Who We Are
Texas Memorial Museum (TMM) is devoted to the natural sciences, exhibiting the university’s stunning biological and geological collections. TMM is more than an exhibit hall. We are a vital educational resource for all communities, statewide. TMM offers programs for learners of all ages including a free audio tour, gallery talks, identifications of natural objects, curriculum guides, and TEKS-aligned activities. We facilitate connections between the public and scientists, introduce university students to the importance of collections, and offer educational opportunities for volunteers and student interns.
What We’re Fundraising For
The three magnificent windows on the west side of Texas Memorial Museum are distinctive features of our building design developed by renowned architect John F. Staub. The decorative glass blocks allowed for diffused natural light, but in February 1939, TMM Director Elias H. Sellards was very concerned about the heat visitors would experience in the Great Hall, come summer.
Draperies were selected over the options of coating the glass or installing Bakelite blinds. The hand-woven fabric was purchased from textile designer and weaver Dorothy Wright Liebes of San Francisco in 1939. Textile experts at Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum have informed us that TMM is one of only two sites where original Liebes textiles remain in place. The beautiful draperies created for TMM have stood the test of time, but after 82 years of blazing sun on the west face of the building, they are disintegrating.
After consultation with UT’s Project Management and Construction Services and careful consideration of the need for UV protection, appropriate lighting on cloudy days, and the preservation of the visual style of the Great Hall, we have decided to replace the draperies with lightweight, vinyl-coated fiberglass window shades, and preserve some of the drapery fabric for curation into an appropriate textile collection. The estimated minimum cost for this project is $32,000.
Your gift will be a unique contribution to the rich history of the Great Hall. The original draperies will be replaced with window shades that will not only block more than 95% of UV radiation, but improve the acoustics in the gallery space. With your help, we will ensure the Great Hall remains beautiful and welcoming to visitors while protecting the display of the university’s priceless collections.
Improvements to the Great Hall is just a start! Donations to TMM's Area of Greatest Need support all our efforts to provide the community a place to explore and learn about Texas' natural history. Thank you!