Original exhibition celebrates history and traditions of Texas rodeos and stock shows

Rodeo! The Exhibition opens May 12 at the Bullock Museum

MAY 3, 2018 (AUSTIN, TX)Rodeo! The Exhibition, opening May 12, 2018 at the Bullock Texas State History Museum, explores the origins, traditions and lasting legacies of rodeos and stock shows. Through artifacts, personal stories and multimedia experiences, the exhibition reveals the ways in which these long-standing competitions are ingrained within the story of Texas.

Beginning with the traditions of 19th-century Mexican and American cowboys, Texas rodeos have become a modern-day spectacle, drawing thousands of spectators and competitors and contributing billions of dollars to the state's economy. Stock shows, a staple of Texas rodeos, provide scholarships for students, opportunities for business development and animal care, and connections and support for communities.

"If you’re new to the state, consider this the '101' educational experience on what makes this particular tradition so rooted in our heritage and how it has evolved in the 21st century," Bullock Museum Interim Director Margaret Koch said.  "We’ve been fortunate to work with the top Texas rodeos and stock shows in bringing the exhibition to life through outstanding artifacts, family-friendly interactives, and heart-stopping arena footage."

Artifacts, including outfits and costumes, awards, saddles, tools and gear, speak to the development of rodeo circuits, the evolution of the sport, and the generations of families dedicated to showing livestock. A series of media pieces demonstrate the unique elements of Texas's five largest rodeos and stock shows in Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, San Angelo, and San Antonio, and an immersive installation at the center of the exhibition places visitors directly into the heart of the arena.

“Rodeo Austin is honored to be featured in Rodeo! The Exhibition and showcase what makes our event unique," Rodeo Austin CEO Rob Golding said.  "We feel strongly that stock shows and rodeos play an integral part in the lives of many Texans and have a rich history to share."

Unique hands-on experiences and photo opportunities throughout the exhibition allow visitors of all ages to sit on a saddle, examine protective gear, stand in a rodeo clown barrel, and pose as a roper. An interactive grooming kit and life-size animal replicas provide opportunities to learn about different livestock breeds and explore the animal care required for participating in stock shows.

"The mission of Rodeo Austin is 'Promoting Youth Education – Preserving Western Heritage,' and this exhibition touches on both facets of this statement, showcasing young people and their hard work and dedication while detailing the roots of rodeo competition," Golding said. "This is an exclusive dive into areas that many people don’t have the opportunity to experience while visiting our events annually.”

Rodeo! The Exhibition will be on display at the Bullock Museum until Sunday, January 27, 2019. For more information, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512)936-8746.

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The Bullock Texas State History Museum in downtown Austin includes three floors of exhibitions, an IMAX® theater, a special-effects theater, café, and Museum Store. The Museum collaborates with more than 700 museums, libraries, archives and individuals to display original historical artifacts and produce exhibitions that illuminate and celebrate Texas history and culture. Named for the state's 38th Lieutenant Governor, Bob Bullock, the iconic building is at 1800 N. Congress Avenue. For more, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call (512) 936-8746.

Rodeo! The Exhibition is sponsored by the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Hall Fund.

The Bullock Texas State History Museum is owned and operated by the State of Texas through the State Preservation Board. Additional support of exhibitions and programs is provided by the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

Man riding bull

This press release is part of the Rodeo! The Exhibition Media Kit

Rodeo! The Exhibition, a dynamic and comprehensive Bullock Museum exhibition, brings the excitement of rodeos and livestock shows from around the state into the Museum. View Media Kit