Special Exhibits

Forgotten Gateway:
Coming to America Through Galveston Island

Immigrants Awaiting Inspection at Galveston (c. 1910), Courtesy Galveston County Museum, Galveston, Texas
Immigrants Awaiting Inspection at Galveston (c. 1910), Courtesy Galveston County Museum, Galveston, Texas

As a major gateway for immigration, Galveston Island was the port of entry for hundreds of thousands of people coming to America from 1845 to 1924.

Forgotten Gateway considers the importance of place in the immigrant experience—tracing the history of Galveston Island as it changed from a small harborage for sailing vessels, to a major cosmopolitan steamship and railroad hub, and back to a nearly abandoned immigrant station—and explores universal themes of immigration, including leaving home, encountering danger, confronting discrimination, and navigating bureaucracy.

In conjunction with this special exhibit, The Bryan Museum is hosting two guest speakers to deliver talks on the topic of immigration. Find out more here.

On display: February 2 – April 24, 2017

The "Stranger's Disease":
Experiencing Yellow Fever in Galveston, 1837-1897

State Medical College, 1891, Courtesy Blocker History of Medicine Collections, UTMB
State Medical College, 1891, Courtesy Blocker History of Medicine Collections, UTMB
From Etienne Pariset and Andre Mazet, Observations sur la Fievre Jaune (1819), Courtesy The College of Physicians of Philadelphia
From Etienne Pariset and Andre Mazet, Observations sur la Fievre Jaune (1819), Courtesy The College of Physicians of Philadelphia

In the 19th century, Galveston suffered epidemics of yellow fever at least eight times. Thousands died, commerce stagnated, and the best medical minds were confounded.

Stranger's Disease offers an examination of the impact of yellow fever epidemics on the development of Galveston. The disease is spread by mosquitos, like current global health threats Zika and West Nile virus. For years, however, no one in the medical community understood how or why yellow fever attacked populations. Experience the stories of uncertainty and perseverance that led to the discovery of the cause of the disease and an effective treatment.

Stranger's Disease is co-curated by students from the Institute for the Medical Humanities, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

On display: February 2 – April 24, 2017