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.


Galveston Photography 1860 - 1890 exhibit logo

Galveston Photography: 1860 – 1890

Included a variety of images documenting the city’s early years. On view were photos of downtown Galveston taken before the Civil War, the aftermath of a devastating hurricane in 1867, and a frozen Galveston Bay after a winter storm in 1886.

Rare Books of the Rosenberg exhibit logo

Rare Books of the Rosenberg

Featured a selection of rare manuscripts, early printed books, and valuable first editions from the Library’s historical collections.

Never a Dull Moment exhibit logo

Never a Dull Moment
Vibrant works by early 20th century Texas artist, Grace Spaulding John.

Galveston & the Great War

Featured an assemblage of materials collected by Galvestonians who served during WWI.


Still Life:
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.

The Small Houses of Galveston:
Another Take

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.

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).


Pabst rug

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.

Voices from the Past:
An Exhibit Celebrating African American History in Galveston

This exhibition featured historic images from the Library’s archival collection related to the African American history in Galveston.


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.

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.”

Exhibit Room

From Our Attic

This exhibition showcased rarely exhibited artifacts and works of art that the Musuem’s collection has acquired over the past century.


“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.

Embracing Aging

This exhibit featured works by accomplished local photographers Barbara Pursley and Marilyn Brodwick, spotlighting aging and presenting images that invoke powerful emotions.

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.


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.

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.


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.


Foundations of Influence:
A Reflection on Galveston’s Beginnings

This exhibit included portraits of well known members of Galveston families lining the walls, and special belongings displayed in the elegant hallway cases.

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.


A World at War:
Memories of World War I and World War II

This exhibition explored the causes and effects of WWI and WWII, and it also highlighted Galveston’s role during both global conflicts…

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.


Sacred Spaces:
An Exhibit of Churches in Art

An exhibit of inspirational paintings and drawings of churches was displayed featuring 25 works by six artists, all but one of whom resided in Galveston.

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.