A picture of the mural gracing the lobby of the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, home of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin, Texas

For over three hundred years, Texas has existed politically as a state, as an independent Republic, and as a province of Mexico, Spain, and France, in part or in whole. Before that, the geographic region that would become Texas was home to a variety of native peoples for thousands of years. Each new arrival of a different culture brought with it upheaval and change, leaving its mark on the evolving society and government of what is now the State of Texas.

The State Archives and Library Building, built in 1961, was designed to feature an expansive mural in its lobby to depict Texas’ rich and intricate past. The mural, created by artists Peter Hurd and Peter Rogers, provides an artistic view of historical events, groups and individuals that shaped Texas history.

This exhibit features selected items from the Archives collections that illustrate stories told in this inspiring mural: life during Spanish rule, a key political figure of the Republic, a German pioneer who negotiated peace with the Native Americans, establishment of citizens' rights in a new nation, the path to statehood, and the story of the artistic vision of the mural “Texas Moves Towards Statehood” which has greeted visitors for the past 50 years.


Page last modified: May 14, 2015