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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

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Witte Museum Goes Public with the South Texas Heritage Phase of the Capital Campaign
Witte Museum

July, 2010

The Witte Museum has publicly announced the South Texas Heritage Phase of the capital campaign, It’s About Time: The Campaign for the WitteMuseum.  This Phase includes the South TexasHeritageCenter and the Witte ResearchCenter. The WitteMuseum is pleased to announce 71% of the $16,750,000 goal has been secured for the South Texas Heritage Phase of the capital campaign.

The WitteMuseum is particularly grateful for the generosity of the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation for stepping forward with the lead gift towards the South Texas Heritage Center. “We are honored to be the recipient of this important gift from a South Texas family steeped in the history of this State,” said Marise McDermott, President and CEO of the WitteMuseum. “We are grateful to the Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation for their shared vision of telling the legendary story of South Texas history,” she added.  

            Construction of the SouthTexasHeritageCenter will begin Fall 2010 and the doors will open to the public Spring 2012. The South Texas Heritage Center will serve as a permanent home for the Witte’s collections, exhibitions and public programs, and will encompass 20,000 square feet as a two-story building, incorporating Pioneer Hall. The collections and archives of the WitteMuseum trace the legendary history of South Texas as no other museum can. The Witte’s South Texas collections, including saddles, spurs, branding irons, land grants, art and firearms are cherished links to our interwoven heritage. The SouthTexasHeritageCenter will provide immersive and engaging experiences of real-life stories of South Texans including Texas Indians, Spanish settlers, Tejanos, ranchers, trail drivers, farmers and oil and gas industry leaders.

            Highlights of the South Texas Heritage Center include a grand entry hall; exhibits on ranching, farming, the Main Plaza in the 1840s, the oil and gas industry, horse culture and life along the border; a gallery dedicated to the Witte’s seminal 19th and 20th century early Texas Art collection; classroom space for educational programs for students; an outdoor amphitheater; sculptures and much more.

Additional major gifts and confirmed donor recognition for the South Texas Heritage Center include* Dolph Briscoe Ranching Gallery, Ewing Halsell Hall, The Greehey Family Foundation, Scott Petty Family Oil and Gas Gallery, Will Smith Foundation Amphitheater, Will Smith Foundation Classroom, Carl H. Guenther Mercantile Gallery, Alex Halff Family Ranching Gallery, The Russell Hill Rogers Fund for the Arts Texas Art Gallery and Tobin Endowment Map Gallery. *as of June 15, 2010

The Witte Research Center will house the Witte’s vast permanent collection, boasting 180,000

artifacts, when not on view in the SouthTexasHeritageCenter and will encompass 30,000 square feet. The WitteResearchCenter will adopt an open-to-the-public, visible format—underscoring the importance of the WitteMuseum collections and placing the Witte at the forefront of museums nationally with the open storage approach.

            Highlights of the Witte Research Center include visible storage galleries on the Hertzberg Circus, American Indian/Anthropology, Texas furniture, Coronation gowns, Western and South Texas artifacts, Military, Arms and Armor, Textiles and Natural History; and archives and reading rooms for researchers and scholars.

Additional major gifts and confirmed donor recognition for the Witte Research Center include* San Antonio Express-News Reading Room, Clement Texas Furniture Collection Gallery, Dorothea Oppenheimer and Lucille and Jim Travis Coronation Collection Gallery and Bolner Family Arms and Armor Collection Gallery. *as of June 15, 2010

*Note to Editors: For more information or to request high-resolution architectural renderings, contact Shannon H. Standley at 210.357.1876 or


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