Historic San Jacinto battle flags on view at the Bullock

Newport Rifle Company San Jacinto Battle Flag, Courtesy State Preservation Board, Austin, TX; Original Artist: Beard, James Henry; Photographer: Thomson, Fonda; post 1990; post conservation

San Jacinto Battle Flag from 1835. This historic painted silk flag with Lady Liberty carrying a cutlass with the banner “liberty or death” was carried by Texian troops through the Battle of San Jacinto in 1836. It, together with four other flags present at the battle, is on view at the Bullock Museum through August 2016.


In honor of San Jacinto Day on April 21, five historic flags present at the Battle of San Jacinto are on view at the Bullock Texas State History Museum now through August 2016. Fought on April 21, 1836 near present-day Houston, the battle was the decisive conflict of the Texas Revolution.

Led by General Sam Houston, the Texian Army defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s Mexican army at the Battle of San Jacinto — a fight that lasted 18 minutes. The victory ended the Texas Revolution, which began in October 1835 when the first shot was fired at the Battle of Gonzalez. The outcome of the San Jacinto battle gained Texas its independence from Mexico.

Flags on view include the Newport Rifles Company battle flag, three Mexican battalion flags — Matamoros, Toluca and Guerrero — and a Mexican guidon. Several of the Mexican flags were present at the siege of the Alamo. This marks the first time in 180 years that these flags have been displayed together.

The Newport Rifles Company battle flag, also known as the San Jacinto Battle Flag, was carried through the Battle of San Jacinto by Texian volunteer troops who arrived from Kentucky to fight under the command of General Sidney Sherman. The only remaining flag in the state carried by Texan forces, it normally hangs in the Texas State Capitol behind the podium used by the Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives when in session.

The five Texas-Revolution era battle flags are on view in the Bullock Museum’s second floor permanent gallery through August, 2016.

To learn more about the Bullock Museum and its exhibits, visit TheStoryofTexas.com or call 512-936-8746.

Bullock Museum hours:
Monday-Saturday 9 am-5 pm
Sunday 12-5 pm
Plan your visit

1800 N Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701

Now on view: “Shakespeare in Print and Performance”

No writer is more central to the English literary tradition than William Shakespeare. For centuries, his works have intrigued and inspired generations of readers, audiences, and scholars. Four hundred years after his death, the Harry Ransom Center commemorates Shakespeare’s legacy by presenting a selection of rare and unique materials relating to his plays. These materials, primarily drawn from the Ransom Center’s collections, demonstrate how much we can learn about his historical context, sources, texts, and productions of the plays from early printed books and theatrical archives.

The exhibition, Shakespeare in Print and Performance, will be on view at the Harry Ransom Center through May 29. Free admission and daily tours. Plan your visit.

Explore Austin’s Cultural Campus with your family

Photo by Whitney Martin.

Photo by Whitney Martin.

Spring is a perfect time to walk between museums, stopping for public art along the way.

Current exhibitions at Austin’s Cultural Campus institutions include: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, La Belle: The Ship That Changed History, Roller Derby, Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, Up + Up: 2015 Senior Art Exhibition, and more!

Please note: The Texas Memorial Museum and Bullock Museum will be closed on April 5, Easter Sunday, and the Visual Arts Center is always closed on Sundays.

Interested in attending a program? Don’t miss upcoming family events at the Bullock Museum and Harry Ransom Center.

April 4, 2015, 11–noon; 1–2 p.m.

Kids and families will make and take home their own artifacts in this art workshop. Each workshop features a short talk followed by hands-on art making. Ideal for families with children ages 8 and up, this experience is about 40 minutes in length. Museum members may make advance reservations by calling 512-936-4649. Otherwise, the program is first come, first served and space is limited. Pick up a boarding pass (free with Museum admission) when you arrive.

SATURDAY, APRIL 25, 10 A.M.–5 P.M. & SATURDAY, MAY 9, 10 A.M.–5 P.M.

Visit Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and enjoy activities for the young and young at heart. Participate in writing activities with teaching artists from Austin Public Library Friends Foundation’s Badgerdog Creative Writing Program or engage with Lewis Carroll-inspired math activities with local math literacy organization Math Happens. University of Texas at Austin museum theater students perform alongside items in the galleries. Additional activities include docent-led exhibition tours and story times in the theater. Family days are generously supported by a grant from the Austin Community Foundation, with in-kind support provided by Terra Toys.

Holiday break hours at the Ransom Center

Scene concept for “Christmas at Aunt Pittypat’s in Atlanta” in "Gone With The Wind."

Scene concept for “Christmas at Aunt Pittypat’s in Atlanta” in “Gone With The Wind.”

The Harry Ransom Center will be closed on Christmas Eve Day (Wednesday, December 24) and Christmas Day (Thursday, December 25). However, the Ransom Center Galleries will be open the rest of winter break on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Additional member-only hours will be available from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.


Visitors can view the current exhibitions The Making of Gone With The Wind and Frida Kahlo’s Self-portrait with Thorn Necklace and HummingbirdThe Making of Gone With The Wind will be open through January 5. The First Photograph and the Gutenberg Bible remain on permanent display.


Please also be aware that the Reading and Viewing Rooms and administrative office will be closed during the University holidays from Saturday, December 20, through Thursday, January 1.


Free docent-led gallery tours of The Making of Gone With The Wind occur daily at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. (There will be no public tour on the closed days of Wednesday, December 24 or Thursday, December 25.) The public tours meet in the lobby, and no reservations are required. On weekends, a selection of screentests from Gone With The Wind will be shown in the Ransom Center’s first-floor theater at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.


Admission is free. Your donation will support the Ransom Center’s exhibitions and public programs. Parking information and a map are available online.

Sol LeWitt Comes to Campus

23-smallIn February, the Blanton Museum of Art opened a new exhibition exploring the art and lives of Eva Hesse and Sol LeWitt. Converging Lines showcases the artists’ work and highlights how their friendship had a significant impact on each other’s artistic output.

Sol LeWitt was a pioneer in minimal and conceptual art. His instruction-based wall drawings redefined the concept of artistic authorship, which LeWitt defined as the artist’s ideas rather than the stroke of the artist’s hand. The wall drawings featured in the exhibition were created by representatives from LeWitt’s estate and students from UT, following LeWitt’s instructions to install the work.

LewittLandmarks, the public art program, brought two LeWitt pieces to the University of Texas campus. Both are located at the Bill and Melinda Gates Dell Computer Science Complex. Outside of the Speedway entrance to the building, LeWitt’s Circle with Towers greets students as they enter. Directly inside the north building of the complex is Wall Drawing #520: Tilted forms with color ink washes superimposed. In keeping with LeWitt’s philosophy that that the concept behind a work of art was more important than its execution, both works were drafted by the artist and originally constructed or drawn at a different time and location. When acquired on long-term loan by Landmarks, the two works were executed by a team of art professionals here on campus.

Converging Lines is on view at the Blanton Museum of Art until May 18, 2014. View a map of Landmarks’ artworks, on view at all times at landmarks.utexas.edu/tour.

World War I across Austin’s Cultural Campus

PSM2925_loThe Harry Ransom Center’s current exhibition, The World at War, 1914–1918, showcases items from its collection that document a global perspective of the Great War. With propaganda posters, uniforms, and love letters on display, this exhibition illuminates the experience of the war from the point of view of its participants and observers.

Nearby the Ransom Center, visitors can enjoy another exhibition with historical significance at the Bullock Texas State History Museum. In collaboration with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the Bullock Museum features an exhibit commemorating the 100th anniversary of the only surviving United States Navy vessel that served in both world wars: the USS TEXAS.Battleship Docked

The exhibit displays images and artifacts from the vessel’s 30 years of service that tell the story of life on board as well as the United States’ evolution into a global force. Visitors can see the champagne bottleneck from the ship’s launch, several electric candelabra that were on board, and many more important items from the ship’s history.

Battleship TEXAS will is on view in the Bullock’s 3rd Floor Rotunda Gallery until April 13, 2014. The World at War, 1914–1918 is on view until August 3, 2014 at the Ransom Center.

Closing soon: “Radical Transformation: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age”

"Russia. Altai Territory. Villagers collecting scrap from a crashed spacecraft, surrounded by thousands of white butterflies. Environmentalists fear for the region's future due to the toxic rocket fuel." 2000. © Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum Photos

“Russia. Altai Territory. Villagers collecting scrap from a crashed spacecraft, surrounded by thousands of white butterflies. Environmentalists fear for the region’s future due to the toxic rocket fuel.” 2000. © Jonas Bendiksen/Magnum Photos

The Harry Ransom Center’s exhibition Radical Transformation: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age will close soon on Sunday, January 5.


Don’t miss your chance to see the exhibition before it closes. Enjoy free docent-led tours of the exhibition on Tuesdays at noon, Thursdays at 6 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. No reservations required.


Magnum Photos photographers have produced some of the most memorable images of the last century. Founded in 1947, it was the first cooperative agency to be established and operated by photographers, thus insuring unprecedented creative, editorial, and economic independence. Drawing largely upon the vast collection of prints from the agency’s New York bureau, this exhibition investigates the evolution of Magnum Photos from print photojournalism to the digital age, revealing a global cooperative in continual flux.


Organized by Jessica S. McDonald and Roy L. Flukinger, the exhibition features approximately 300 works. The Magnum Photos collection was donated to the Ransom Center by Michael and Susan Dell, Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, and John and Amy Phelan.


Ransom Center Galleries are open on Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended Thursday hours until 7 p.m. On Saturdays and Sundays the galleries are open from noon to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Mondays. Please note the Ransom Center will be closed on December 24, December 25, and January 1.


Beginning January 6, the Ransom Center Galleries will be closed until February 11, when the exhibition The World at War, 1914–1918 opens. The Gutenberg Bible and First Photograph remain on permanent display.

75 Years, 75 Days: Donate now to support the fall 2014 “Gone With The Wind” exhibition

The Harry Ransom Center is raising $50,000 in 75 days for the Center’s 2014 exhibition The Making of Gone With The Wind. This Hollywood classic premiered in 1939 and will mark its 75th anniversary in 2014.

Film producer David O. Selznick’s 1939 epic film Gone With The Wind was embroiled in controversy before a single frame was shot. Based on the 1936 novel by Margaret Mitchell, the film’s depictions of race, violence, and cultural identity in the South during the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction continue to both compel and trouble audiences around the world.

The exhibition will reveal surprising new stories about the making of this quintessential film from Hollywood’s Golden Age and illustrate why it remains influential and controversial 75 years after it was released.

The exhibition will include over 300 original items from the Selznick archive housed at the Ransom Center, including behind-the-scenes photographs, storyboards, correspondence, production records, audition footage, and fan mail. The exhibition will also feature gowns worn by Vivien Leigh as the beautiful and ambitious Scarlett O’Hara. These recently conserved costumes will be displayed together for the first time in more than 25 years.

Your support will provide funds for outreach, additional docent-led tours, a published exhibition catalog, and complementary programming and presentations. Donors will be acknowledged on the Ransom Center’s website and receive the following:

$10-$499: Commemorative save-the-date postcard with an image from the Ransom Center’s collection.

$500-$999: Complimentary Ransom Center membership for one year, at the dual level, which includes two tickets to the exhibition opening party.

$1,000-$4,999: Complimentary copy of the exhibition catalog.

$5,000+: Special curators’ tour for up to six people.

75 Days, 75 Years

75 Days, 75 Years

“Eli Reed: The Lost Boys of Sudan” exhibition opens at the Harry Ransom Center

Eli Reed. "Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya." August 2001, printed 2013. Inkjet print. © Eli Reed / Magnum Photos.

Eli Reed. “Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya.” August 2001, printed 2013. Inkjet print. © Eli Reed / Magnum Photos.

The Harry Ransom Center presents Eli Reed: The Lost Boys of Sudan, an exhibition of photographs by Eli Reed (b. 1946), Magnum photographer and Clinical Professor of Photojournalism at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2001, Reed traced the path of some of the more than 20,000 “Lost Boys,” as aid workers have called them, some as young as five years old, forced to flee after their families were massacred or enslaved during the Second Sudanese Civil War. Wandering the equatorial wilderness between Sudan and Ethiopia for years on foot, those who survived starvation and disease eventually reached a refugee camp in Kakuma, Kenya, where over 3,000 of them awaited resettlement through a United Nations partnership with the U. S. State Department. Reed’s powerful series documents their journey as they leave the camp and adjust to life in the United States, acclimating to a starkly different culture and a new world of formidable challenges.

Organized by curators Jessica S. McDonald and Roy L. Flukinger, Eli Reed: The Lost Boys of Sudan runs through December 8. Additional photographs by Reed from his 1995 series Rwandan Refugees in Tanzania are on view as part of the exhibition Radical Transformation: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age, which features over 450 photographs, books, magazines, films, and videos.

Reed joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in January 2005. He has been associated with the Magnum Photos agency since 1983 and became a full member in 1988. His early projects focus on political upheaval and social justice in El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, and Panama. In 1982 he was a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, where he studied political science, urban affairs, and the prospects for peace in Central America. He has since photographed around the world while persistently addressing political, social, and racial issues in the United States.

Reed is the author of the acclaimed books Beirut: City of Regrets(1988) and Black in America (1997). He directed the documentary film Getting Out (1992) on Detroit gangs, and has worked as a stills and specials photographer for major motion pictures. His photographs have been published in numerous magazines and newspapers, including National GeographicTimeNewsweekThe New York TimesThe Washington PostVogueHarpers Bazaar,Stern, and Vanity Fair. Reed has lectured and taught extensively, and his photographs have been exhibited internationally. In 2009 he delivered a four-part lecture and multimedia presentation at the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo, Norway, for the opening night of the exhibition “Fra King til Obama.”

Tonight: See Don DeLillo, whose work is featured in the “Literature and Sport” exhibition

A page from the first draft of Don DeLillo's "Underworld."

A page from the first draft of Don DeLillo’s “Underworld.”

Don DeLillo once noted in an interview, “The significance of baseball, more than other sports, lies in the very nature of the game—slow and spread out and rambling. It’s a game of history and memory, a kind of living archive.”

DeLillo explored those aspects of the sport in his 1997 novel Underworld. Pictured here is a page from the first draft of that work, drawn from DeLillo’s archive at the Ransom Center. In this passage, he captures the magic of baseball: its ability to unite disparate individuals. The concluding lines in this draft differ from the published version, which reads, “The game doesn’t change the way you sleep or wash your face or chew your food. It changes nothing but your life.”

Widely regarded as one of the greatest pieces of baseball fiction ever written, the prologue of Underworld was originally published as the novella “Pafko at the Wall” in the October 1992 issue of Harper’s Magazine. The text centers on the October 3, 1951 playoff game between the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers that ended with the “shot heard ’round the world,” Bobby Thomson’s homerun that clinched the National League pennant for the Giants. DeLillo pairs his telling of this historic baseball game with another major event of the day: the U.S. government’s announcement that the Soviet Union had successfully tested an atomic bomb. In an interview, DeLillo noted, “The two events seemed oddly matched, at least to me, two kinds of conflict, local and global rivalries.”

This draft page can be seen in the current exhibition Literature and Sport, on display through August 4. Visitors can also view the notebook containing DeLillo’s notes for the novel and the author’s handwritten transcript of Russ Hodges’s broadcast of the conclusion of the playoff game between the Giants and the Dodgers.

In conjunction with the exhibition, DeLillo will read from his work at a Harry Ransom Lecture tonight at 7 p.m. in Jessen Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

Before the DeLillo event, stop by the Ransom Center’s visitor desk and sign up for eNews between 5 and 6:30 p.m.*  to receive a free copy of Underworld.

Materials from the novel are highlighted in the exhibition Literature and Sport, on view through August 4.

*While supplies last, one book per person.