Water/Ways: A Special Exhibit from The Smithsonian


July 23 – September 11, 2021
From above, Earth appears as a water planet with more than 71 percent of its surface covered with this vital resource for life. Water impacts climate, agriculture, transportation, industry and more. It inspires art and music. The Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum will host “Water/Ways,” a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS) program. This compelling exhibit will be on view at the Museum from July 23 through September 11, 2021.

“Water/Ways” explores the endless motion of the water cycle, water’s effect on landscape, settlement and migration, and its impact on culture and spirituality. It looks at how political and economic planning have long been affected by access to water and control of water resources. Human creativity and resourcefulness provide new ways of protecting water resources and renewing respect for the natural environment.

The special exhibit is a family-friendly, interactive experience, and is free with Museum admission.


Ranching Heritage of the Guadalupe River Valley

As the centerpiece of the Museum, The Ranching Heritage of the Guadalupe River Valley exhibit gives visitors a walk through time and legend. The story of cattle ranching in the Guadalupe Valley, its roots in cattle ranching before and after the Great Cattle drives of the late 1800s, and the enduring folklore of the Texas cowboy is brought to life in this exhibit. Rich local history, including the infamous Sutton Taylor War, pitted cattle rustling outlaws against frontier justice and introduced lawmen such as the legendary Texas Rangers. Highly selective curation of objects for authenticity puts you that much closer to history.

Horsemen of the Americas: Tinker Collection

Dr. Edward Laroque Tinker’s collection of rare and horse-related artifacts from Mexico, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina, Peru and other Latin American countries is a priceless educational tool illustrating the expanse of cowboy and ranch life introduced to the New World by Spain in the 17th and 18th centuries. On permanent loan to the CTHM from the Harry Ransom Center (HRC) at The University of Texas at Austin, the Tinker Collection showcases the pride of craft shared by horsemen north and south of our borders in the golden age of working cattle on horseback. The exquisite workmanship of equestrian and ceremonial artifacts demonstrates an extraordinary level of artisanship.

Edward S. Curtis: A Portrait of Native American Life

A handsome series of photogravures of Native American subjects lines the hallway on CTHM’s second story. In the early 20th century, Edward S. Curtis captured Native American subjects – predominantly portraits but also landscapes, still lifes, scenes of everyday life, and more. In an article published in 1914, at the height of his fame, he wrote, “We want the documentary picture of the people and their homeland – a picture that will show the soul of the people.”

Spurs Showcase

CTHM is excited to announce a new exhibition of Texas spurs. The recently installed showcases are in our first floor lobby. Now a part of the Museum’s permanent collection, the exhibit features hand crafted spurs by Texas craftsmen Bianchi, Buermann, Crockett, Kelly Brothers, McChesney, Shipley and Alfred Smith, to name a few. Spur experts Bruce Bartlett and Kurt House, both from San Antonio, curated the collection.