Current Exhibits - Austin History Center


Visitors at the opening reception for "Making the Grade," 2015

Current Exhibits

Off the Rails: The Rise and Fall of Austin's Streetcars

Austin History Center / December 11, 2018 - 

This exhibit documents the history of the operation of streetcars in Austin from 1875 to 1940. The chosen photographs and documents highlight the impact that the transit system had upon the city’s growth and development. Conflict with rideshare companies, issues of mobility and transportation, and electric light rail might all seem like modern issues, but the story of the streetcar proves otherwise and offers us an example of how Austin has attempted to deal with these questions in the past.

The exhibit will be on display at the Austin History Center through the summer of 2019.



Pioneers from the East Revisited: Early Chinese Families of Austin


Austin Central Library, 710 W Cesar Chavez St. / May 1, 2019 - June 30, 2019

This photography exhibit highlighys the early journeys and history of five of Austin’s earliest Chinese families. These photographs from the Austin History Center’s Asian American archives provide an intimate look into the lives of the Lung, Ng, Sing, Tu and Wong families. Pioneers from the East was originally an Austin History Center photo exhibit curated by Esther Chung Martin and opened to the public in October 17, 2010. Nine years later, the Austin History Center’s Asian American Community Archives Program would like to share these captivating photographs with new audiences at the Austin Central Library in celebration of Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month.



Upcoming Exhibits

Treat Me Like a Saturday Night: The Joe Ely Photographs from the Cindy Light Collection

Austin History Center/July 30 - October 27, 2019

Cindy Light is an Austin-based photographer who, over her more than thirty year career, shot many performances of Austin musicians such as Stevie Ray Vaughan, Joe Ely, and Doug Sahm as well as international acts such as Sting, Michael Jackson, and Paul McCartney. The photos in this exhibit span 1986-1990 and primarily feature Joe Ely with bandmates David Grissom, Jimmy Pettit, and Davis McLarty who represent Ely’s late 1980s – early 1990s heyday. Playing at bygone landmarks such as the Austin Opera House and Liberty Lunch, the photographs capture an era in Austin’s music history that is emblematic of the city’s reputation as a live music mecca.