Upcoming Exhibits

In the Albert and Ethel Herzstein Hall of Special Exhibitions, the Museum presents exhibitions that explore historical subjects in depth — from Texas music and sports to archaeology and space exploration. The Museum recently converted the 3rd Floor Rotunda Gallery into a space dedicated to the important but little-seen collections and archives of public agencies and institutions across the state. Explore each section below to see what’s coming soon.

La Belle: The Ship That Changed History Special Exhibition - October 25, 2014 - May 17, 2015

La Belle: The Ship That Changed History

The Bullock Museum's special exhibit showcasing recently conserved hull timbers and artifacts excavated from the 1686 French shipwreck in Matagorda Bay opens in October 2014. Newly edited film footage, rare artifacts, touch pad games, interviews with conservators, and the transformation of a 600-piece, three-dimensional "jigsaw puzzle" into a recognizable ship over the course of the exhibit will make this a unique opportunity for visitors of all ages.

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.

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, re-assembly of the original ship's hull in full view of visitors at the Bullock Museum.

La Belle: The Ship That Changed History is organized by the Bullock Texas State History Museum with the Texas Historical Commission, the Musée national de la Marine, and Texas A&M University. Support provided by the State of Texas, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

Shipwrecked: A4-d Film Experience

To coincide with the installation and enhance the visitor experience, the Museum will offer a new “4D” film, Shipwrecked. Created in collaboration with award-winning production house, Cortina Productions, the film will be on view daily in the Bullock’s popular Texas Spirit Theater, a 4D venue that offers an immersive experience combining the high-drama of 3D with sensory effects built into the seats and environment. Filmed on board one of the few sea-worthy vessels modeled after ships of the 1600s, the film dramatizes the story of La Salle’s venture, revealing the struggles, personalities, and conflicts through the eyes of one of the only survivors of the expedition, Pierre Talon. Pierre’s family was recruited as colonists for the voyage, and at the age of 10, he was separated from his mother and siblings and sent by La Salle to learn the language of the Caddo people in the hopes of establishing trade and facilitating the expedition. Adopted by the tribe, at the age of 14 Pierre was subsequently captured by the Spanish. In the film, he recounts to his captors all that he saw from the moment the ships were setting sail from France.

Fly Girls of WWII - November 8, 2014 - Feb. 1, 2015

Fly Girls of WWII

November 8, 2014 through Feb. 1, 2015

Third Floor Rotunda

Fly Girls of WWII tells the inspirational stories of U.S. servicewomen who answered the call for duty during WWII and served as Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP). A select group of pilots received military training in Sweetwater, Texas and were deployed to 126 bases across the United States. Thirty-eight women lost their lives in the line of duty, but it wasn't until 1977 that the female pilots were granted veteran status. The U.S. government officially recognized their achievements in 2010 by awarding them the Congressional Gold Medal. In this exhibit presented in partnership with Wings Across America, hear the heroic pilots' personal insights of triumph and perseverance, see WWII uniforms and memorabilia, and learn how these courageous women changed the face of our military. And, it all began here in Texas.