A Day at the Museum of Texas Tech University
Any day spent wandering around a museum is a great day in my book. Last week, I got a chance to peruse the permanent and visiting exhibits at the Museum of Texas Tech University. Having gone a few times as a child, it had been many years since my last trip, and this trip didn’t disappoint. I tried to sum up the top things to see when you visit the museum, but of course, that was much easier said than done. Here’s what I enjoyed most about my visit. (Note: these photos were taken on a phone, and therefore do not do these beautiful works justice):
1. A Changing World
Dinosaurs aren’t just for kids. I found myself in awe exploring the different fossils on display and learning about each period of the Mesozoic Era. I even learned an interesting fact that I never knew: Paleontologists from Texas Tech discovered a small cousin to the dinosaur in Texas and aptly named it the Technosaurus. How many universities can boast that a dinosaur is named after them!
2. Talkington Gallery of Art
If you’re anything like me and love exploring acclaimed pieces of art, you’ll love the Talkington Gallery of Art. This gallery features 20th and 21st century pieces of art from Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. You’ll find both modern and contemporary pieces hanging on these walls, and there’s even a Warhol. Here are a few of my favorites:
3. Jades & Ivories Gallery
Located in the middle of the museum, you’ll find a small gallery that houses an impressive collection of jade and ivory artifacts. While this is not a large gallery in terms of size or collection, I was in awe of the beautiful, ancient pieces on display.
4. Romancing the West Gallery
It’s fitting that the museum would include a gallery dedicated to the ways of the West. After all, we are in West Texas. This gallery was another one of my favorites for the breathtaking paintings adorning the walls. I learned that the “West” was defined as the area west of the Mississippi River. After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, people began moving west and leaving the east for new territories. Settlers moved into areas where Native Americans already lived for thousands of years, which was a significant change to both parties lives and cultures. Western art often shows the people, places, and animals during this time of change and exploration in the 1800s and sometimes shows them in modern times. Sometimes Western art is called Cowboy art, but there are and were more than just cowboys in the American West!
5. Legacy of a Thousand Stitches
This exhibit is a must-see soon, as it’s only on display through May 15, 2016. This collection of about 30 quilts features the best and most interesting quilts of the museum’s Clothing and Textiles Collection. Curator of Clothing and Textiles, Dr. Marian Ann J. Montgomery, selected the quilts for exhibition based on their artistic appeal and story. The makers of several of the quilts are known and their stories are also shared. Because women in the 19th century often did not leave a written record, these quilts remain an important part of their legacy.
These galleries are only a small glimpse at what the Museum of Texas Tech University has to offer. I highly encourage you to browse around and find your favorite exhibits! Here are some quick facts about the museum:
Address: 3301 4th St.
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 1 to 5 p.m., closed Monday