Past Rotating Exhibits


Mapping Texas: From Frontier to the Lone Star State

Friday April 20, 2018 to Wednesday January 2, 2019

As Texas took its current shape, the space changed from an extensive, unexplored, and sparsely settled frontier under the Spanish Crown to its iconic and easily recognizable outline today. Mapping Texas: From Frontier to the Lone Star State traces the cartographic history of Texas from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries. Mapping Texas explains how centuries of change shaped our perspective of Texas from a distant frontier to the Lone Star State, all with the understanding that in order for land to be claimed, it needed to be mapped first.

Through a series of 26 maps and documents, split into seven different subjects, museum visitors can observe the evolution of the state and the emergence of the Alamo and the San Antonio missions. Some of the maps presented in this exhibit include Martin Waldseemüller's 1513 Tabula Terre Nove, one of the earliest maps of the Americas; and Alexander Von Humboldt's 1809 General Map of the Kingdom of New Spain, which was highly influential in the mapping of Texas and the American West. Also on display are oversized maps of Texas including a copy of Stephen F. Austin's 1837 Connected Map of Austin's Colony; a one-of-a-kind manuscript map documenting the boundary between the U.S. and the Republic of Texas, and many more. The selection of maps are reproductions from the Texas General Land Office.