History exhibitions at The Grace Museum are dedicated to exhibitions that tell the story of the evolving cultural and social history of Abilene and West Texas. The history galleries present changing exhibitions of artifacts curated from both The Grace Museum’s history collection and historically significant objects on temporary loan. In addition, permanent period rooms from 1910, 1928, and 1948 bring the bygone eras to life through recreated parlors, living rooms, and kitchens from each time period.

Now On View

Smith's Station on the Butterfield

Smith's Station on the Butterfield

December 1July 15, 2023
Just over thirty miles northeast of Abilene sits the Chimney Creek Ranch, established in 1876, the ranch is home to cattle and native species along with conserved grasslands and water sources. However, before the ranch was formed, the Butterfield Overland Mail Route, which ran from 1858-1861, made its way through the area. On the ranch stands the remnants of the 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

Past Exhibitions

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

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