Past Gallery Exhibits
Since opening in 1904, Rosenberg Library has collected thousands of objects with artistic and historical significance. Select art works and artifacts from the collection are exhibited on a rotating basis in the fourth-floor gallery spaces.
Arts of the American Southwest:
The Pabst Collection
From March 2015 through May 2016, Rosenberg Library exhibited a collection of Southwest art which was acquired from Galveston residents William and Viola Pabst in 1986. Beginning in the late 1930s, the Pabsts traveled extensively through New Mexico and Arizona, purchasing Indian-made arts and crafts from reservations and trading posts. Throughout the next two decades, the couple developed a true passion for collecting Native American art including jewelry, pottery, weavings, baskets, and Kachina dolls.
From Our Attic
This exhibition showcased rarely exhibited artifacts and works of art that the Musuem’s collection has acquired over the past century.
Toys: 1890’s – 1940’s
Toys provide a sense of pleasure, fantasy, and imitation. They are a joy to play with as children and are fun to reminisce about as adults. Often, toys offer a glimpse into how life was different — and in many cases how it was the same — in the past.
Lalique Art Glass
With the remodeling of the Library’s fourth floor, the Rosenberg Library Museum exhibited a stunning collection of 1920’s art glass created by the renowned designer Rene Jules Lalique.
A Sea Aggie Collection
This exhibit, a joint effort of the Rosenberg Library and Texas A&M University at Galveston, commemorated the dedication and vision that led to the establishment of a merchant marine training academy at the Port of Galveston.
The Small Houses of Galveston:
The Small Houses of Galveston featured photographs of 38 “small” historic houses on the island — a type often overlooked in a city boasting a large number of formidable Victorian mansions. The exhibit was guest curated by Ellen Beasley, author of The Alleys and Back Buildings of Galveston and The Corner Store and co-author of Galveston Architecture Guidebook.
Encountering the Everyday
Featured 19th and 20th century still life paintings from the library’s permanent art collection. The exhibit ran from April through October 2016.
This exhibition featured historic images from the library’s archival collection related to the African American history in Galveston.
A Century of Galveston Art
This exhibition showcased works by the members of the Galveston Art League that have been painted during the past 100 years.
Island Art / Island Architecture:
Paintings of Historic Galveston Homes
This exhibition represents a strong commitment to the preservation of Galveston’s artistic treasures. A large number of works from the library’s permanent collection, as well as works loaned by local residents, were featured.
Of Birds and Texas:
The Art of Stuart and Scott Gentling
The exhibit featured lithographic prints from artists and twin brothers, Stuart and Scott Gentling’s limited-edition 1986 elephant folio, Of Birds and Texas, acclaimed as “the most magnificent book ever produced in Texas.”
“By the Shore of Gitche Gumee…”
The exhibit featured twenty-one dramatic illustrations of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic poem, The Song of Hiawatha, created by artist Joseph Boggs Beale in the early 1900s. Visitors to “By the Shore of Gitchee Gumee” can use their smartphones to listen to an audio recording of the poem.
This exhibit featured works by accomplished local photographers Barbara Pursley and Marilyn Brodwick, spotlighting aging and presenting images that invoke powerful emotions.
The Art of Clyde Harold Wortham
It was Mr. Wortham’s wish that his collection become part of the Rosenberg Library’s permanent art collection following his death. The Museum is proud to own over forty of his works, a selection of which was on exhibit in 2011.
Wings In Watercolor:
33 Works by Boyer Gonzales, Sr. (1864 – 1934)
This exhibit featured thirty-three watercolors and sketches of various birds by an award-winning artist of national acclaim during the early twentieth century.
Silhouettes of a Century:
An Exhibit of 19th Century Portraiture
The Rosenberg Library Museum exhibited a select collection of portraiture in this brilliantly set gallery.
On The Run:
Currency, Credit, and Capitals of the Republic of Texas
From January – September 2016, the library exhibited a unique collection of early Texas currency, drafts, vouchers and paper money
which circulated during its ten years as an independent republic (guest curated by James P. Bevill).
Galveston Before the Civil War
In celebration of Galveston’s 175th birthday in 2014, Rosenberg Library produced a special exhibit entitled Galveston Before the Civil War which featured an assemblage of historic artifacts and archival images related to the founding of the city.
Pottery of the Americas:
An Exhibit of Pre-Columbian, Mexican, and Native American Pottery
This exhibition explored the various processes and techniques used to manufacture pottery, the common materials used, and the historic cultures from South America, Mexico, and the American Southwest.