Permanent Exhibits

Our exhibits are located on the second floor of the museum. Our permanent exhibits focus on railroad history, with an emphasis on the Santa Fe and railroads in Texas. We also have a changing exhibit gallery, with new exhibits every 2 to 3 months. Our temporary exhibits explore general topics in U.S. history, as well as railroad history.

Winter Temporary Exhibit:

Russell Lee Photographs
On Display: January 27 – March 10

Yarborough campaign onlookers, Mount Vernon, Texas by Russell Lee, 1954.

Yarborough campaign onlookers, Mount Vernon, Texas by Russell Lee, 1954. Russell Lee Photograph Collection. The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

The Temple Railroad and Heritage Museum has a new temporary exhibit on display. Russell Lee Photographs will be on display January 27 – March 10 and showcases photographs from Texas’s renowned documentary photographer. Lee produced stunning black and white images, focusing on topics such as politics, travel, industry and, most touchingly, the human condition.

Russell Lee came to photography after training as an engineer and a painter and left a legacy of more than 100,000 documentary images from the 1930s to the 1970s. Although best known for his large body of work for the Farm Security Administration (FSA) from 1936 to 1943, Lee also produced many significant series of images on his own and on other assignments, most of it while he was living in Austin, Texas, his chosen home.

This exhibit offers a rare glimpse into the images he produced in 1935 and 1936 when he first took up a camera and goes on to highlight the vast body of important work that Lee produced from 1947 through 1977. Although less familiar than his work for the FSA, Lee’s early work and his postwar photography highlight his interest in documenting the human condition and reflect his great talent and humanity.

This collection of digital prints is drawn from the archives of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. The Briscoe Center’s Lee collection includes 3,639 photographic prints, 708 slides, 27,047 photographic negatives, and five color transparencies.

Russell Lee Photographs can be viewed with regular admission to the museum, Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and is part of the regular schedule of changing exhibits at the museum. Russell Lee Photographs was organized by the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin, and presented in partnership with Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Humanities Texas advances heritage, culture, and education and is based in Austin, Texas.

Upcoming Temporary Exhibits

 

Patios, Pools, & the Invention of the American Back Yard
Mar. 17 – May 26, 2018

On loan from the Smithsonian, the exhibit features period photographs, retro advertisements, pop culture references, and influential landscape designs. From the beauty of postwar garden design to the history of the rise of the suburbs and the environmental movement, the exhibition is a nostalgic, fascinating look back.