Museum | Small/Mid Market

The Museum of the Big Bend (Alpine)

In the summer of 2023, the Museum of the Big Bend transformed from a first-class small museum into a new league altogether.

A part of Sul Ross State University, the museum has been housed since the early 2000s in its original stone building on the SRSU campus, an immaculately renovated Works Progress Administration structure dating from 1937.

But last year, a striking new building addition by noted international design firm Page/ doubled the square footage of the Museum and added dramatic new entrances, exhibition galleries and spaces for institutional and private events.

The exhibit quality has always been first-class, and the content makes the Museum a must-see resource for first time visitors to the region. “Big Bend Legacy,” the permanent exhibit housed in the historic building, tells the story of the region’s prehistory and history thoughtfully and from multiple perspectives.

The new building provides greatly enhanced art display galleries for the Museum’s permanent collection and a rarely-viewed series of paintings by El Paso’s Tom Lea, as well as regularly scheduled visiting shows. Upcoming events include an exhibit of Andy Warhol’s signature screen prints.

The Museum’s annual “Trappings of Texas” exhibit and sale, at 36 years and counting, is the longest-running show of premiere contemporary western art and custom cowboy gear in the nation.

Another signature asset is the Yana and Marty Davis Map Collection, containing hundreds of original documents dating back to the sixteenth century. A selection of maps are on permanent display and everything in the collection is available to anyone for viewing by appointment.

In 2020 and 2022, True West magazine named the Museum of the Big Bend as one of their Top Ten Western Museums in the US. The historic building has also received a sizable National Endowment for the Humanities grant for additional restoration work.

All photos by Rebekah Antrosio unless noted.