Becoming Texas

Coming Fall 2018

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Where does the story of people in Texas begin?

A portion of the first floor galleries, including the ship La Belle, is temporarily closed as the Museum creates a new space that opens this November. Make plans to visit the new first floor gallery, Becoming Texas, to experience a hands-on, immersive environment that uncovers Texas history with the most contemporary research on our past.


Featured Video: La Belle


This one-of-a-kind journey through more than 16,000 years of Texas history will document the rise and fall of nations up to Mexican Independence in 1821.

  • Learn about the men and women who established vast trade networks across the Americas. View weapons, jewelry, tools, and imagery representing the diversity of early American Indian civilizations who cultivated the lands in what we now call Texas.
  • Test the strength needed to provide food for your family as you pull back a bow and imagine releasing an arrow.
  • Understand European ambitions to colonize North America by exploring early European maps of North America, weapons, heavy Spanish leather armor, and gold from a 1554 sunken treasure fleet that never returned to Spain.
  • Discover French explorer La Salle's failed 1684 attempt to establish a colony in the Gulf of Mexico. Examine the expedition's 300-year-old ship, La Belle, excavated off the Texas coast. See thousands of items of cargo found in the hull, including colonial household items, a bronze cannon, navigation tools, weapons, and trade goods.
  • See what life was like beyond the frontier in Spanish Catholic missions, military forts, and settlements. Examine rare mission gates, delicately crafted statues, religious icons, paintings, household items, and personal and official letters that tell the trials, hopes, and dreams of the people of New Spain.
  • Touch replica objects and reveal the innovative uses of natural resources by American Indian peoples. Place yourself in the middle of cultural interactions that occurred between nations and tribes through interactive touch screens.
  • Learn how American Indian artists are passing on their cultures' traditions to future generations through films, stories, and artifacts made exclusively for Bullock Museum visitors to experience.
  • Immerse yourself in the different Texas landscapes with a multi-sensory environmental experience to hear the languages that existed in pre-1821 Texas.
  • Witness how global politics influenced the growth of early Texas in its earliest days through original treaties, documents, and artifacts.  
  • Find out how modern-day descendants of American Indians, Canary Islanders, Africans, Spaniards, Mexicans, and French share their family legacies today.

From now through early November, view portions of the renovation as it happens on the first floor from the galleries on the second and third floors. Two dynamic exhibits, Rodeo! The Exhibition and Comanche Motion, also remain open and easily accessible during the renovation.

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