Upcoming Exhibitions
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Upcoming Exhibitions

The museum always has something new to see when you come. From art to artifacts, we strive to showcase the history of the Panhandle-Plains. Discover what's on its way to the PPHM galleries.


The Panhandle Prohibition Exhibition

October 17, 2020- October 3, 2021 Furniture Gallery

On January 17, 1920, a new day dawned for most of the USA as the 18th Amendment went into effect. Americans could no longer manufacture, sell, or transport alcoholic beverages. But Texans had already experienced this as the Panhandle and North Texas led the way as dry sentiment was widespread from politics to civic groups in the early 19 teens. The Temperance movement took Texas early but now had an impact on the rest of the US from organized crime to underground bars to fashion of the day.

The Panhandle Prohibition Exhibition takes you back to the Texas Panhandle in the 1920s and shows the story of wet v. dry when flapper dresses, Bob Wills, secret passwords, the temperance civic groups, preachers preaching the dangers of alcohol and Tommy Guns all co-existed. Just what were the efforts law enforcement made to shut down the alcohol and drug trade? Learn the diversity of music and opinions in our very own recreated speakeasy complete with augmented reality and get your very own mugshot. Prohibition may have ended officially for the US in 1933 but Texas still has dry counties to this day!

The Roaring 1920s Flapper Fashion
December 17, 2020- December 2021, Textiles Gallery

The “Flapper Era” along with women’s suffrage and prohibition was one of the major social movements that emerged in the United States shortly after the end of World War I. The term flapper refers to young women who were rebelling against more conservative social norms while celebrating their independence and economic freedoms gained by the passage of the 19th Amendment that granted women’s suffrage. They smoked cigarettes, enjoyed the nightlife of the “Roaring Twenties”, frequented jazz clubs and flaunted authority by drinking liquor in speakeasies despite passage of the 18th Amendment mandating Prohibition. This exhibition will be drawn exclusively from the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society collection and consist of approximately 20 mannequins clothed in various dresses from the Flapper Era along with textile and costumes artifacts.
SOUTHWEST ABSTRACTIONS of Emil Bisttram
January 21, 2012 – April 10, 2021 Harrington Changing Gallery

Emil Bisttram (1895-1976) was one of the leading painters in the Southwest during the twentieth century. Bisttram’s artistic talents were evident at an early age and he studied at the National Academy of Art and Design, Cooper Union, Parson’s, and the Art Student’s League during the period when New York was emerging as the center of the art world and modernism was reaching its ascendency. In Raymond Jonson, an abstract painter living and working in Albuquerque, Bistrram found a cohort and in 1938 they founded the Transcendental Painting Group. Bisttram, Jonson, and fellow members believed that color and abstract forms had a universal essence which they explored in their work. Although Bisttram periodically continued to produce public murals and some figurative paintings until his death in 1975 the vast majority of his work after World War II was pure abstraction that was inspired by the light, colors, and landscapes of his beloved Taos. Bisttram was so respected for his lifetime of work that his birthday in 1975 was declared a state holiday in New Mexico. This exhibition will be drawn exclusively from an extensive collection of approximately 65 Bisttram paintings from Tom Ladd and his sister, Susan Ladd Harris of Amarillo.
Rocks of the Ages
Showing off the brilliance of earth's designs!
February 13, 2021 – approx. February 2022 Bivins Gallery

75 rocks, minerals, and gems highlighting the dynamic and intense geologic history of this region and beyond. This exhibition features specimens, both common and uncommon, that dazzle by the richness of their color, texture, shape, and intricate patterns. Forged long ago from extreme heat and pressure and then subject to the effects of time and natural processes, these specimens tell the story of a constantly changing planet, the powerful forces that have sculpted our landscape, and the very materials that make life possible. They illustrate some of the treasures beneath our feet and the brilliance of earth’s designs.

The exhibition draws almost exclusively from the eclectic geology collection of the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum with the addition of a couple of loaned pieces. Each specimen has been carefully selected, mounted, and displayed to accentuate its physical properties and characteristics.


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