Texas Tech University

Evolution of a Museum: In Building and Purpose

The Museum of Texas Tech University celebrates its 90th anniversary during 2019. Join us through the year as we show off the Museum's history and some of our extraordinary collections.

musuem-basementThe exhibition "Evolution of a Museum: In Building and Purpose" traces the history and development of the museum from its inception in 1929 when a group of citizens interested in preserving the history and culture of the region formed the Plains Museum Society.

The exhibition looks at the inspiration and work that culminated in the museum's first building. In 1937, the West Texas Museum opened on the northeast corner of the circle on the Texas Technological College's campus (in what is now Holden Hall) with only the basement level.

The struggle for state funding to continue construction on the Museum is document int he exhibition as are the private funding raising efforts.

front of buildingAn addition opened in 1950 completed the building. A hallmark of the museum was a mural for the Rotunda's Memorial Hall. The Southwestern artist Peter Hurd was commissioned to paint the mural that profiles South Plains Pioneers. The mural was dedicated in 1954 and profiled in "LIFE Magazine." The Mural remains in Holden Hall.

But the Museum outgrew that facility and the facility was moved off the interior of the campus into a new building. The Museum opened in its current location in 1970.

Today, the Museum is home to more than 8 million objects and operates several facilities, including the Moody Planetarium, the Natural Science Research Laboratory, and the Lubbock Lake Landmark

The exhibition concludes with a look ahead at what the future may hold for the museum.

History of the Museum of Texas Tech University Association: 1929 - 1979