The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures commemorated its 50th anniversary with a new exhibit looking back at 50 years of service to the state and people of Texas. “Viva ITC: A Legacy for the Future,” which opened on the April 6 anniversary date, is now part of the museum’s permanent exhibits.
Situated in the museum’s entry gallery, the exhibit concentrates a rich history in its small footprint. From the Institute of Texan Cultures’ origins as HemisFair’s Texas Pavilion, the exhibit includes a ceremonial shovel and hardhat from the building’s groundbreaking ceremony, along with photographs documenting the building’s construction. Artifacts include publications from the museum’s time as a publishing house, along with other items such as service pins, Fiesta medals, and other promotional materials.
One gallery wall includes images and stories detailing the concept and theme guiding the institute’s creation and operation. A telephone handset lets listeners hear the opening addresses from Governor John Connally and Lady Bird Johnson. Covering a second wall, a timeline offers an expansive list of every exhibit the institute has hosted through its 50-year history.
Situated in a corner, a Swiss gondola car, similar to those used at HemisFair, invites guests to sit and take a picture, or record a memory, and tag the institute on social media for future viewing, with tags including #ITC50, #myITC, and #vivaITC.
Viva ITC! will remain a permanent component of the Institute of Texan Cultures’ main exhibit floor.