Texas History Galleries

Immerse yourself in the Story of Texas

With expansive exhibition space showcasing more than 700 original artifacts, discover an ever-changing experience in the Texas History Galleries. New artifacts are continually added, bringing new stories to the Museum each week.

First Floor Gallery

The first floor of the Texas History Galleries and the ship La Belle are temporarily closed and undergoing a major transformation that opens fall 2018.

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.

This one-of-a-kind journey through more than 14,000 years of Texas history will document the rise and fall of nations up to Mexican Independence in 1821. (Read more.)

Second Floor Gallery

Through artifacts, documents, and films, the second floor gallery explores Texas history from 1821 to 1936. Discover the personal stories and the people, places, and events that shaped the state as Texas moved through revolution, annexation, immigration, the economics and human cost of slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Depression-era extravagance that highlighted the state's 100th birthday. In this gallery, hear narrator Captain Juan Seguín give an eyewitness account of the revolution from the battle of Gonzales to the fall of the Alamo in the Revolution Theater. Imagine what issues Stephen F. Austin wrestled with while sitting at his long-leaf pine desk. See how Texas transitioned from an independent nation to the 28th state in the Union. Explore how a clothes iron with a bell in the base and a Wilson stoneware jug tell the complex stories of African Americans in 19th century Texas. Ride the Texas plains with the Comanche. Then sit back in the Centennial Theater and enjoy historic footage of the 1936 exposition that showcased Texas's western identity and bold, new capabilities.

Third Floor Gallery

From ranching artifacts with Tejano roots to oil field drill bits to Civil Rights-era documents to music with unique Texas sensibilities, the third floor gallery captures the excitement of Texas's emergence onto the national stage in the 20th century. In this gallery, explore the Texas cattle stories told by the “running W" King Ranch branding iron. Find out why an oil field tool developed by Howard Hughes, Sr. is called a "Christmas tree." Get a close-up view of the AT-6 "Texan," the World War II advanced flight trainer airplane that helped the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) fly into history. Visit the Austin City Limits Theater for a large-screen concert experience featuring film clips from the iconic television series. Imagine you are monitoring spacecraft and astronauts on an original 1960s NASA Mission Control console. Travel through time and geography via the postcard wall, an exhibition of hundreds of postcards from across the years and across the state of Texas. Finish your tour through the Texas History Galleries with a stop at the Texas Story Project exhibition, featuring artifacts and videos from the Museum's digital archive project connecting Texas's past, present, and future.