Following is the "Introduction" to the December issue of Will's Texana Monthy. We wondered, "What did our museums do this year?"
The Texas Museums Exhibits Record: A Directory of 2007 was made possible by the growing sophistication and outreach of the Texas Association of Museums with
the electronic world and the broader bibliographic view of Will’s Texana. We wondered, “What did the museums exhibit this year?” The TAM website has a regular, monthly feature listing its members’ current exhibits as submitted for that purpose. The lists of August onward were captured and interfiled under their respective cities and Texas-based institutions for your inspection. The list is intriguing and inspiring to recognize the variety of productions across the state. December is a great time to visit your local museums.
Museums are curious creatures, for the public as well as for the museums’ staffs. The Texas museum heritage stretches far back. In homes and organizations at some time a few artifacts begin to gather, often for nostalgia, inspiration, merchandizing, or even a legal purpose. In time their location becomes stabilized on a chest of drawers, a cupboard, a shelf, or wrapped carefully away. The keeper began a casual patter for family members, customers, or visitors. Seniors begin jotting notes, enthusiastic youngsters start asking questions, and the ember of a museum begins it slow smolder toward formality. The Handbook of Texas Online offers a brief historical gesture at http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/MM/lbm3.html
Most museums’ subjects are local or state oriented and those that are not demonstrate the cosmopolitan nature of Texans as we visually touch the art, business, and technology of other lands. For the present compilation, all exhibits are included here whether they are Texana or not. Not all TAM members post their exhibits with TAM.
We found no current retrospective compilation of Texas museum exhibits, but the electronic world hastens communication and permits this compilation with some ease where previously it would have been onerous.
December exhibits are in red. Although some museums do not show a currently open exhibit they are open for business and your pleasure and edification for their ongoing exhibits and exhibits not reported here. TAM members who do not post their exhibit with TAM are not cited here.
TAM membership includes many institutional members, but some small museums are not members. Their connection to TAM would be beneficial. A brief history of TAM is on their website at “About TAM / History” at
Locations and contact information for each museum can be found on the website at “Find a Museum / TAM Member Links” at http://www.prismnet.com/~tam/Museums/museumlinks.html