Bullock Texas State History Museum to welcome visitors back to exhibitions and Museum Store starting Saturday

Phased reopening plan includes safety protocols, new open hours and timed entry

SEPTEMBER 9, 2020 (AUSTIN, TX) — The Bullock Texas State History Museum's exhibition galleries and Museum Store will reopen to the public on Saturday, September 12 with key changes to limit the spread of COVID-19, including heightened safety protocols, new open hours, and timed entry.

The Bullock Museum closed on March 17, 2020 in response to the coronavirus pandemic and immediately began constructing a phased plan to respond to community conditions and ensure the safest possible future reopening. During the closure, the Museum expanded opportunities for online learning through virtual education programming and web resources. 

"To meet our educational mission, the Bullock Museum is excited to welcome the public onsite to the Museum once more," said Bullock Museum Director Margaret Koch. "With more than 16,000 years of Texas history on view, we are committed to providing a low-risk learning environment for the community, teachers, and families." 

The Museum's phased plan, which began with the reopening of the IMAX® Theatre on September 3 for limited screenings of Tenet and two member-only preview days on September 9 and 10, adheres to guidelines recommended by national, state and local authorities. The Museum's new hours, Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm, will also allow for additional cleaning while closed on Monday and Tuesday of each week. 

New safety protocols include timed entry, allowing a limited number of visitors per hour into the Museum's three floors of gallery spaces. Guests are encouraged to reserve their exhibition tickets online prior to their visit. Onsite signage will provide clear information about new policies and encourage social distancing. Masks are required for all staff and visitors ages 10 and older, and sanitization stations will be available throughout the Museum. All public spaces and high-touch areas will be cleaned frequently during the day, and the full building will be disinfected each evening after closing.

Visitors returning to the Bullock Museum will be able to explore the special exhibition This Light Of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, a visual story of the struggle against segregation, race-based disenfranchisement, and Jim Crow laws in the 1960s. IMAX documentary screenings will resume during daily open hours and will feature the new family friendly documentary Into America's Wild. The IMAX Theatre will also continue screening feature films on select days and times.

"It has been a rough six months for many across Texas, and we understand that not everyone is willing or able to visit the Museum in person at this time. Opening now helps ensure that we'll be here when people feel comfortable visiting again," said Koch. "In the meantime, we'll continue to increase our online learning opportunities designed for all ages, so one never has to feel disconnected from the astounding history of this incredible state."

If community conditions allow, the Museum's Texas Spirit Theater will resume operation later this fall, and the Story of Texas Cafe will reopen in January 2021. The Bullock Museum will continue to offer educational programs and resources online for children, adults and families. For more information, please visit TheStoryofTexas.com. 

# # #

This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement is presented by the Center for Documentary Expression and Art and the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage.

Major support for This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement has been provided by the Bruce W. Bastian Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, with use of the Bob Fitch photographs courtesy of the Department of Collections, Stanford University Libraries.

This Light of Ours: Activist Photographers of the Civil Rights Movement is sponsored locally by The Albert and Ethel Herzstein Hall Fund.

Special exhibitions are generously locally supported by Union Pacific.

Support for the Bullock Museum's exhibitions and education programs is provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

IMAX® is a registered trademark of IMAX Corporation.


The Bullock Texas State History Museum, a division of the State Preservation Board and an accredited institution of the American Alliance of Museums, illuminates and celebrates Texas history, people, and culture. With dynamic, award-winning exhibitions, educational programming for all ages, and an IMAX® theater with the largest screen in Texas, the Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals across the world to bring the Story of Texas to life. For more information, visit www.TheStoryofTexas.com or call (866)369-7108.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is a division of the Texas State Preservation Board. Additional support for educational programming provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.