Cesar Garza

Communications Officer

TSLAC Marks 50th Anniversary of Texas History Mural with New Exhibit

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 • Austin, TX • News Release

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) is marking the 50th anniversary of its historical lobby mural with an exhibit of unique items illustrating Texas’ dramatic journey from European province to American state.

For five decades an expansive wall painting has greeted visitors in the lobby of TSLAC’s Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, just east of the Capitol. Created by artists Peter Hurd and Peter Rogers in the summer of 1964, the mural provides an artistic panorama of historical events, groups and individuals that shaped Texas history for the past 400 years.

The new exhibit, also available in the lobby, features selected documents and artifacts from the agency’s archives that illustrate stories in the 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 the new nation, the path to statehood, and the story of Hurd and Rogers’ artistic vision.

“The mural is a unique and iconic depiction of the dramatic episodes in Texas history that made our state what it is today,” said agency director Mark Smith. “Both the exhibit and the mural are in the lobby of our building, so visitors will be able to experience the history in a very real and immersive way.”

Texas Moves Toward Statehood: Stories Behind the Mural is free and open to the public at 1201 Brazos Street, Austin. Regular business hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, the agency has expanded its hours of operation to the Second Saturday of every month in 2014, the next being April 12th.

On Second Saturdays all are welcome to visit the agency’s three public service areas – the Texas State Archives, Texas Family Heritage Research Center, and the Reference and Information Center – in addition to its current lobby exhibit from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For complete information about Second Saturdays visit Follow TSLAC at for highlights from the exhibit. The mural has been captured and described in this photo set on the agency’s Flickr page:

Photos Attached

Courtesy of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Caption 1: Since 1964 the mural Texas Moves Toward Statehood has greeted visitors in the lobby of TSLAC's Lorenzo de Zavala Building, just east of the State Capitol in Austin. The mural compresses 400 years of Texas history into a compelling, comprehensive panorama.

Caption 2: A vest once worn by Mirabeau B. Lamar, poet, President of the Republic of Texas (1838 -1841), and Father of Texas Education. The vest is constructed out of cotton, leather and needlework.

Caption 3: An 1846 booklet that once belonged to German pioneer John Meusebach. His fiancée in Germany sent the booklet to him in Texas. The scenes on the cover represent discussions the two of them had on the themes of education, power, and liberty. This side contains the lines “Texas Forever” and “Liberty!”

Caption 4: A page from the original draft of the 1836 Constitution of the Republic of Texas, written during the legendary Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos. This page outlines the “Declaration of Rights” for citizens of the new nation.