Come to the Bryan Museum and explore the History of Texas and The American West like you have never seen it before. Ranging over a history of 12,000 years, the Bryan Museum houses one of the rarest history collections in the world. During your visit you will view dozens of saddles, thousands of rare books and documents in Spanish, German, French, and English, hundreds of antique firearms and spurs, and countless historical artifacts, documents, and artwork.
What You Will See On Your Visit
Each Floor is laid out in chronological order from labeled as rooms from 1 to 4 on your map. The tour starts with the earliest recordings of history to the most recent time. You will start in the Orientation Gallery with a video from the founder of the Museum J.P. Bryan. You can follow the flow of the museum with the Bryan Museum’s Visitor Guide, which lays out a map for each room describing what you will see. Following the Orientation Gallery is the Spanish Colonial Gallery dating from pre-history to 1821, covering mostly Spanish and French exploration, followed by the Texas Frontier Gallery from 1821 – 1848, and lastly the Statehood and Beyond Gallery from 1848 – 1945.
Upon arrival on the second floor, you enter the Rest of the West Gallery, beginning with stunning saddles, artwork, and two large display cases full of long rifles and revolvers from the 1800s. As you make your way to the next room you enter the Texas Masters Gallery with works of art inspired by the people, culture, and landscapes of Texas. The large room at the end of the hall is the Special Exhibits Gallery, with exhibits rotating throughout the year. Currently on display are a collection of saddles from A. Stelzig Saddle featuring a dozen saddles from a company with a history of almost 100 years of saddlery. Also on display are The Mexican Revolution, War on the Western Front, and many others. The last room to visit on the second is the Library, with a sample of the museum’s book and map collection where they also hold lectures and programs.
The building was originally erected in 1894 by Henry Rosenberg for the orphan children of Galveston. It was mostly destroyed in the storm of September 8, 1900. In 1901 Samuel Clemens, Mark Twain, held a fundraiser in New York to help raise funds to rebuild the structure and raised more than $50,000. Here on the ground floor, you can learn about the building’s history with photographs and other memorabilia on display. There is also the Children’s Center with interactive displays where you can experience some of Galveston’s past as a pirate haven. There are trivia questions aboard the ship and proper answers are met with canon fire, while incorrect answers will have you walking the plank.