Museum plans ‘Where Texas Ranching Began’ exhibit after receiving grant from NEH

This is a rendering by RMA Architects of the scheduled expansion of Victoria College's Museum of the Coastal Bend.

Victoria College’s Museum of the Coastal Bend has plans for a 3,600-square-foot expansion project after receiving a grant of $583,750 from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The award is one of 32 recently made by the NEH’s Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grant Program. The grant will fund 50 percent of the $1,167,500 expansion project, a component of VC’s current Facilities Master Plan. The remaining 50 percent needed for the museum expansion will be met through fundraising.

The expansion will include a permanent exhibit at the museum titled “Where Texas Ranching Began.”

“The new exhibit design incorporates multipurpose space for humanities programming with improved presentation technology and seating for audiences of up to 100,” said Sue Prudhomme, Victoria College executive director of cultural affairs. “Attendance at the museum’s temporary exhibits over the last decade has proven there is an overwhelming community and visitor interest in the ranching heritage of the Coastal Bend region.”

The museum plans to work with two curators of its past two ranching exhibits, Raymond Starr and Pam Wheat Stranahan. The new exhibit will display 200 years of ranching history from 1721 to 1920. It is planned to open to the public in 2026.

“We want to show how the ranching industry shaped the culture and identity of the Coastal Bend,” Prudhomme said. “Our goal is also to exhibit the roles in which ethnic minorities and women helped shape the industry in our region.”

For more information on the project, contact the Museum of the Coastal Bend at (361) 582-2511.