Museum of Texas Tech puts natural, cultural material under the spotlight
The Museum of Texas Tech is an educational, scientific, cultural and research element of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, consisting of several components:
The museum, accredited by the American Association of Museums, has a mission "to collect, preserve, interpret and disseminate knowledge about natural and cultural material from Texas, the Southwest and other regions related by natural history, heritage and climate. ... It is dedicated to acting as a responsible partner to Texas Tech and the community of museums.''
- Main museum building.
- Moody Planetarium.
- Natural Science Research Labor-atory.
- Research and educational elements of Lubbock Lake Landmark.
- Val Verde County research site.
The Museum of Texas Tech also is a host to touring shows and one-of-a-kind exhibits, not the least of which is the never-before-seen exhibit ''Medieval Frescoes from the Vatican Museums collection.''
Gary Edson, executive director of the Museum of Texas Tech, says that this Vatican exhibit is the building's most important to date, but adds, ''We've had a great many important exhibits. The Vatican exhibit certainly is the most important in terms of bringing international attention, and because of the rare opportunity given to people of this region. But I would not want to demean some other great exhibits.''
Gary Edson, executive director of the Museum of Texas Tech University in Lubbock, gestures toward the Helen Jones Auditorium and Sculpture Court, which has been cleared for "Medieval Frescoes from the Vatican Museums Collection."
His list of favorite Tech museum exhibits includes a year-long tribute to the horse called "Thundering Hooves," which included exhibits in different media from an array of locations; an exhibit of N.C. Wyeth's work that he calls ''a milestone for us;'' a wood exhibition "Out of the Woods: Turned Wood by American Craftsmen;" and a full exhibit of sculptures by Glenna Goodacre that, he recalled, ''enjoyed tremendous appeal because of her local roots and her national success.''
The museum was founded as the West Texas Museum in 1929, shortly after Texas Technological College (later changed to Texas Tech) was chartered in 1925.
William Curry Holden served as its first director until his retirement in 1969. He oversaw the construction of the first museum, which served as a basement only - and on to the construction and occupation of the current Museum of Texas Tech University building at Fourth Street and Indiana Avenue in 1970. Recent museum additions include the building of the Diamond M Wing (three public galleries and a basement for work/storage) in 1996 to house the Diamond M Fine Art Collection, and the completion in 2001 of the Helen Jones Auditorium and Sculpture Court.
Collections at the Museum of Texas Tech also have steadily increased.
In 2000, the museum's own collections numbered approximately three million objects and specimens.
The museum's permanent collection also includes paintings by Georgia O'Keefe, Peter Hurd and Robert Henri.