Michael Ramos, will join this exciting group of musicians.

Texas Folklife is an Austin-based non-profit organization dedicated to presenting and preserving the diverse cultures and living heritage of the Lone Star State. The Big Squeeze is a program that seeks to preserve Texas's musical traditions by encouraging accordion players ages 21 and under to showcase their performance abilities in a variety of genres.

A total of 49 contestants – the largest number in the event's history – entered the competition this year. After eight showcases held around Texas, nine finalists were named last week. Three champions will be selected after the playoffs, one in each category. Finalists in the zydeco category are: Randall Jackson of Dallas, Je'an-Trel Jolivette of Marvel, and DeJe'an Jolivette of Marvel. Finalists in polka are: Rebecca Huck of Harker Heights, Chris Trojacek of Ennis, and Garrett Neubauer of Altair. Finalists in the conjunto category are: Aaron Salinas of San Antonio, Luis Gonzales of Grand Prairie, and Mariano Resendez of La Joya.

All three winners will perform at Texas Folklife's highly acclaimed annual Accordion Kings & Queens Festival, now celebrating its 25th year, at Houston's Miller Outdoor Theatre on Saturday, June 7, 2014. In addition, the three Big Squeeze 2014 Grand Prize winners will receive a prize package valued at more than $4,000, including a cash prize, a new Hohner accordion, performance opportunities in Austin and Houston, publicity, and other professional development opportunities.

Come early, stay late, and bring your folding chairs and dancing shoes for this rain-or-shine event. For more information, visit texasfolklife.org, or call (512) 441-9255.

icon 'Big Squeeze' finals slated for Saturday (71.58 kB)

Normandy hero to speak at the Bullock

Normandy hero to speak at the Bullock
May 3 screening of new IMAX film to feature conversation with decorated WWII soldier Frank Denius

APRIL 9, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) – More than 60 million people died during World War II, and the D-Day Invasion at Normandy changed the course of the war, and of world history. Learn more about this important operation from a soldier who landed and fought in Normandy during "Conversation With a Normandy Hero" on Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the Bullock Texas State History Museum IMAX Theatre.

Lawyer-philanthropist Frank Denius was just 19 when he was sent to France as part of the 30th Division of the National Guard. He landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy shortly after the initial arrival of Allied troops in France on June 6, 1944, and fought in every major campaign until the war ended eleven months later. He earned four Silver Stars and two Purple Hearts, making him one of the most decorated soldiers of the war.

Denius will join Dr. Tom Hatfield, director of the Military History Institute in UT's Briscoe Center for American History on May 3, for a public conversation after the 2:00 p.m. screening of the new IMAX film, D-Day 3D: Normandy 1944. Denius and Hatfield are co-authors of the soon-to-be published memoir about Denius' experiences called, On the Way.

This program is free for all veterans and active military and reservations are required and can be made by filling out an online form. For questions, please call (512) 936-4649. Non-military patrons may attend by purchasing tickets at http://bit.ly/DdayTix.

D-Day 3D: Normandy 1944 brings the June 6, 1944 landing of Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy, France, to the biggest screen in Texas for the 70th anniversary of this pivotal World War II event.

Blending animation, CGI and stunning live-action images, the film thrills audiences of all ages in breathtaking IMAX® 3D as they discover how 100 days in the summer of 1944 changed the course of history. Narrated by Tom Brokaw. Check www.thestoryoftexas.com/d-day for show times. Call (512) 936-4649 for more information.

icon Normandy hero to speak at the Bullock (73.73 kB)

1968 a year that shocked and rocked Texas – and all of America

1968 a year that shocked and rocked Texas – and all of America
Bullock Museum's new exhibit will take visitors back in time and to the moon

MARCH 27, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) – The Bullock Texas State History Museum announced this week that it will host "The 1968 Exhibit" from June 7 to Sept. 1, 2014. The social forces that swirled through the turbulent 1960s crested in 1968, a year that shaped the rest of the 20th century.

"The 1968 Exhibit" will bring to life this pivotal American year through photographs, artifacts, vintage pop culture items and interactives organized in 7,000 square feet of exhibit space in the Bullock Museum's Herzstein Hall.

Presented chronologically by the months of the year, the exhibit experience begins in January, 1968, with a Huey helicopter that has "landed" in a circa-1968 American living room. It continues by highlighting significant events each month, including the peak of the Vietnam War, riots and demonstrations across the country, and the tragic assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. It ends in December of 1968 with the successful U.S. Apollo 8 mission to orbit the moon and the first-ever images of the entire Earth taken from space.

Vietnam-era artifacts, such as a full-size Huey helicopter, a draft notice, helmets and other gear will be on display, as well as a program from King's funeral service, and a camera used to photograph Kennedy the night he was shot.

The 1960s charted a dramatic road in America's pop culture. It was in 1968, that Hair opened on Broadway, Laugh-In debuted on television, and Johnny Cash gave his famous performance at Folsom Prison.

Three interactive lounges focus on the music, design, movies and television that shaped a generation. While in the exhibit, visitors will be able to cast a vote in the '68 presidential election, listen to music by '60s rock icons, and challenge friends to a 1960s-style quiz show about music and TV of the era.

"The 1968 Exhibit" has numerous links to Texas, including items related to President Lyndon B. Johnson's presidency, clothing worn by rock icon Janis Joplin, who was born in Texas, and items from the Apollo 8 manned space flight direct by NASA's mission control in Houston.

"The 1968 Exhibit" is a traveling exhibit organized by the Minnesota History Center in partnership with the Atlanta History Center, the Chicago History Museum and the Oakland Museum of California, and is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. It will be hosted by the Bullock Museum from June 7 through September 1, 2014.

A companion exhibit, "When Austin Got Weird," opens July 11 in the Third-Floor Rotunda Gallery and will demonstrate what was happening in the Austin music scene during the 1960s. Using music posters from two Austin collections, this exhibit will explore the poster artists and music venues that helped define Austin's counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s.

From the archives of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and the Austin History Center, 29 posters have been selected from artists Jim Franklin, Gilbert Shelton, Robert Burns, Micael Priest and others to trace Austin's transformation from a political capital into a music capital.

Visit www.thestoryoftexas.com or call (512) 936-4649 for more information.

 

icon The 1968 Exhibit at the Bullock (434.58 kB)

Saturday is WeatherFest at the Bullock

Saturday is WeatherFest at the Bullock
Tornado simulations, free films and storm-spotter training planned

MARCH 6, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) - See an indoor tornado and learn how to spot and report severe weather in your community during WeatherFest 2014 slated for Saturday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. Time Warner Cable News Austin and Girlstart are partnering with the Bullock Museum to offer severe weather training and hands-on science activities during this year's event.

Meteorologists from Time Warner Cable News Austin will recap some of the world's most dramatic natural events and talk about their experiences in the field. Take part in storm-spotter training and see storm-chaser vehicles up close.

Girlstart, an organization that empowers girls in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), is hosting hands-on STEM related activities including kites, anemometers, thermometers and more. Their volunteers and staff will demonstrate an indoor tornado simulation and green screen technology where children can try their hand as a television weather person.

Special film screenings of Tornado Alley 3D, Hurricane on the Bayou, and Wild Texas Weather are planned. Please see full schedule of events below and visit www. TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746 for more.

SCHEDULE

Texas Spirit Theater

10am

NOAA Basic SKYWARN Storm Spotter Training Workshop

 

Skywarn is a national volunteer program and this workshop is for anyone who wants to learn about how storms form and move in Central Texas. Learn how to safely identify and accurately report severe weather threats so that watches and warnings can be issued ahead of the threat.

12:30pm

FREE Screening of Wild Texas Weather

 

Feel the wrath of Mother Nature at the Bullock Texas State History Museum's 4D film Wild Texas Weather. A gale-force, immersive theater presentation, this movie is packed so tight with energy, audiences will be blown away.

1pm

Ask a Meteorologist

 

Participating Austin-area meteorologists include organizer Burton Fitzsimmons (Time Warner Cable News Austin), and meteorologists from KXAN News, KEYE News and KOKE/UT.

2pm

FREE Screening of Twister!

 

Followed by tornado Q&A.

 

Lone Star Plaza

10am-3pm

See the University of Oklahoma's Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) radar truck deployed out front of the museum to offer a hands-on tour and get up close to the high-tech vehicles used by storm chasers.

 

Second Floor Lobby

10am-3pm

Want to know how a tornado forms, what is so important about the water cycle, or how the weather has changed Texas history? Learn about these topics and much more with activities especially for families with children ages 4 and up provided by Girlstart, the Bullock Museum and Central Texas Discover Engineering.

 

Bullock Museum IMAX Theatre

All Day

IMAX screenings of movies related to Texas weather - ticket prices apply.

Tornado Alley 3D at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.

IMAX Icons: Hurricane on the Bayou at 1:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m.

 

icon Saturday is WeatherFest at the Bullock (117.5 kB)

WeatherFest 2014 at the Bullock

WeatherFest blowing into Austin March 8
Local meteorologists, storm chasers, plus free kids' activities and film screenings for the entire family at the Bullock

FEBRUARY 21, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) - Get weather on your radar with a day of science and fun for the whole family during WeatherFest 2014 on Saturday, March 8, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin. WeatherFest is a partnership between the museum and Time Warner Cable News Austin.

Witness some of the world's most dramatic natural events; meet local meteorologists and learn about their experiences in the field; test your ability to predict and survive severe weather with storm spotter training; and see storm-chaser vehicles at close range.

Special film screenings of Tornado Alley 3D, Hurricane on the Bayou, and Wild Texas Weather are planned throughout this event which is great for adults and children of all ages. In addition to weather simulations, activities range from demonstrating sophisticated technological advances in weather science and forecasting, latest storm-chasing vehicles and equipment, to creative activities for children including art and science projects.

WeatherFest Program Partners

Learn more about how weather impacts the lives of all Texans with presentations by event sponsors Time Warner Cable News Austin and the Bullock Museum along with a variety of local and statewide organizations. Participating organizations include:

  • Local meteorologists from Time Warner Cable News Austin, KXAN and KEYE
  • Austin Fire Department
  • City of Austin Watershed Protection Department
  • Time Warner Cable CAMM - Connect a Million Minds
  • Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network (CoCoRaHS)
  • IBM
  • Lower Colorado River Authority
  • NOAA/National Weather Service
  • SouthCentral Texas AMS/NWA Chapter
  • West Texas Weather Modification
  • Texas Floodplain Managers Association
  • University of Oklahoma Meteorology Department
  • US Geological Survey

SCHEDULE

Texas Spirit Theater

10 a.m. NOAA Basic SKYWARN Storm Spotter Training Workshop - Skywarn is a national volunteer program and this workshop is for anyone who wants to learn about how storms form and move in Central Texas. Learn how to safely identify and accurately report severe weather threats so that watches and warnings can be issued ahead of the threat.

12:30 p.m. Screening of Wild Texas Weather -Feel the wrath of Mother Nature at the Bullock Texas State History Museum's 4D film Wild Texas Weather. A gale-force, immersive theater presentation, this movie is packed so tight with energy, audiences will be blown away.

1 p.m. Ask a Meteorologist -Participating Austin-area meteorologists include organizer Burton Fitzsimmons (Time Warner Cable News Austin); and meteorologists from KXAN News, KEYE News and KOKE/UT.

2 p.m. Free Screening of Twister! -Followed by tornado Q&A.

Lone Star Plaza

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. - See the University of Oklahoma's Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) radar truck deployed out front of the museum to offer a hands-on tour and get up close to the high-tech vehicles used by storm chasers.

Second Floor Lobby

All Day - Want to know how a tornado forms, what is so important about the water cycle, or how the weather has changed Texas history? Learn about these topics and much more with activities especially for families with children ages 4 and up provided by Girlstart and the Bullock Museum.

Bullock Museum IMAX Theatre

All Day - IMAX screenings of movies related to Texas weather - ticket prices apply. Tornado Alley 3D at 9:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m.
IMAX Icons: Hurricane on the Bayou at 1:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m.

 

icon WeatherFest 2014 at the Bullock (67.95 kB)

Exhibit commemorates 100 years of the USS TEXAS

Exhibit commemorates 100 years of the USS TEXAS
Photos, documents, descriptions provide a glimpse of life on deck

JANUARY 24, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) – Life on board the USS TEXAS and the ship's 100-year history will be revealed in a special exhibition opening Feb. 1, 2014 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin. Battleship TEXAS: Commemorating 100 Years marks the centennial anniversary of the commission of the TEXAS, the only surviving battleship that endured two world wars.

The exhibition is a collaboration between the Bullock Museum and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. It will be located in the third-floor Rotunda Gallery of the Bullock Museum, 1800 Congress Avenue in Austin. Exhibit hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday, and admission to this gallery is free. On Wednesday, February 5, 2014, the museum will host a High Noon Talk, The Boys on Board, focused on the men who called the ship their home.

The TEXAS was the most powerful naval weapon at the time of its commissioning on March 12, 1914, and it is the only surviving U.S. Navy vessel that fought in battles in both World War I and World War II. The ship was engaged in battle during several operations, 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 bydisplaying 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. Excerpts from oral histories of those who served on the ship provide personal reflections of the men whose lives were shaped by the people, places and events of the time.

More than 1,000 men lived aboard TEXAS when commissioned in 1914, and that number increased to over 1,800 during WWII. TEXAS'S long history includes being the first U.S. Navy vessel to house a permanently assigned contingent of Marines, the first U.S. battleship to mount anti-aircraft guns, the first to control gunfire with directors and range-keepers (analog forerunners of today's computers), the first to launch an aircraft from a catapult, and one of the first to use radar equipment in the U.S. Navy.

The TEXAS was decommissioned in 1948 and the U.S. Navy transferred it to the State of Texas. The ship was anchored in Buffalo Bayou in the Houston Ship Channel and became the first battleship memorial museum in the United States. For over 65 years, the ship has been open as a public memorial at the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site in LaPorte, Texas.

The ship was placed under the stewardship of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in 1983. Due to the battleship's age, key structural areas are in need of repair. TPWD is currently making critical vessel repairs to the ship's "skeleton" so that the ship remains strong enough to hold herself up.

Battleship TEXAS: Commemorating 100 Years is free and open to the public. Please visit www.TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-4649 for more information.

icon Battleship Texas opens Feb.1 at the Bullock (1.75 MB)

James Magnuson book launch planned at Bullock

James Magnuson book launch planned at Bullock

JANUARY 13, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) - Celebrate Texas' creative side with a book launch for author James Magnuson's latest work of fiction during the January 21, 2014 Texas Artists Series at the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Join representatives of the University of Texas James A. Michener Center for Writers, the Texas Book Festival, and the Bullock Museum for a launch event featuring Magnuson's new novel, "Famous Writers I Have Known" at 7 p.m.

Texas Monthly Editor Jake Silverstein will interview Magnuson about his latest novel, which is set in a prestigious MFA program, where a scam artist poses as a notoriously reclusive writer and sets his sights on bilking the program's wealthy benefactor of his last millions.

"The single wickedest satire I've read in years. Flat-out hilarious (and disturbing, in the most genial kind of way)," writer T.C. Boyle said of the new book.

Currently serving as the director of the Michener Center, Magnuson will read selections from the book and discuss the importance of Texas as an influence on his work. A book signing and reception will follow. The program is free, however, RSVPs should be made to (512)936-4649 as seating is limited. For more information, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com.

icon James Magnuson book launch planned at Bullock (76.42 kB)

B Movies & Bad History turns to Chuck Norris

B Movies & Bad History turns to Chuck Norris
Program sheds historical light on famous Texas film and TV production

JANUARY 10, 2014 (AUSTIN, TX) – The Bullock Texas State History Museum's upcoming installment of B Movies and Bad History on January 16, 2014 will focus on Chuck Norris, with guests from the Walker Texas Ranger television series. At this free program, guests will watch clips from the series, which aired on CBS for eight years, and the 1983 action movie Lone Wolf McQuade, which was the inspiration for the popular TV show.

Special guests, Texas movie expert Tom Copeland and Joe Dishner, a member of the Walker, Texas Ranger production team, will reveal behind-the-scenes stories from the making of this legendary Texas series.

B Movies & Bad History is a program of the Bullock Museum that strives to shed historical light on Hollywood movies and television shows that involve depictions of Texas. Clips are shown, followed by discussion by historians, authors, academics and media experts who expose historical facts and fiction portrayed on-screen. Discussions center around contextual elements and reflections and representations of Texas history and culture.

This free program, which is open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in the Texas Spirit Theater on the museum's second floor. Please call (512)936-4649 for details, or visit www.thestoryoftexas.com.

icon Chuck Norris subject of Bullock film program (80.34 kB)

2013

Bullock Museum receives highest national recognition

Bullock Museum receives highest national recognition
Statewide museum earns American Alliance of Museums Accreditation

 

DECEMBER 4, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) – The Bullock Texas State History Museum announced that it has received accreditation from the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition for a museum.

Of the nation’s estimated 17,500 museums, just over 1,000 are currently accredited, about 6 percent. The Bullock Museum is among 50 museums statewide which are accredited, and one of only two in Austin. The Blanton Museum received accreditation in 1984.

“I am extremely proud of the Bullock Texas State History Museum in sharing our inspiring history and Lone Star identity each year with hundreds of thousands of Texans, Americans, and visitors throughout the world," Governor Rick Perry said. "It’s one thing to strive for excellence, and it’s another to achieve it. I congratulate the museum for earning this distinguished honor of accreditation."

The Bullock Museum is a division of the State Preservation Board, which is the agency that preserves and maintains the state capitol and other Texas landmarks. John Sneed, executive director of the State Preservation Board, stated "The Bullock Museum's accreditation illustrates the commitment to excellence that the museum staff has demonstrated toward exhibitions, programming, and to the management of the institution. I commend their efforts in achieving this accomplishment."

The Bullock Museum completed the AAM accreditation process to demonstrate that the institution meets the highest standards of museum professionalism.

“It’s a great honor to be recognized by your peers and colleagues for your professionalism and best practices," Victoria Ramirez, interium-director of the museum said. "The Bullock Museum is enhancing its leadership role among museums across the country and accreditation underscores that direction.”

AAM Accreditation is the museum field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation, and public accountability, and earns national recognition for a museum for its commitment to excellence in all that it does: governance, collections stewardship, public programs, financial stability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement.

“Accreditation assures the people of Texas that their museum is among the finest in the nation,” said Ford W. Bell, president of the Alliance. “As a result, the citizens can take considerable pride in their homegrown institution, for its commitment to excellence and for the value it brings to the community.”

The accreditation process is a rigorous one that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation, the institution must first conduct a year of self-study, then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers.

Members of AAM’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, review and evaluate the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation. While the time to complete the process varies by museum, it generally takes three years; it took the Bullock Museum staff approximately 18 months to complete the numerous procedures.

Opened in 2001, the Bullock Texas State History Museum is one of the largest educational institutions in the state of Texas and is supported through both private and public funds. Education is the cornerstone of the Bullock Museum experience and a full array of programs and materials complement the exhibitions and films that reveal the history of Texas.

More than 80,000 school children are served each year through field trips, curriculum materials and distance learning. This year, the museum topped 6 million visitors since it opened 12 years ago.

For more information, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com or call the Bullock Texas State History Museum at (512) 936-4649.

icon Bullock Museum receives highest national recognition (67.54 kB)

 

 

Families can see 'Extreme Mammals' for free Sunday

Families can see 'Extreme Mammals' for free Sunday
Exhibit showcases the largest and smallest mammals ever found

NOVEMBER 26, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) – Families looking for fun Thanksgiving excursions can take a walk on the wild side at the Bullock Texas State History Museum' s newest exhibit, Extreme Mammals: The Biggest, Smallest and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time.

Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 is Free First Sunday at downtown Austin's Bullock Museum, and admission to this special exhibit (and the museum's other three floors of Texas history displays) is free for everyone from noon to 6 p.m.

Residents can take a break from feasting and shopping and spend the last day of Thanksgiving weekend at the Bullock Museum where the whole family can create wearable star art and take memorable family photos under the museum's giant bronze star. Visitors also will be allowed, for the first time since the museum opened in 2001, to take non-flash photos their favorite artifacts in the museum's galleries.

Visitors may go on an indoor safari and see the smallest mammal ever found; walk under a 15-ft. tall re-creation of the largest land mammal ever recorded; and touch a fossil mammoth tooth in the new Extreme Mammals exhibit, which examines the 200-million-year history of fossil and living mammals.

In this exhibit, visitors can experience the most astonishing mammals to roam the Earth – some with tongues weighing four tons, and others as small as a bumblebee. Creatures with gigantic claws, massive fangs and strange snouts. It explores the adaptations that have allowed mammals to diversify and adapt to beat the extinction odds.

To further reveal the Pleistocene ice age and underscore many of the Extreme Mammals exhibit themes, the museum is showing the acclaimed film, Titans of the Ice Age 3D, on its IMAX screen. The film transports you to the frozen landscapes of North America, Europe and Asia 10,000 years before modern civilization and brings to life the unique prehistoric animals of the era.

For information about this exhibit, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com/extrememammals, or call (512) 936-4649.

icon Free First Sunday for Extreme Mammals (201.08 kB)

Extreme Mammals opens November 23 at the Bullock

'Extreme Mammals' opens Nov. 23 at the Bullock
Life-sized re-creations, extinct species and touchable fossils highlight exhibit

NOVEMBER 19, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) – Walk under a 15-ft. tall re-creation of the largest land mammal ever recorded, touch a fossil mammoth tooth and see what the Arctic looked like when it was warm and swampy in the new exhibit, Extreme Mammals: The Biggest, Smallest and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time, opening at the Bullock Texas State History Museum on November 23, 2013.

It is the first time the Bullock Museum has hosted a natural history exhibit, and it is the largest exhibit in the institution's history. Opening day activities are planned for November 23, 2013 to celebrate the new exhibit that examines the 200-million-year history of fossil and living mammals.

Don't miss your chance to be among the first people to have an extreme experience at the museum by attending Opening Day on Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but family activities will take place from noon to 3 p.m. and are free with admission. Take a walk on the wild side – make animal art, explore the diversity of Texas mammals, and try your hand at mammal trivia during this special event.

In this exhibit, visitors can experience the most astonishing mammals to roam the Earth – some with tongues weighing four tons, and others as small as a bumblebee. Creatures with gigantic claws,massive fangs and strange snouts. It explores the adaptations that have allowed mammals to diversify and adapt to beat the extinction odds.

The largest land mammal living today is the African elephant, but the largest land mammal ever recorded is Indricotherium, which weighed as much as four elephants. Extreme Mammals features as its centerpiece, a 15-foot re-creation of this amazing herbivore that lived in the forests of central Asia between 34 and 23 million years ago.

The rodent-like Batodonaides is the smallest mammal known in the fossil record. The exhibit features a re-creation of this astounding mammal that could fit on the end of a pencil and weighed less than a dollar bill.

Also included in the exhibit are taxidermy specimens – from the egg-laying platypus, to the recently extinct Tasmanian wolf – as well as fleshed-out models of spectacular extinct forms such as Ambulocetus, a "walking whale," and an entire skeleton of the giant hoofed plant-eater Uintatherium. Living and extinct Texas mammals that are part of the Story of Texas will be featured, and visitors can see climate change unfold as they explore the Ellesmere Island diorama, which shows the North Pole region about 50 million years ago when it was tropical.

Extreme Mammals at the Bullock Museum offers family fun, dynamic media displays, animated computer interactives, hands-on activities and touchable fossils. Children may 'try on' other mammals' teeth, including those of the capybara, hippo or the extinct Smilodon. They can crawl through a massive glyptodont shell, which makes a great family photo.

To enhance the visitor experience, the museum will be showing the acclaimed IMAX film, Titans of the Ice Age 3D, which transports you to the frozen landscapes of North America, Europe and Asia 10,000 years before modern civilization. This film is a portal to the Pleistocene ice age, bringing to life the era's unique prehistoric animals and underscoring many of the Extreme Mammals exhibit themes.

Extreme Mammals is organized by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; Cleveland Museum of Natural History; and the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada. The exhibit will be on display at the Bullock Museum through March 23, 2014. For information about this exhibit, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com/extrememammals, or call (512) 936-4649.

icon Extreme Mammals opens Nov 23 at the Bullock (217.56 kB)

Uncover your own fossil at the Bullock Museum

Uncover your own fossil at the Bullock Museum
November Free First Sunday celebrates archeology, American Indian tradition

OCTOBER 29, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - Beneath our feet lie clues about ancient civilizations, and the Bullock Texas State History Museum will celebrate archeology and American Indian traditions during the November Free First Sundays. On November 3, children can meet archeologists, assemble ancient potsherds and excavate their own fossil to take home.

The museum hosts Free First Sundays on the first Sunday of every month from noon to 6 p.m., allowing families to explore Texas history and participate in educational activities at no charge. Children's activities, held from noon to 3 p.m. also are free to the public.

On Sunday, special guests from the Gault School of Archaeological Research and the Paleontological Society of Austin will help children discover what history lies underneath Central Texas. From 1:30 to 3 p.m., enjoy dancing, drumming, flute music and storytelling by Great Promise for American Indians, whose members will showcase music and dance from tribes all over the country. A special story time hosted by Great Promise will be held at 2:30 p.m.

Free First Sundays are designed to allow Texans to discover the museum at no cost, or to visit every month to enjoy a new family activity. Through Free First Sundays, the museum hopes to increase the number of people who experience first-hand the rich heritage of Texas.

Since it opened in 2001, the Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin has been engaging audiences to interpret for themselves the continually unfolding Story of Texas. One of the most popular attractions in Central Texas, the museum has been visited by over 6 million people coming from every state in the United States and every continent on Earth.

During Free First Sundays, guests may also explore the Story of Texas through three floors of exhibits that showcase artifacts from around the state; or buy tickets to experience riveting documentaries in Austin's premier IMAX Theatre, which boasts the biggest screen in Texas. For more, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.

icon Amazing Archeology at the Bullock Sunday (84.86 kB)

Museum prepares for 'Extreme Mammals' invasion

Museum prepares for 'Extreme Mammals' invasion

OCTOBER 17, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) – The amazing 300-million-year history of fossil and living mammals will be unveiled at the Bullock Texas State History Museum this fall, and museum staff are busy preparing to install what will be the largest exhibition in its history.

Extreme Mammals: The Biggest, Smallest and Most Amazing Mammals of All Time opens in the Bullock Museum's Herzstein Hall beginning November 23, 2013, and staff members have been planning for months in order to accommodate the blockbuster traveling natural history show during its only stop in Texas.

Exhibit elements and artifacts in 11 trucks will begin arriving in Austin the week of Oct. 21. Two trucks a day will be unloaded at the Bullock Museum as staff begins the monumental task of installation. The unpacking and installation may be followed on social media – the museum's Facebook, YouTube and Twitter accounts – beginning in late October.

"The Bullock Museum is the only museum in Central Texas large enough to host an exhibit of this magnitude," Margaret Koch, director of exhibits, said. "Many of the specimens are related to Texas, and it's difficult to tell our incredible Texas history without paying attention to our natural environment. We're excited to be able to host this exhibition for our members, visitors and the community."

When the exhibition opens Nov. 23, visitors will experience the most astonishing mammals to roam the Earth. Some with tongues weighing four tons, and other mammals 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.

"We at the Bullock Museum are pleased to offer this rare look into the natural history of Texas that spans millions of years. This exceptional story of adaptation and change in the animal world provides a unique theme for the museum's first major exhibition in the realm of natural science," Director Joan Marshall said.

Extreme Mammals is organized by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco; Cleveland Museum of Natural History; and the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada.

For information about this upcoming exhibition, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com/extrememammals, or call (512) 936-4649.

icon Extreme Mammals to Invade Austin (65.48 kB)

Spooky, free fun at the Bullock Museum

Spooky, free fun at the Bullock Museum Oct. 25
Costume parade, performances and storytelling planned at Halloween event

OCTOBER 11, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) – When darkness falls at the Bullock Museum, history's spookiest stories are brought to light. Discover terror-ific tales of Texas through games, storytelling, costumes and more during Spooktacular on October 25, 2013 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Families will enjoy this free event that features kid-friendly, fun-filled Halloween activities for ages five and up, plus free admission to three floors of interactive exhibits.

At Spooktacular, children can discover what life is like for a bat and create their own pet bat to take home; have their faces painted like their favorite Halloween creature; answer spooky trivia; listen to scary stories; and watch terrifying science experiments, courtesy of Girlstart.

Those who wear a costume may join in a parade across the museum, and visitors of all ages will enjoy interactive and entertaining performances for the whole family. Plus, treats and prizes for all who attend.

Take an eerie walk through the Bullock Museum's exhibits and discover the haunting side of history. Travel back to a time when survival was tenuous on sea and shore and view the replica of a skeleton of one of the European sailors aboard the famed La Belle ship that wrecked in Matagorda Bay in the 1600s. Explore the Texas Revolution and find wreckage of the famed battle in a re-creation of the iconic Alamo building front. Search out scary reminders of our country's tortured past, such as a pistol found near the skeleton of a man believed to be a Civil War soldier.

Since 2001, The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin has been engaging audiences to interpret for themselves the continually unfolding "Story of Texas." One of the most popular attractions in Central Texas, the museum has been visited by over 6 million people coming from every state in the Union and every continent on Earth.

Events such as Spooktacular offer an opportunity for Texas residents and visitors to experience the museum at no charge. For more information about the museum or the 2013 Spooktacular event, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com or call (512) 936-4649.

icon Bullock Museum Spooktacular 2013 (83.82 kB)

 

James Dick launches new Texas Artists Series

James Dick launches new Texas Artists Series
Bullock Museum hosts world-renowned pianist for November 7, 2013 concert

OCTOBER 10, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - Connecting the story of Texas with the performing arts, music and theater, the Bullock Texas State History Museum is launching a new Texas Artists Series with a November 7, 2013 performance by world-renowned pianist James Dick, also founder of the Round Top Festival Institute.

The Bullock Museum is proud to host James Dick, whose work The New York Times has called, "modern piano playing at its best," for this premier performance. The museum’s grand lobby will be transformed for the evening into a concert hall for an intimate performance that will include selections from Schubert, Beethoven and Chopin. Audience members will enjoy the chance to be just feet away from a remarkable instrument played by a masterful artist.

James Dick has received numerous honors and commendations, including the Texas Medal of Arts, the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres from the French Ministry of Culture, and he is an Honorary Associate of London's Royal Academy of Music. Though not a Texan by birth, Dick has been drawn to the Lone Star state throughout his career – from his early studies, through his work as a performing artist and founding of the Institute.

The Round Top Festival Institute is dedicated to supporting new music and fostering young artists. It comprises a 210-acre European-styled campus where faculty teach nearly 100 young artists each year, and serves as a source of education and performance programs for the local, state and national music communities.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin tells the unfolding story of the history, culture and people of Texas. One of the most popular attractions in Central Texas, the museum has welcomed over 6 million visitors since it opened in 2001. The museum and IMAX theatre are located at 1800 N. Congress Avenue, between the State Capital complex and the University of Texas campus.

Ticket prices for the James Dick concert are $15 for the performance only, and $25 for the concert and an exclusive Artist's Reception following the concert. James Dick will make brief remarks about his musical journey and the special place that Texas has always held for him throughout his career.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com or call (512) 936-4649.

icon New Texas Artists Series to feature James Dick (1.11 MB)

First American Indian Heritage Day in Texas planned

First American Indian Heritage Day in Texas planned
Great Promise, Bullock Museum partner to host live drumming, dancing and ceremony

SEPTEMBER 24, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - The Bullock Texas History Museum and Great Promise for American Indians announce a celebration of the first annual Texas American Indian Heritage Day on Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013.

There will be public performances during the day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and an evening performance from 5:30 to 7 p.m. featuring native flute music and a live presentation of American Indian drumming and dancing by the Eagle Point Singers. All events will take place at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 North Congress Ave., in downtown Austin.

Members of the 2013 Texas State Legislature passed H.B. No. 174, creating this new day of celebration to honor the history and heritage of American Indians in Texas and to recognize their many contributions to Texas culture. The last Friday in September will be set aside as American Indian Heritage Day in Texas to recognize the historic, cultural and social contributions of American Indian communities to the state.

The Legislature encourages American Indian Heritage Day to be observed through ceremonies, activities, and programs in public schools and other places to honor Native Americans in Texas and to celebrate the rich traditional and contemporary American Indian culture.

The public is invited to enjoy live performances in the morning and afternoon and to attend a recognition ceremony in the museum rotunda in the evening.

The event is co-sponsored by the Native American and Indigenous Studies program at the University of Texas and the Native American Parent Committee.

For more information, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com; contact Great Promise for American Indians at (512) 371-0628; or call the Bullock Texas State History Museum at (512) 436-4649.

icon American Indian Heritage Day 2013 (91.93 kB)

Austin Museum Day means family fun at the Bullock

Austin Museum Day means family fun at the Bullock
Families, children can explore, play and learn during citywide celebration of culture

SEPTEMBER 11, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - Bring your family to the Bullock Texas State History Museum Sunday, Sept. 22 to mark Austin Museum Day, the citywide celebration of culture. Admission is free all day, from noon to 6 p.m., and activities for families and children are planned from noon to 3 p.m.

Kids can create a postcard, embark on a souvenir scavenger hunt or visit exploration tables during the event. In addition to free admission to three floors of interactive exhibits that tell the story of Texas, visitors will be able to see Texas Furniture from the Ima Hogg Winedale Collection at no charge. This one-of-kind exhibition showcases the most significant collection of 19th-century, handcrafted Texas furniture in existence. To accompany the special exhibition, Austin artisan and custom furniture builder Brian David Johnson will discuss the fine art of creating small production pieces, such as one-of-a-kind vases, from 1 to 3 p.m.

This is the 16th year the Austin Museum Partnership has sponsored the event that provides an opportunity for a free, community-wide rediscovery of the city's museums. On Sunday, September 22, families can choose from more than 40 participating institutions around the Austin area that provide free admission and hands-on activities.

The Bullock Museum is a member of the Austin Museum Partnership, a consortium of Austin-area museums organized in 1998 to promote collaboration for the mutual benefit of the public and museums. AMP's membership includes art, science and history museums; historic sites; nature preserves, natural habitats, and botanical gardens; book and art repositories; a children's museum; and the spectacular Texas State Capitol.

The 2013 Austin Museum Day event is sponsored by the Austin American-Statesmen, Whataburger, Immediatag, Austin Chronicle, H-E-B, and Cap-Metro.

Visitors to the Bullock Museum can explore the Story of Texas through engaging exhibits that showcase artifacts from around the state; watch films on history and culture in the Texas Spirit Theater; and experience riveting documentaries in Austin's premier IMAX Theatre, which boasts the biggest screen in Texas.

For more information and a mobile guide to Austin Museum Day, visit http://austinmuseumday.org. Details about the Bullock Museum's celebration of this special event may be found online at www.TheStoryofTexas.com or by calling (512) 936-8746.

icon Austin Museum Day at the Bullock (996.97 kB)

Separating fact from fiction in 'The Searchers'

Separating fact from fiction in 'The Searchers'
UT author to discuss new book that sheds light on the iconic American film

AUGUST 29, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) – Author and University of Texas Professor Glenn Frankel will be the featured speaker for the Bullock Texas State History Museum's September High Noon Talk, John Ford's Texas. On Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at noon, Frankel will discuss his new book, The Searchers: The Making of An American Legend, which attempts to separate fact from fiction in Hollywood’s telling of the story of Cynthia Ann Parker.

In 1836 in East Texas, nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker was kidnapped by Comanche Indians. She was raised by the tribe and eventually became the wife of a warrior. Twenty-four years after her capture, she was reclaimed by the U.S. cavalry and Texas Rangers and restored to her white family, to die in misery and obscurity.

Cynthia Ann's story has been told and re-told over generations and has become a foundational American tale. The myth gave rise to operas, one-act plays, and in the 1950s, to a novel by Alan LeMay, which would be adapted into one of Hollywood's most legendary films, The Searchers, directed by John Ford, starring John Wayne, and described as "The Biggest, Roughest, Toughest... and Most Beautiful Picture Ever Made!"

Beginning in Hollywood and then returning to the origins of the story, Frankel creates a rich and nuanced anatomy of a timeless film and a quintessentially American myth. The dominant story that has emerged departs dramatically from documented history.

What makes John Ford's film so powerful, and so important, Frankel argues, is that it both upholds that myth and undermines it, baring the ambiguities surrounding race, sexuality, and violence in the settling of the West and the making of America.

About Frankel's book, the Austin American-Statesman said, “In vivid prose, the director of the University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism explains why his favorite film is important and a masterpiece. And he does so in the clear, economical style of a writer who’s lived a life of deadlines in news capitals around the world…his passion is contagious.”

Glenn Frankel, the new director of the UT School of Journalism and G.B. Dealey Regents Professor in Journalism, came to Austin after spending 33 years in the news business, most of them as a reporter, editor and foreign correspondent for the Washington Post, and four years as a visiting professor at Stanford University. He is the author of two books and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting.

John Ford's Texas is part of the Bullock Museum's High Noon Talk lecture series held the first Wednesday of every month during the noon hour. High Noon Talks feature engaging conversations related to exhibits with special guests who reveal the interesting and often untold tales that shape the story of Texas. The lecture is free and open to the public. Books are available for purchase in the Museum Store. Please visit www.thestoryoftexas.com or call (512) 936-8746 for more information.

icon The Searchers Fact from Fiction (71.79 kB)

Bullock Museum Free on Sunday

Bullock Museum free on Sunday
Celebrate Labor Day weekend by exploring history through exhibits, family activities and craft demonstrations

AUGUST 27, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - Spend Labor Day Weekend at the Bullock Texas State History Museum exploring the Lone Star state's history through three floors of interactive exhibits, story times, family activities and craft demonstrations, all free of charge on Sunday, September 1, 2013.

The museum hosts free First Sundays on the first Sunday of every month from noon to 6 p.m. This allows families to explore Texas history and participate in educational activities at no charge. Young children will enjoy story time from 2 to 3 p.m. In September, the theme will be cowboys, and stories will be followed by a free craft activity.

Older children are sure to like the Remarkable Sharks program at 3:30 p.m. inspired by the Great White Shark 3D documentary currently showing at the Bullock Museum's IMAX Theatre. Sharks big and small have fascinated us for centuries. Through this program, families can discover what's so intriguing about these sea creatures and why they matter to Texas. Children will be able to make a shark tooth souvenir to take home. This free program is perfect for ages five and up, and will be held on the second floor.

Also on Sept. 1, two demonstrations from 1 to 3 p.m. will complement the museum's newest exhibition, Texas Furniture From the Ima Hogg Winedale Collection now featured in the Herzstein Hall. Artisan Nancy Lou Webster will demonstrate the art of "treening" – creating handmade wooden utensils for use in the home. Michael Strange of Masterpiece Woodcrafters will share his craft of adorning his furniture with punchwork – a painstaking technique based on 18th and 19th century quilting patterns.

First Sundays are designed to allow Texans to discover the museum at no cost, or to visit every month to enjoy a new family activity. Through First Sundays, the museum hopes to increase the number of people who experience first-hand the rich heritage of Texas. Since it opened in 2001, the Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin has been engaging audiences to interpret for themselves the continually unfolding Story of Texas. One of the most popular attractions in Central Texas, the Museum has been visited by over 5 million people coming from every state in the United States and every continent on Earth.

Guests can explore the Story of Texas through three floors of exhibits that showcase artifacts from around the state; watch films on history and culture in the Texas Spirit Theater; and experience riveting documentaries in Austin's premier IMAX Theatre, which boasts the biggest screen in Texas.

For more, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com or call (512)936-8746.

icon Press Release: September Free First Sunday at the Bullock (136.34 kB)

Greatest Ocean Predator Comes to the Biggest Screen in Texas

Greatest ocean predator comes to the biggest screen in Texas

JULY 29, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) – Only the biggest screen in Texas is suitable for a stunning new documentary about the most imperial and feared ocean predator – the great white shark. A brand new film released this year, Great White Shark 3D, will open Aug. 2 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum's IMAX Theatre, which houses the largest movie screen in the state. This is the only location in Austin to host the film to date.

Great White Shark 3D unravels the mystery of the creature we love to fear—the much maligned and misunderstood great white shark—and goes to the depths of the seas and human daring to tell the true story of its role at the top of the oceanic food chain.

Three years in the making, Great White Shark 3D takes viewers around the world to the animal's stomping grounds: Mexico’s legendary Guadalupe Island; newly discovered shark territory around Stewart Island off the tip of New Zealand; the bone-chilling waters of South Africa; and even to the California coast near heavily-populated Los Angeles.

The film examines what we know about these incredible animals through the eyes of several people whose lives and work have become inextricably linked to the great white. Using revolutionary high-speed, digital IMAX cameras in South Africa, filmmakers captured the great white breaching for the first time in 3D.

To gain worldwide awareness of the plight of all sharks, those involved in making Great White Shark 3D have teamed with notable international conservation organizations Oceana and WildAid to educate viewers about the fate of sharks at the hands of Earth’s greatest predator of all—humans.

Screenings of the documentary will be held every day at the Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave. in downtown Austin. Please visit www.TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-4749 for show times.

icon Press Release: Great White Shark 3D at the Bullock Museum (4.93 MB)

Exhibit on State Capitol Construction and Renovation

Exhibit on State Capitol Construction and Renovation Will Showcase Rare Architectural Scenes of the 125-Year-Old Landmark

JULY 24, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) – Scenes of 19th century construction and 20th century renovation, of the famous Sunset Red granite giving rise to the seat and symbol of Texas government are the focus of Views of the Capitol: 125 Years in the Making, a new photographic exhibit organized jointly by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) and the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Opening August 1 at the Bullock Museum, the exhibit will display architectural drawings and photos of the Capitol on loan from TSLAC in the museum’s third floor rotunda gallery.

“The Bullock Museum is our partner in documenting Texas history, so we’re thrilled to be collaborating with them to showcase this prized collection of visual material on the 125th anniversary of the Capitol’s opening,” said Edward Seidenberg, TSLAC’s Interim Director and Librarian.

Views of the Capitol commemorates the 1888 dedication of the Texas State Capitol. It features scenes of the Capitol construction site and examples of the original architectural drawings by Elijah E. Myers, a Detroit architect who also designed the Michigan and Colorado capitols. The state selected Myers’ drawings in May 1881 through a nationwide design competition for Texas’ new statehouse, and construction followed from 1882 to 1888.

“Introducing museum visitors to rarely seen images of the Capitol’s past – including the exquisitely rendered line drawing by the architect Elijah E. Myers – this is a story of Texas that we're proud to bring to the Bullock,” said Joan Marshall, Bullock Museum Director.

The exhibit also features a selection of stunning large-format photographs by Bill Kennedy of the Capitol’s renovation and expansion in the early 1990s. TSLAC commissioned Kennedy, an Austin-based photographer, to document the Capitol’s historic transformation, and he captured hundreds of images documenting pre-renovation spaces in the statehouse; the demolition, renovation, and restoration; and the creation of the underground extension, which added approximately 667,000 square feet to the existing 337,000 square feet of the building’s original footprint.

“I very much enjoyed photographing the spaces that most people never see or get to experience,” said Kennedy, now an associate professor of photocommunications at St. Edward’s University in Austin. “I also recall how very impressed I was, continually, with the building itself. It was built by true craftsmen, and I felt the photography needed to confirm and celebrate their effort.”

Views of the Capitol will remain on exhibit until December 31, 2013, in the third floor rotunda gallery of the Bullock Texas State History Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave., Austin. There is no admission to the third floor rotunda, but the museum’s other exhibit galleries are subject to a charge.

On Wednesday, August 7, at 12:00 p.m., Kennedy will deliver a High Noon Talk at the Bullock Museum to share his memories of capturing the Capitol building renovation on film. This talk is also free and open to the public.

Starting in August, TSLAC will be showcasing images from Views of the Capitol on its Facebook (www.facebook.com/tslac) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/tslac) pages, as well as an additional selection of Kennedy’s photos that do not appear in the exhibit but are equally evocative of the Capitol renovation project.

icon Download the press release for Exhibit on State Capitol Construction and Renovation (1.88 MB)

 

New book gives a front-row seat to George W. Bush presidency

New book gives a front-row seat to George W. Bush presidency
White House photographer Eric Draper to appear at Bullock Museum July 28

JULY 13, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) – Former Chief White House Photographer Eric Draper will discuss his new book, "Front Row Seat: A Photographic Portrait of the Presidency of George W. Bush," at the Bullock Texas State History Museum on Sunday, July 28, 2013 at 2 p.m.

Full of extraordinary images, many never before published, Draper's book gives a compelling, behind-the-scenes view of the entire presidency of George W. Bush, from dramatic events such as 9/11 to relaxed, intimate moments with the Bush family.

Draper is the longest-serving chief White House photographer and also was named special assistant to the president. He was the first to document two full presidential terms, covering George W. Bush for the whole eight years of his presidency. Prior to serving in the White House, Draper worked as West Regional Enterprise Photographer for the Associated Press and as a staff photographer for the Seattle Times, Pasadena Star-News, and Albuquerque Tribune.

Draper's lens followed Bush during moments of crisis, such as 9/11; through emotional meetings with troops in war zones, wounded soldiers at home, and Katrina survivors; and amid joyful, relaxed times with his wife Laura, daughters Barbara and Jenna, and parents President George H. W. and Barbara Bush. The newly published book features a foreword written by President George W. Bush and is edited by Dr. Don E. Carleton, executive director of the The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

From a collection of nearly one million photographs, Draper selected just over 100 images of President Bush that portray both the public figure and the private man. Some document Bush at work while in office within his inner circle of trusted advisors – Vice President Richard Cheney, National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

After the program, Draper will sign copies of his book, which is for sale at the Bullock Museum. This program is free and open to the public and will be held in the Texas Spirit Theater on the second floor of the museum located at 1800 N. Congress Avenue in downtown Austin. For details, visit www.TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.

icon Press Release: George W, Bush behind the scenes (3.05 MB)

Texas Furniture

Bullock, Briscoe partner to showcase unique 'Texas Furniture'
Most significant collection of 19th-century Texas furniture on display July 13 to Oct. 6

MAY 23, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - The Bullock Museum and the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History will present a special exhibition, Texas Furniture From The Ima Hogg Winedale Collection, beginning July 13, 2013, in the Bullock Museum’s Albert and Ethel Herzstein Hall. It will offer a rare opportunity for visitors to see pieces from the most significant collection of 19th-century Texas furniture in existence.

Approximately 40 pieces of furniture, as well as other highlights from the Winedale collection, will be on display. Winedale is a historic farmstead near Round Top, Texas that was purchased in the 1960s by Houston philanthropist Miss Ima Hogg. Hogg was a collector of American furniture and a long-time supporter of historic preservation. The exhibition will be the first time the furniture has traveled from Winedale, now a division of the Briscoe Center, since Hogg placed it there.

Before the rise of imported factory-made furniture in the 1880s, most Texans bought home furnishings from their local cabinetmaker. The artifacts on display speak to the craftsmanship of Texas' immigrant European and native-born cabinetmakers, but they also reflect competing ideas about style, comfort and gentility and about what it meant to be a Texan during the 19th century.

The exhibit is guest-curated by Lonn Taylor, an authority on the architecture, furniture and decorative arts of Texas and the American Southwest. Taylor has served as historian for the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History and is the former director of Winedale, from which most of the furniture in this exhibition originates.

In choosing pieces for Texas Furniture, Taylor said he looked not only for those objects with aesthetically outstanding features, but furniture with certain characteristics, such as those that are painted or that contain certain forms.

"We looked at furniture not only as an aesthetic object, but as an artifact that would tell you something about the lives and values of the people who made them," Taylor said. "We also wanted pieces that would challenge people's assumptions about Texas furniture."

The exhibition will demonstrate representative cabinetmaking on the Texas frontier and will provide a glimpse of what it meant to be a 19th-century Texan.

Characteristic pieces crafted by Southern-Anglo and African-American cabinetmakers will be displayed along with those made by German immigrant furniture makers.

"It's another gateway to Texas' past," Taylor said.

Videos of modern cabinetmakers using traditional tools will help tell the story of furniture making in Texas. Children especially will enjoy the chance to craft their own clothes wardrobe or solve puzzles based on the different types of joints used in woodworking.

Texas Furniture From The Ima Hogg Winedale Collection is an exhibit not to be missed, especially by those with an interest in Texas pioneer history and appreciation for skilled craftsmanship in the Lone Star state.

For more information, visit www.TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.

icon Download the Texas Furniture press release (106.51 kB)

First Sundays

First Sundays start July 7
Hours expanded for free exhibits and kids' activities

JUNE 23, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - The Bullock Texas State History Museum is opening its exhibits free of charge on the first Sunday of every month, expanding the time during which families can explore Texas history and participate in educational activities.

The museum formerly marked the first Saturday of each month with free admission for four hours in the afternoon. Moving to "Free First Sunday" of each month provides family activities on a day in Austin that typically has fewer choices of things to do. The revamped First Sundays program also allows visitors to spend an extra two hours in the exhibits, free of charge, noon to 6pm.

Sunday, July 7, 2013 will kick off the First Sundays program, with children's activities, including story time and crafts projects, taking place from 2 to 3pm. The program is designed to allow Texans to experience the museum at no cost , or to visit every month to enjoy a new family activity.

Since it opened in 2001, the Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin has been engaging audiences to interpret for themselves the continually unfolding Story of Texas. One of the most popular attractions in Central Texas, the Museum has been visited by over 5 million people coming from every state in the United States and every continent on Earth.

Guests can explore the Story of Texas through three floors of exhibits that showcase artifacts from around the state; watch films on history and culture in the Texas Spirit Theater; and experience riveting documentaries in Austin's premier IMAX Theatre, which boasts the biggest screen in Texas.

From the 35-foot-tall bronze star sculpture that greets visitors as they arrive, to the terrazzo floor in the entryway that features a campfire scene with enduring themes from Texas's past, every corner of the Bullock Museum proclaims the Story of Texas.

Through the First Sundays program, the museum hopes to increase the number of people who experience firsthand the rich heritage of Texas.

For more, visit www.TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512)936-8746.

icon Press Release: First Sundays Start July 7 (1.24 MB)

World Refugee Day

Austin cultural celebration highlights refugees' journeys
Free food, music, family fun surround naturalization ceremony at Bullock Museum

JUNE 3, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) -- Whether their journey is 100 miles or 1,000, refugees all have a unique and individual story to tell. Saturday, June 22, 2013 marks the annual World Refugee Day festival in Austin as refugees who are becoming the nation's newest citizens gather with their families at the Bullock Texas State History Museum for a celebration of culture that is free and open to the public.

The United Nations established World Refugee Day to recognize the courage, resilience, and strength of refugee families and individuals who have fled their home countries because of conflict and persecution. The Austin celebration will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bullock Museum, 1800 N. Congress Ave., and is sponsored by the Austin Refugee Roundtable which is comprised of a number of local agencies that work with refugees including: Caritas of Austin, Interfaith Action of Central Texas, Refugee Services of Texas, Multicultural Refugee Coalition, Amala Foundation, Center for Survivors of Torture and others.

The purpose of Austin's World Refugee Day is to celebrate refugees living in Central Texas and the surrounding areas. Austin families can revel in the region's dynamic cultural mix through an assortment of fun and free activities. An educational component will show the refugee's journey until they began life in America. Children can listen to stories from Africa told by a professional storyteller and make a mask or card to take home. Face painting, bead stringing and language games are all planned as part of the festival. Refugees are also given the opportunity to have family portraits made by photographer Seve Garza free of charge.

Live music will fill the museum as refugees from Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Myanmar share their talents, along with performances by X8 Interactive Drumming, the Global Youth Voices and Kupira Marimba.

The spotlight will shine on refugees as about 20 people become U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony in the Bullock Museum's Texas Spirit Theater at noon.

The Austin World Refugee Day celebration is free and open to the public.

icon Download the World Refugee Day press release (245.64 kB)

Music Under the Star

Music Under the Star free concert series set for July
Bullock Museum celebrates tenth season of outstanding Texas music

JUNE 18, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - The Bullock Texas State History Museum is proud to celebrate its tenth season of outstanding Texas music with the annual free summer concert series, Music Under the Star, taking place throughout the month of July.

Every Friday in July, bring your camp chairs and blankets (but no coolers, please) and dance the evening away to the hottest sounds in Austin. This free concert series features a legendary line-up of Texas musicians who will play from 6 to 9 p.m. on the Bullock Museum's Lone Star Plaza.

The roster for the 2013 concert series includes performances by Butch Hancock, Elana James, Grupo Fantasma and Guy Forsyth.

Kicking off the series July 5 is Butch Hancock, founding member of the renowned country/rock group, The Flatlanders, along with Joe Ely and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. An accomplished singer and songwriter, Hancock has been called, "one of the finest songwriters of our time." Originally from Lubbock, he writes and performs country/folk songs deeply embedded with meaning and memory. Heather Bishop will open for Butch Hancock.

On July 12, the spotlight will be on Elana James, who found her calling in American roots music in her mid-twenties. An influential artist, she became the first female instrumentalist in Bob Dylan’s touring band and she has recorded with leading artists such as Willie Nelson, Ray Price and Merle Haggard. James performs both under her own name and with her band, Hot Club of Cowtown, which was inducted into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame in 2004. Katie Holmes Project will open the July 12 concert.

Grammy Award-winning ensemble Grupo Fantasma will perform at the Bullock Museum July 19. Known for fusing traditional and new Latin-inspired music, the group's universal appeal reaches far beyond just Latin or world music fans. Grupo Fantasma was formed in 2000 in Austin and comprises Jose Galeano, Kino Esparza, Beto Martinez, Greg Gonzalez, John Speice, Matthew “Sweet Lou” Holmes, Gilbert Elorreaga, Josh Levy and Mark “Speedy” Gonzales. The band is best known for lively shows and for backing Prince on numerous occasions.

Austin favorite Guy Forsyth will light up the Lone Star Plaza July 26. A talented guitarist, singer and songwriter, he started his music career in the streets of Austin with a guitar in his hand and a harmonica in his pocket. His many appearances on Austin stages have made him a local favorite. His music carries the influences of blues, blues/rock and  folk music styles. He was a founding member of the Asylum Street Spankers and now leads the Guy Forsyth Band. Jean Synodinos will open for Guy Forsyth on July 26.

During the outdoor concerts, visitors can cool off with a trip through the exhibits, which will be free and open to the public. Three floors of interactive exhibits at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin tell the unfolding story of the history, culture and people of Texas. One of the most popular attractions in Central Texas, the museum has welcomed more than 5 million visitors since it opened in 2001. The museum and IMAX Theatre are located at 1800 N. Congress Avenue, between the State Capital complex and the University of Texas campus. For more, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.

Buffalo Altar

'Buffalo Symphony' a unique Texas experience
Texas actor Barry Corbin to narrate Lone Star story during symphonic journey

APRIL 26, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - What do an ancient archeological site, a Lone Star symphony and Texas actor Barry Corbin have in common? They are the elements of a one-of-a-kind Texas experience in music and words that comes to the Bullock Texas State History Museum June 2.

Buffalo Altar; A Texas Symphony is a collaboration between composer J. Todd Frazier and writer Stephen Harrigan and was commissioned by The Institute of American Music of The Eastman School of Music and The University of Texas at Austin as a unique musical piece dedicated to the Lone Star state.

Avoiding the pitfalls of producing a stodgy musical documentary, Frazier and Harrigan opted for a symphony that was alive, contemporary and inextricably tied to Texas' rich and complex history. The short story, Buffalo Altar, written by Harrigan, is based on an archaeological discovery of bison bones from a hunt at Caprock Canyons State Park, near Canyon, Texas, which revealed evidence of the Folsom culture, dating signs of civilized life in Texas to over 10,000 years ago.

The storyis told through the voice of a representative Texan, an 81-year old oilman portrayed in narration by actor and Texas native Barry Cobin. Known for his roles in Urban Cowboy and Northern Exposure, Corbin brings to life the oil man's reminiscences of a long-ago morning in a West Texas canyon that changed his life and archeological history.

The June 2 performance of Buffalo Altar; A Texas Symphony at the Bullock Museum will feature Corbin as narrator, Marc Sanders on piano, and Charles Robitaille playing percussion. The performance will be followed by a conversation moderated by Don Carlton, director of the Briscoe Center for American History, and Corbin, Harrigan and Frazier on the creation and future of the piece.

Tickets for the symphonic performance are $45 for Bullock Museum members and $50 for non-members. For more information or to reserve a seat, call (512) 936-4649.

icon Download the press release for Buffalo Altar (34.6 kB)

Kay Bailey Hutchison Lecture and Book Signing

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison to speak about new book at Bullock Museum
Public invited to free lecture and book signing with former U.S. senator from Texas

MAY 8, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - A pioneer in Texas and national politics, former U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison will talk about her latest book, Unflinching Courage: Pioneering Women Who Shaped Texas, at the Bullock Texas State History Museum May 23 at 5:30 p.m. in the Spirit of Texas Theater.

Sen. Hutchison will introduce the stories of brave and resourceful women who have influenced Texas history — from mothers and daughters who claimed a stake in the land, to the wives and sisters who contributed to the Texas Revolution and statehood, to ranchers and entrepreneurs who have helped Texas thrive. 

The public is invited to meet Sen. Hutchison, a contemporary figure who has made her own mark on the history of Texas and the nation. She will sign copies of her book at the Bullock Museum, located at 1800 N. Congress Ave. in downtown Austin.

This program is free and open to the public, but reservations are required by calling (512) 936-4649.

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Capitol Celebrates 125 Years

Capitol to mark 125 years as testament to the Lone Star spirit
Ice cream social planned May 18 to celebrate building's Quasquicentennial

MAY 10, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - The Texas Capitol was formally dedicated on May 16, 1888, and 125 years later, it still stands as a testament to the hard work and dedication of the people of Texas. This year marks the building's Quasquicentennial, and the State Preservation Board invites the public to help celebrate the Lone Star spirit during a free ice cream social on the south Capitol grounds Saturday, May 18 from 1 to 3 p.m.  

"I hope that visitors to the Capitol will help us celebrate the historic significance of this majestic building and enjoy some ice cream just as they did 125 years ago when the Capitol was dedicated," stated John Sneed, Executive Director of the State Preservation Board.

On Saturday, May 18, visitors will enjoy music at the Capitol's south steps provided by the Lost and Nameless Orchestra and four flavors of ice cream generously provided by Blue Bell Creameries.

The Texas Capitol is an extraordinary example of late 19th-century public architecture and is widely recognized as one of the nation's most distinguished state capitols. The 1888 Texas Capitol is one of the largest in gross square footage of all state capitols. Like several other state capitols, the 1888 Texas Capitol surpasses the National Capitol in height, rising almost 15 feet above its Washington, D.C. counterpart.

The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1986 for its "significant contribution to American history." Throughout the rapid growth of the population of Texas, many changes to the structure, a fire and a restoration and expansion project, the Capitol continues to evolve and serve the needs of Texans while preserving its historic significance.

Initially, the building was meant to house about 350 workers. Within a century, more than 1,300 people worked in the Capitol. Major aesthetic and structural changes were necessary to accommodate central air, electrical, plumbing and public safety. Throughout the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, spaces were converted to offices to meet the needs of the building’s occupants. While these changes were necessary, they were also damaging to the original structure and architectural appearance. Much of the grandeur of the 1888 Capitol was lost and it would be 40 more years before the building was restored.

In 1983, a television sparked a fatal fire in the lieutenant governor's apartment, causing one death and substantial damage to the Capitol’s East Wing. Immediate repairs were needed, and a push for preserving the building as an historic landmark began. Later that year, the State Preservation Board was established to preserve, maintain and restore the Texas Capitol. The building now had a steward and a master plan for restoration. A 665,000 square-foot Capitol Extension was built to solve the over-crowding problem and to accommodate growing needs.

The restoration of the building began in 1991 and by 1993 the underground Capitol Extension was completed to the north, more than doubling the available square footage and providing improved functionality. The comprehensive interior and exterior historic Capitol restoration was completed in 1995. Finally, in 1997, the park-like grounds surrounding the building were given a major restoration. Today the Texas Capitol welcomes over one million visitors a year. For more information, please visit www.tspb.state.tx.us.      

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Bullock a Blue Star Museum

Bullock becoming a Blue Star Museum this summer
Program invites active-duty military and their families to delve into Texas history

MAY 7, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - The Bullock Texas State History Museum's iconic bronze star is metaphorically turning blue this summer as it becomes a Blue Star Museum, participating in a program that allows military families to visit for free from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

The Bullock Museum is one of more than 1,800 museums across America offering free admission to active military personnel and their families this summer in collaboration with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families and the Department of Defense.

The Bullock Museum will kick off the program Saturday, May 25 with the Fallen Soldiers honoring Gold Star families, those families that have lost a solider within the last two years.

These families and the public are invited to visit the Bullock Museum to view a traveling exhibit, Remember Our Fallen, organized by Patriotic Productions. The exhibit pays tribute to all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars while in uniform since Sept. 11, 2001. The exhibit will be on view from 2:30 to 4 p.m. in the Austin Room on the third floor of the museum.

Military families throughout the state are invited to take advantage of the Blue Star Museum program and delve into history at the Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the Museum is proud to offer free exhibit admission to active military personnel and their families. Films are not included in this free admission program, but the Museum does provide discounts for active and inactive military,  veterans, and military dependents. As part of the Blue Star Museum program, up to five family members of active military personnel can enjoy the Museum all summer, free of charge.

Three floors of exhibits at the Bullock Museum tell the unfolding story of the history, culture and people of Texas. One of the most popular attractions in Central Texas, the Museum has welcomed more than 5 million visitors from all around the world since it opened in 2001. The Museum and IMAX Theatre are located in downtown Austin at 1800 N. Congress Ave. at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. between the State Capital complex and the University of Texas campus.

To learn more about Blue Star Families, please visit BlueStarFam.org. For more information about the Museum or this special program, please call (512) 936-8746.

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An Evening of Poetry

What does the future hold for poetry in Texas?
Five female Texas poets to read their works and discuss the future of the arts in Texas

APRIL 11, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - The Bullock Texas State History Museum welcomes some of the state's leading poets for An Evening of Poetry April 25 at 7 p.m. in the Texas Spirit Theater.

Enjoy a special evening of poetry readings and discussion about the arts in Texas. Distinctive guest poets will present their own poetry works, discuss the influence of Texas on their art, and converse about what the future holds for poetry and other art forms in Texas.

Featured poets include Jan Epton Seale, who was appointed by the Texas Legislature as the 2012 Texas Poet Laureate. Her work is published nationally in such venues as The Yale Review, Texas Monthly, and Newsday. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Writing, and her publications include Homeland: Essays Beside and Beyond the Rio Grande (1995); Airlift: Short Stories (1992); The Nuts & Bolts Guide to Writing Your Life Story (1998); and six books of poetry.

Other leading poets who will recite works and engage in discussions are Celeste Guzman Mendoza, co-founder of CantoMundo, a master writer's workshop for Latina/o poets; Ebony Stewart, a spoken word artist who creates visual and performance pieces with words; Sarah Cortez, a member of the Texas Institute of Letters, the author of an acclaimed poetry collection, How to Undress a Cop, and winner of the PEN Texas literary award in poetry; and Carrie Fountain, a fellow at the University of Texas’ Michener Center for Writers whose poems have appeared in Crazyhorse, AGNI, and Southwestern American Literature, among others.

An Evening of Poetry is part of the Bullock Museum's "In Their Own Words" lecture series, featuring Texas women describing their impact on the state in their own words. The series will cover the fields of education, preservation, business, and the arts. Each program will feature strong Texas women who have shaped and continue to shape the state of Texas.

The series is presented in conjunction with the special exhibition, Women Shaping Texas in the 20th Century, on display through May 19 in the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Hall of Special Exhibitions at the Museum. It is the first major exhibition in 30 years to tell the story of the critical role of Texas women in forging our state's development. An Evening of Poetry is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are appreciated by calling (512) 936-4649.

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AFM Concert Series

Texas musicians to take center stage at AFM Concert Series
Free concerts every Sunday in May planned on the Bullock Museum's Lone Star Plaza

APRIL 17, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - The Bullock Texas State History Museum will once again partner with the Austin Federation of Musicians (AFM) to put on a free concert series kicking off May 5. Every Sunday in May, the Museum will host special AFM performances from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on its Lone Star Plaza featuring a variety of Texas musicians.

In collaboration with the Austin Federation of Musicians, this concert series will feature some of Austin’s finest musical acts, including John Arthur Martinez, Christine Albert and Mady Kaye Quintet Featuring Mitch Watkins; Bob Meyer's Concept Quartet; Rick McRae Quintet and Denny Freeman Trio

Nominated for three Texas Music Awards this year, John Arthur Martinez brings his country stylings to the inaugural AFM concert Sunday, May 5, Cinco de Mayo. Originally from Marble Falls, Martinez's song, "Tennessee Left Texas" (written by Martinez and Rick Bussey), was nominated for song of the year. He also is known for his bilingual cover of Merle Haggard's "Play Me Back Home."
Originally from upstate New York and later Santa Fe, New Mexico, Christine Albert moved to

Austin in 1982. Since that time she has evolved into the consummate “Texas Chanteuse,” combining her musical influences from Texas to Paris, with her musical influences ranging from Merle Haggard to Edith Piaf. Albert will team up with the Mady Kaye Quintet and Mitch Watkins for the May 12 concert. Mady Kaye has been delighting Texas audiences for the last30 years and is recognized for her jazz styling, impeccable phrasing and improvised lyrics.  Hailing from McAllen, just 10 miles from the border at Reynosa, Mexico, Watkins has released five CDs and collaborated on others.  Inspired by Jazz, classical and Rock and Roll musicians, Watkins has played with

Texas favorites such as Lyle Lovett and Joe Ely.
On May 19, the Bob Meyer's Concept Quartet will play the Lone Star plaza, bringing it to life with a Jazz performance. Meyer began his study of music at the age of five and is heavily influenced by classical music, especially chamber music and quartets, from Mozart to Bartok. He first heard Jazz in 1950, especially admiring artists such as Kenny Clarke, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonious Monk. He is featured on Joe Lovano’s release, "Viva Caruso."

During the May 26 concert, the Rick McRae Quintet and Denny Freeman Trio will join forces to entertain audiences on the plaza. Born in San Antonio, McRae decided early on to become a guitarist. Inspired by such country greats as Bob Wills, Buck Owens and Merle Haggard, he discovered jazz guitar in 1968 after hearing, "Color him Funky," by Howard Roberts. Other Jazz guitar heroes include Barney Kessel, Herb Ellis, Wes Montgomery, Les Paul and others. As a young teen in Dallas in the late1950s, Denny Freeman heard on the radio the radical new sounds of people like Little Richard, Fats Domino,

Ray Charles, and Chicago and Louisiana blues artists like Muddy Waters and Slim Harpo. A guitar and piano player, Freeman played in the Bob Dylan Band from 2005 to 2009, and plays on the Bob Dylan album, "Modern Times." He released "Diggin' on Dylan" last October.This free concert series is organized by the Austin Federation of Musicians, which is the local chapter of the American Federation of Musicians. It  has assisted local musicians in resolving issues related to wages, working conditions and other  employment concerns. AFM represents more than 500 local musicians and provides benefit programs, such as equipment insurance, geared toward the needs of musicians. More information may be found online at AustinMusician.org.

The Bullock Museum is located at the corner of MLK Jr. Boulevard and Congress Avenue — right across the street from the University of Texas and just north of the Texas Capitol Building. With its IMAX Theatre and award-winning exhibits, the museum attracts 500,000 people annually.

All shows that are part of the AFM Concert Series are free and open to the public. For more information, call (512) 936-4607.

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Conversations with Lady Bird Johnson

Conversations with Lady Bird johnson

MARCH 26, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - Explore the warmth, independence, and wit of one of Texas's finest daughters. Michael Gillette, former director of the LBJ Library's Oral History program will present insights into the life of the former First Lady and her lasting legacy on the state of Texas, on April 9, 2013 at 6pm at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

Over a span of eighteen years, Lady Bird Johnson recorded forty-seven oral history interviews with Michael Gillette and his colleagues. These conversations, just released in 2011, form the heart of Lady Bird Johnson's intimate story of a shy young country girls transformation into one of America's most effective and admired First Ladies.

Lady Bird Johnson's odyssey is one of personal and intellectual growth, political and financial ambition, and a shared life with Lyndon Baines Johnson, one of the most complicated, volatile, and powerful presidents of the 20th century. The former First Lady recounts how a cautious, conservative young woman succumbed to an ultimatum to marry a man she had known for less than three months, how she ran his congressional office during World War II, and how she transformed a struggling Austin radio station into the foundation of a communications empire. Lady Bird Johnson shares dramatic accounts of pivotal moments in American history and paints rich verbal portraits of scores of personalities including former First Ladies Eleanor Roosevelt, Bess Truman, Mamie Eisenhower, Jacqueline Kennedy and Pat Nixon.

Michael Gillette has been Humanities Texas's executive director since 2003. His former positions include directing the LBJ Library's Oral History Program, director of the Center for Legislative Archives and serves on numerous advisory boards.

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Train Day

MODEL TRAINS ROLLING INTO BULLOCK MUSEUM
Train Day to offer family fun and special screenings of 'Rocky Mountain Express'

MARCH 4, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) — Hear train whistles blow and axles grind as miniature locomo- tives chug along tiny rails set in intricate scenes during Train Day at the Bullock Texas History Museum on March 16 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fun, educational activities include free model train demonstrations produced in conjunction with Tinplate Trackers of Austin, crafts for kids, and special screenings of "Rocky Mountain Express" in the Bullock's IMAX Theatre.

Children will be mesmerized by miniature-sized model train engines whirling around tracks laid out in the museum's lobby. Adults may channel their inner engineers as they talk with model train enthusiasts and view elaborate model railroad scenes, including detailed cities and towns, rural landscapes and a mini carnival complete with a live-action carousel.

Train Day model layouts will include demonstrations that Tinplate Trackers of Austin has designed and members will discuss the origin of their designs.

In the IMAX Theatre, the museum will feature special presentations of "Rocky Mountain Express," throughout the day. The film breathes new life into a remarkable North American railway legend, the Canadian Pacific Railway. Completed in 1885, construction of the railway ranks among the greatest engineering feats of all time. Viewers will discover some of the most beautiful and rugged landscapes on earth and the human drama and epic engineering that shaped a continent. Movie tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $6 for children under 18.

The Museum and IMAX Theatre are located in downtown Austin at 1800 N. Congress Ave. at the intersection of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. between the State Capital complex and the University of Texas campus.

Admission to the model train demonstration is free. Admission fees for entrance to museum exhibitions are: $9 for adults; $8 for college students (with valid ID); $7 for seniors/military (with valid ID); $6 for youth ages 4-17, free for ages 3 and under. Museum members may visit for free. For more information, visit www.thestoryoftexas.com or call (512)936-8746.

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WeatherFest

Wild Weather storms the Bullock Museum on February 23, 2013

FEBRUARY 6, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - Flash floods, tornadoes, hail, and atmospheric mayhem will converge at the Bullock Museum on February 23rd from 10am - 3pm at the second annual WeatherFest event.  Hopefully these phenomena will stay in simulated forms rather than literal but they will indeed be present.

Besides the weather simulations, activities range from demonstrating sophisticated technological advances in weather science and forecasting, educator training, latest storm-chasing vehicles and equipment, to creative activities for kids including art and science projects.

The breakdown of the day is as follows:

10:00am - 3pm (Grand Lobby, 2nd Floor Lobby, Classrooms)
Meet the weather community partner agencies who keep the public safe during storms:

  • Austin Fire Department’s Swift Water Rescue team (demonstrating a rescue boat)
  • US Geological Survey (stream flow and flood monitoring)
  • City of Austin's Watershed Protection department (with new flash flood simulator)
  • Lower Colorado River Authority (monitoring the Colorado watershed & Highland Lakes)
  • CoCoRaHS (Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow network)
  • Texas Floodplain Management Association with TADDpole (flash flood safety)
  • Spotternetwork.org (storm reports & advanced tools for chasing tornadoes)
  • CAMM (Connect a Million Minds) program from  Time Warner Cable
  • team of meteorologists from YNN Austin’s Weather on the 8s

On the front plaza of the Bullock you'll see the University of Oklahoma's Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) radar truck, deployed out front to offer a hands-on tour.  You'll also find today's best storm chasers showing off their high tech chase vehicles in the adjacent parking lot.

10:00am - 11:30am (Austin Room)
Session I - Skywarn Training
Paul Yura from the Austin-San Antonio National Weather Service Forecast Office presents Basic Skywarn stormspotter training.  Skywarn is a national volunteer program.   This workshop is for the general public – anyone who wants to learn about how storms form and move in Central Texas.  Attend this session if you want to learn how to safely identify and accurately report severe weather threats so that watches and warnings can be issued ahead of the threat. 

11:00am – 11:50am
Educator Weather Presentation “Central Texas Weather” (Texas Spirit Theater)
From ice in winter to tornadoes in spring to 100 degree days in summer, Central Texans face a wide range of weather elements throughout the year and many arrive without much notice.   This workshop takes us through a pictorial view of local weather extremes and offers safety tips geared for all ages.  Learn how flash flooding, one of the easiest severe threats to avoid, actually claims more lives than any other storm phenomenon in the Lone Star State.  We’ll also discuss how Austin sees one tornado every year on average.  This session qualifies as one hour of continuing education for educators.

12:30pm
Free Screening of Wild Texas Weather (Texas Spirit Theater)

12:00pm- 1:00pm 
Session II – Storm Chase Videos and Q & A with Storm Chasers (Austin Room)
Storm chasers show off recent chase videos and discuss tactics, equipment, and techniques they employ to get stunning images of some of nature’s most violent moments.  Videos will be limited to five minutes each.  During this session, meteorologists and storm chasers will field questions from the audience.

1:30pm – 2:30pm
Spotter Training Safety Session (Austin Room)
This course offers a “method” to individual safety while storm spotting for both Skywarn and the Spotter Network. The course is designed for both new and experienced spotters. New spotters will learn the hazards they may face and methods for dealing with these hazards. Experienced spotters will find this a great review of how to stay safe in the field.

2:30pm
Free Screening of Wild Texas Weather (Texas Spirit Theater)

Kids' Activities throughout the Day
Creative play stations will be set up for all ages of children for learning about  atmospheric conditions that lead to rain, snow, hail, and thunderstorms. 

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Three New Directors at the Bullock Museum

FEBRUARY 4, 2013 (AUSTIN, TX) - The Bullock Texas State History Museum has expanded its upper management team under the supervision of Museum Director Joan Marshall. Three new directors have been selected to serve in leadership capacities including the Director of Education, Director of Exhibits, and Director of Marketing. Each will report to Ms. Marshall.

"I am pleased that these exceptionally capable individuals are on board to help guide the museum through its next phase of significant growth in educational impact, exhibition development, and audience outreach," stated Ms. Marshall. "Each one brings a new level of creativity and proficiency that will help the Bullock evolve as the leading authority on Texas history."

DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

Victoria Ramirez Ed.D. will serve as the museum's director of education. Her responsibilities include overseeing the expansion of educational programs for adults, families, and K-12 students. Her responsibilities include creating stronger partnerships for K-12 education statewide including teacher training, curriculum development and distance learning initiatives. Dr. Ramirez will also oversee the integration of technology throughout the museum, and will be the Museum's primary manager of community outreach initiatives, and adult and family ongoing educational programs.

Austin is the beneficiary of Dr. Ramirez's move from Houston where she worked for the Museum of Fine Arts beginning in 1999. For the past 5 years she served as the museum's education director and managed a budget of $2.5 million and a staff of 20 while securing major funding for the department's activities. She directed all aspects of school partnerships, professional development for educators, and designed curriculum resources. During her tenure with the museum, Dr. Ramirez earned her Ed.D. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston.

Prior to joining Houston's Museum of Fine Arts, Dr. Ramirez served as curator of education with the Georgia Museum of Art at the University of Georgia where she developed and administered all educational programming including scholarly lectures and symposia, weekly workshop for children and families, educator workshops, and a volunteer docent program.

DIRECTOR OF EXHIBITS

As the Bullock's new director of exhibits Margaret Koch brings to the museum professional knowledge and strategic experience in curatorial design and management, conservation and research. She will lead the museum's efforts in the development of creative and compelling exhibitions designed to attract and engage visitors from across the world. Her efforts in building new partnerships with other museums, universities, and professional organizations will help raise the Bullock's reputation for groundbreaking and innovative programming.

Ms. Koch comes to Austin from the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis where she served as the director of exhibitions and research. She managed a team of 18 professionals and provided oversight for numerous history-based installations each year. Her wide range of responsibilities covered the implementation of community-based projects incorporating cross-cultural development, selection of artifacts, production, and installation. She has experience in virtually every detail of museum exhibitions including research, story line development, focus group and advisory committee reviews, production, and oversight of an annual exhibition budget in excess of $2 million.

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS

The third addition to the Bullock's new management team is Laura Hubbard who has been selected as the Director of Marketing Communications. Her role is to broaden the reach and visibility of the museum's brand and to develop, plan and manage the museums marketing initiatives. Ms. Hubbard will oversee all marketing efforts including advertising, public relations, creative services, website development and social media.

Ms. Hubbard comes to the Bullock Museum from Rice University in Houston where she served as the Director of Marketing for the Jones Graduate School of Business. While employed with the Jones School, she was responsible for the development and launch of the school's website, the conceptualization and implementation of world-wide advertising programs in print, broadcast and digital mediums, and the production of collateral materials. She managed creative services including the development of publications, graphic design, photography, and printing. Her responsibilities also included proactive and reactive media relations and the fulfillment of rankings surveys. Her areas of marketing responsibilities while serving the university included the Rice MBA, MBA for Executives, MBA for Professionals and the Rice Executive Education programs.

"Each of these highly experienced professionals has been tapped to move us to our next level of excellence," commented Ms. Marshall. "We have an ambitious five-year strategic plan that will guide us into a decade of growth and success. I believe this team, and the dedicated staff that have brought us this far, will provide the commitment needed to move us forward."

ABOUT THE BULLOCK TEXAS STATE HISTORY MUSEUM

The Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas tells the Story of Texas with three floors of interactive exhibits, special effects films in the Texas Spirit Theater and Austin's IMAX® Theatre which features the largest screen in Texas. The museum's education department offers fun-filled educational programming for a wide audience. Former Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock was the force behind the creation of the Bullock Museum which is a division of the State Preservation Board.

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Butterfly Family Fun Day

Flight of the Butterflies in 3D SOARS ONTO THE IMAX SCREEN AT THE BULLOCK TEXAS STATE HISTORY MUSEUM
The Largest Screen in Texas Captures One of the Longest Migrations on Earth and the Inspiring True Story of One Scientist's Stunning Discovery.
Enjoy this film with your kids on Family Fun Day January 26, 2013

AUSTIN, TEXAS (JANUARY 10, 2013) - Flight of the Butterflies is an awe-inspiring film based on a true story that follows the epic journey of the monarch butterfly beginning in Canada , traveling through the US with destination points in Austin and the Texas Hill Country, and ending in the mountains of central Mexico. One of the most incredible migrations on Earth, scientist Dr. Fred Urguhart spent 40 years trying to discover the mysteries surrounding the monarch's journey and secret winter hideaway.

What began with a small boy daydreaming about where butterflies went each winter became a lifelong pursuit that enlisted the help of volunteers known as "citizen scientists." These dedicated volunteers helped with tagging and tracking the butterflies in a decades-long quest that yielded the ultimate discovery of the monarch's overwintering sites in the peaks of central Mexico.

The first citizen scientist in Mexico was Catalina Aguado who spent two years searching in the mountains west of Mexico City under Dr. Urquhart's guidance before making the discovery of the monarch's destination that graced the cover of National Geographic magazine in August 1976. The only surviving member of the original discovery team, Ms. Aguado who now lives in Austin, Texas will be on hand to introduce the film at the Bullock Museum on January 26, 2013 at 11:30am. She will also be available for questions and answers following the movie.

There will be free educational events planned for children that day beginning at 11 am - 3pm including instructions on planting a butterfly garden, creative art activities, storytelling, and much more.

ABOUT THE BULLOCK TEXAS STATE HISTORY MUSEUM

The Bullock Texas State History Museum in Austin, Texas tells the Story of Texas with three floors of interactive exhibits, special effects films in the Texas Spirit Theater and Austin's IMAX® Theatre which features the largest screen in Texas. The museum's education department offers fun-filled educational programming for a wide audience. Former Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock was the force behind the creation of the Bullock Museum which is a division of the State Preservation Board.

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2012

Women Shaping Texas in the 20th Century

Women Shaping Texas in the 20th Century
The Bullock Museum presents the first major exhibit on
Texas women's history in a generation

Did you know that women in Texas couldn't serve on a jury until 1954? Or that a married woman couldn't apply for a credit card on her own until 1973? The rights and conveniences enjoyed today were not always the reality in Texas.

Women Shaping Texas in the 20th Century, the first major exhibition in 30 years to tell the story of Texas women's impact in the state's development will be on exhibit at the Bullock Texas State History Museum from December 8, 2012 through May 19, 2013.

The story of Texas wouldn't be complete without the many histories of the determined women who stepped up to fight for rights, improve public services, and help create the state that we know today. Women Shaping Texas celebrates the achievements, crusades, and dedication of Texas' women of the past century. This exhibition is guest-curated by Dr. Paula Marks, an Associate Professor of American Studies at St. Edward's University and prominent author on women's history.

Learn the stories of the well-known and unsung women who have shaped Texas and beyond. Re-encounter inspirational Texas women such as pioneering politician Barbara Jordan and athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias Discover the impact of countless other women in business, education, civil rights, healthcare, government, the arts, and their roles in the preservation of both natural and historic landmarks.

See letters written in the 1950s on behalf of African-American opera singer Barbara Smith Conrad as she faced racism at the University of Texas, as well as a first edition of Dorothy Scarborough's anonymously published novel of 1925, The Wind. Relive the fight to preserve the Alamo with Clara Driscoll, Adina Emilia de Zavala, and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Explore the role that Galveston's women played in rebuilding their city after the devastating hurricane of 1900, and delve into the rise of women's sports under Title IX. View handwritten notes from teenagers documenting racism at the Texas State Fair as they worked with Juanita Craft to protest Negro Day. Examine documents from different sides of the Equal Rights Amendment debate in Texas, and see the kitchen stand-mixer that inventor Bette Graham used to mix up the first batch of Liquid Paper.

Women Shaping Texas in the 20th Century uses these stories as a touchstone to look at the changing role of women throughout the 20th century, as women moved from the home and into the public sphere to improve life and opportunity in their communities and the state as a whole.

Women Shaping Texas in the 20th Century will be on view in the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Hall of Special Exhibitions at the Bullock Museum December 8, 2012, through May 19, 2013.

Admission to the Museum's exhibits, including Women Shaping Texas, is $9 for adults; $8 for college students (with valid ID); $7 for seniors/military (with valid ID); $6 for youth ages 4-17, free for ages 3 and under.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is located at 1800 N. Congress Avenue at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. For more information, call (512) 936-4649.

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The Future of Texas Women's History

The Future of Texas Women's History
Join Top Scholars in the Field for a Moderated Discussion on Important Developments and the Future of Women's History Studies

November, Austin TX -- Important scholars in the field of Women's History will convene at the Bullock Texas State History Museum for a symposium on the future of Texas Women's History on Saturday, December 8 at 2 pm. Drs. Nancy Baker Jones, Judith McArthur, Paula Marks, Cynthia Orozco, Merline Pitre, Rebecca Sharpless, Jean Stuntz, and Elizabeth Turner will participate in the discussion panel, which is open to the public and free with exhibit admission.

"The Future of Texas Women's History" program is held in conjunction with the new special exhibition, Women Shaping Texas in the 20th Century, also opening to the public on Saturday, December 8. Exhibition guest-curator Dr. Paula Marks — Professor of American Studies at St. Edward's University — will lead the panel of noted historians in a moderated discussion on the political, economic, and social impact of Texas women and what the future holds for women of tomorrow.

"The Future of Texas Women's History" program, held in the Bullock Museum's Texas Spirit Theater, is free with exhibit admission. No reservations are required to attend this program, however seating is limited so early arrival is recommended. Visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-4649 for further information.

ABOUT THE PANELISTS

Dr. Nancy Baker Jones is President and Founder of the Ruthe Winegarten Foundation for Texas Women's History. Her book with Winegarten, Capitol Women: Texas Female Legislators 1923-1999, won the Liz Carpenter Award from the Texas State Historical Association.

Dr. Judith McArthur is a University of Houston-Victoria adjunct faculty member and the coauthor of Minnie Fisher Cunningham: A Suffragist's Life in Politics, which won the Liz Carpenter Award for Research in the History of Women from the Texas State Historical Association and the T. R. Fehrenbach Book Award from the Texas Historical Commission.

Dr. Paula Marks is an Associate Professor of American Studies at St. Edward's University and prominent author on women's history. Curator of the new exhibition Women Shaping Texas in the 20th Century at the Bullock Museum.

Dr. Cynthia Orozco is the chair of the History and Humanities Department at Eastern New Mexico University in Ruidoso, where she teaches U.S. history, Western civilization, and world humanities. Editor of "Mexican Americans in Texas History" and associate editor of "Latinas in the United States, an Historical Encyclopedia", Dr. Orozco is the author of No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed: The Rise of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement and Mexican Americans in Texas History.

Dr. Merline Pitre is a professor of history and the former Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Behavioral Sciences at Texas Southern University. Two of her most widely noted works are Through Many Dangers, Toils and Snares: The Black Leadership of Texas and In Struggle against Jim Crow: Lulu B. White and the NAACP, 1900–1957. Her Black Women in Texas History, co-edited with Bruce Glasrud, won the 2008 Liz Carpenter Award. Dr. Pitre has been the recipient of grants from the Fullbright Foundation, Humanities Texas, and the National Endowment for the Humanities; she was named a Texas State Historical Association Fellow in 2009; is a member of the Speakers Bureau for the Texas Council for the Humanities; and serves on the nominating board of the Organization of American Historians.

Dr. Rebecca Sharpless is an Associate Professor of History at Texas Christian University. Her current research interests focus on domestic workers and women's education in antebellum Texas. Author of Fertile Ground, Narrow Choices: Women on Texas Cotton Farms, 1900-1940 and Cooking in Other Women's Kitchens: Domestic Workers in the South, 1865-1960, Dr. Sharpless' upcoming book project will be on women food entrepreneurs in the American South.

Dr. Jean Stuntz is an Associate Professor of History at West Texas A & M University. The author of Hers, His, and Theirs: Community Property Law in Spain and Early Texas and The Alamo and Zombies, Dr. Stuntz's scholarly interests focus on the Spanish Southwest and women pioneers of the Panhandle.

Dr. Elizabeth Hayes Turner is a professor of History at the University of North Texas. She is the author of Women and Gender in the New South, 1865-1945 and Women, Culture, and Community: Religion and Reform in Galveston, 1880-1920. She has been a Fulbright Lecturer to the University of Genoa, Italy; was awarded a Bill and Rita Clements Fellowship from the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies at Southern Methodist University; and was elected a Texas State Historical Association Fellow in 2011. Her current book project is Juneteenth: The Evolution of an Emancipation Celebration.

Women Shaping Texas in the 20th Century is on view in the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Hall of Special Exhibitions at the Bullock Museum from December 8, 2012, through May 19, 2013.Admission to the Museum's exhibits is $9 for adults; $8 for college students (with valid ID); $7 for seniors/military (with valid ID); $6 for youth ages 4-17, free for ages 3 and under. The Bullock Texas State History Museum is located at 1800 N. Congress Avenue at the corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

For more information, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-4649.

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