Current History Exhibitions

A Larger View: Historic Panoramic Photographs

A Larger View: Historic Panoramic Photographs

December 18November 12, 2022
Large panoramic photographs of landscapes or groups have been around since the invention of photography. Unlike today and the ease of taking a “pano” on a cell phone, panoramic photographs were taken on special cameras beginning in the 1840s. Capturing these large-scale photographs was a very involved and complex process. By the late 1890s and early 1900s, mass-produced panoramic cameras History
Creating a Community: The State Epileptic Colony in Abilene

Creating a Community: The State Epileptic Colony in Abilene

January 16November 12, 2022
In 1904, the State Epileptic Colony in Abilene was founded to help individuals with epilepsy through research, care, and isolation. More importantly, it offered a place for these individuals to work, live, and thrive. The institution, hospital, and complex was a state-of-the-art facility and consisted of an administration building, a power plant, a women’s and men’s hospital, four cottages, and History
Cooling Off with Style: Hand Fans From the Collection

Cooling Off with Style: Hand Fans From the Collection

June 4July 15, 2023
This exhibition will feature several hand fans from The Grace Museum’s permanent collection. Fans were not only a functional accessory to keep the wearer cool on the hottest of days, they were also an important style piece in a woman’s wardrobe. Hand fans have a long-storied history going back thousands of years into biblical and ancient Chinese and Japanese times. History

Upcoming Exhibitions

A Larger View: Historic Panoramic Photographs

A Larger View: Historic Panoramic Photographs

Dec 18 Nov 12
Cotton Compress at Abilene, unknown date, Collection of The Grace Museum, Gift of the Abilene Preservation League Large panoramic photographs of landscapes or groups have been around since the invention of photography. Unlike today and the ease of taking a…
Creating a Community: The State Epileptic Colony in Abilene

Creating a Community: The State Epileptic Colony in Abilene

Jan 16 Nov 12
In 1904, the State Epileptic Colony in Abilene was founded to help individuals with epilepsy through research, care, and isolation. More importantly, it offered a place for these individuals to work, live, and thrive. The institution, hospital, and complex was…
Cultural Heritage Exhibition - Independence Day

Cultural Heritage Exhibition – Independence Day

Jul 19 Aug 31
The Grace Museum is collaborating with Abilene Christian University’s Introduction to Public History: Interpreting American Pasts course to create monthly exhibitions that coincide with different cultural heritage months throughout the year. These exhibitions highlight the narratives of various cultural groups…
Cooling Off with Style: Hand Fans From the Collection

Cooling Off with Style: Hand Fans From the Collection

Jun 4 Jul 15
Gift of Mrs. John K. Donnan This exhibition will feature several hand fans from The Grace Museum’s permanent collection. Fans were not only a functional accessory to keep the wearer cool on the hottest of days, they were also an…

Past Exhibits

2022

List 2022 Exhibitions Here

2021

List 2021 Exhibitions Here

2020

List 2020 Exhibitions Here

Always On View

The 3rd floor history galleries are dedicated to displaying permanent and temporary exhibitions of historically significant objects that tell the story of the evolving cultural and social history of Abilene and west Texas. The history galleries also strive to present exhibitions of artifacts curated from The Grace Museum’s permanent history collection. On permanent view are period parlor and kitchen rooms that depict life in Abilene in 1910, 1928, and 1948.

Historic Period Rooms

Evidence remained of the life of the homesteader, but Abilene was beginning to urbanize. An electric streetcar system had just begun service. The state-run Epileptic Colony was celebrating its seventh birthday and was the city’s largest employer. Following drought-breaking rains,…

Spark

Spark a history connection in our new exploratory space located on the second floor! See objects on display from our permanent history collection and enjoy learning stations that tell the stories of Abilene, the T&P Railway, and other significant things that shaped our West Texas history.

History of the Building

History Collections

The focus of the history collection is historically significant objects that tell the story of the evolving cultural and social history of late 19th and early 20th century Abilene and West Texas. The history collection is composed of over 12,000 objects including textiles, scrapbooks, yearbooks, vintage photographs, furniture, ephemera, personal correspondence, maps, Hotel Grace archives and an extensive Texas and Pacific Railway archive.
Abilene Fine Arts Museum

Abilene Fine Arts Museum

Hotel Grace

Hotel Grace

Abilene Womens Clubs

Abilene Womens Clubs

Garments and Fashion

Garments and Fashion

Folding Fans

Folding Fans

Mallouf Boot Shop

Mallouf Boot Shop

T&P Collection

T&P Collection

Household Tools

Household Tools

Historic Photographs

Historic Photographs

SEARCH THE COLLECTION ON THE PORTAL TO TEXAS HISTORY

The West Texas Digital Archives was a collaborative project spearheaded by the Abilene Library Consortium in partnership with 14 libraries, museums, and other institutions around the region to make available over 150,000 unique historical documents, images, and other items to users around the world on the Portal to Texas History.

Searchable Collections:

• Scrapbooks of the Abilene Fine Arts Museum

• Camp Barkeley News 1942-1945

• Texas & Pacific Railway Collection Photographs

• The Crutch newsletters, the Reconditioning and Training Service of the Regional Hospital at Camp Barkeley 1944-1945