About Us

LOOKING FORWARD

Mission

The mission of The Bryan Museum is to be the premier institution for presenting the stories of the history of the settlement of Texas and the West in a comprehensive and inspirational way. Our aim is to reach a wide audience, in a compelling visual and oral fashion, to elevate the importance of our shared history as a source of wisdom and guidance for our institutions, our communities, and ourselves.

Our History

The Bryan Museum arose from humble beginnings. At age ten, J.P. Bryan acquired his first two pieces, a Moore’s Patent Front Loading Revolver and a Sharps Patent Four-Barrel Derringer. Both firearms still reside in the collection today.

While attending the University of Texas, Bryan started a rare book and printing business with a friend. It was during this period that he began focusing his collecting on Texana. He started with rare books, in which he had a keen interest. Bryan’s uncle, Judge Lewis Wilson of Brazoria County, willed his impressive collection of Texas literature to Bryan, providing him with a strong foundation.

From there, the collection expanded both rapidly and eclectically. With a focus on artists who lived during the West’s Golden Age or when “the dust was still settling,” the museum’s art collection presents a unique opportunity for visitors to personally experience that period of history.

In October 2013, J.P. and Mary Jon Bryan purchased the old Galveston Orphans Home in Galveston, Texas. After a careful restoration of the historic structure, The Bryan Museum opened in June 2015. With 20,000 square feet of exhibit space and lush, manicured grounds, it has become a Texas destination.

Museum Board of Directors

Alicia Bryan

J. P. Bryan

Fred Burns

John Crain

Joe Jaworski

Ed McMahan

Matthew Miller

Karl Rove

Roland Sledge

Museum Board of Advisors/Delegados

Joe (President) and Rebecca Jaworski

Blake (Secretary) and Lindsay McCrory

John Bryan and Andrea Edmundson

Sam and Doris Collins

Hon. Geoff Connor

June Deadrick

John and Susan Schouest

Hon. Peter and Diane Taaffe

Dancie and Jim Ware

Susan Noe and Mike Wilson

Justice (Hon.) Ken and Sara Wise

Museum Staff

Candace Jones

Candace Jones

Director of Education

Favorite artifact: I find that the Battle of San Jacinto diorama is very compelling because it represents to me the indomitable spirit of Texians in their fight for Independence. The diorama captures a singular moment in Texas history and a story that has been told around the world. I grew up close to the Battleground and have explored it many times trying to imagine the battle lines and military tactics of both sides. Seeing such a comprehensive visual representation of the battle is fascinating.
Hometown: I grew up in Crosby, Texas, a small rural community in eastern Harris County close to Lake Houston. It was predominantly a farming and ranching area and my high school graduation class was 123 students. It has since grown dramatically as a bedroom community for Houston with the farms becoming large acreage estates and subdivisions.

Dallas Bean

Dallas Bean

Financial Controller

Favorite artifact: The Tom Lea sketch in the Texas Masters Gallery that was used to design the etched bowl displayed with it. The sketch shows an example of the work and planning that goes behind art as we see it in its final form.
Hometown: I am from the wonderful town of Lake Jackson, TX in Brazoria County. While my wife was attending UTMB in 2016, we moved to Galveston.

David Thomas

David Thomas

Collections Manager and Registrar

His passion: The Bryan Museum provides an intriguing and accessible means of educating people about history. People who know their history are engaged, concerned citizens, capable of critical thinking and willing to confront complex ideas and find solutions to difficult issues.
Fun fact: I grew up in the Ouachita National Forest, in the heart of the Ouachita Mountains of Western Arkansas. My home town, Mena, Arkansas is a small town of about 5,000.

Deepa Madhavan

Deepa Madhavan

Payroll & Human Resources Liaison

Favorite artifact: Frank Raugh’s “Longhorn Overlooking Canyon.” I love the calming colors, and it was previously in our Torch offices (The Visions of the West Collection) for the employees to enjoy.
Fun fact: I spent several of my years growing up in Algeria, North Africa because of my father’s work in Oil & Gas.

Hilda Moran

Hilda Moran

Museum Shop Assistant

Her passion: The museum offers so much of our Texas heritage, the captivating exhibits strike the interest of the young and the old alike. The grounds are spectacular, the museum shop is a beautiful and fun place, the conservatory is truly grandiose. Sometimes I picture myself sitting on one of the gorgeous saddles displayed in the museum, riding off into the sunset!

Hometown: Galveston, Texas

Jan Kittler

Jan Kittler

Museum Shop Assistant

Favorite artifact: I love so many things in the collection, but my favorite is probably the beautiful little gold saddle wedding ring that Charles Russell made for his wife.
Her passion: I enjoy meeting and visiting with all the people that come to the museum from all over the country, as well as the world. They are so interested in the museum and history, and it is fun to share information with them.

Jana Garcia

Jana Garcia

Museum Shop Assistant

Favorite artifact: I think my favorite thing in the museum is the fireplace in the lobby. I love all the craftsmanship and character it displays. Outside I love the beautiful grounds thanks to Mitzy.

Home town: Woodville, Texas but I have lived all over Texas and I’m a 5th generation Texan.

Joan Marshall

Joan Marshall

Museum Director

Favorite artifact: The Line Rider, an oil painting by Charles M. Russell dated 1889. It makes me shiver just to look at this painting of a lone cowboy on his horse in the middle of a snowstorm on the Great Plains. I grew up in Ft. Worth looking at the great collection of Russells at the Amon Carter Museum – he’s still one of my favorites.
Fun fact: I love birds and always make time to observe the shorebirds of Galveston Island’s Coastal Heritage Preserve.

Jordan Price

Jordan Price

Director of Marketing & Membership

Favorite artifact: Canon City Prison Spurs. Back before prisons made license plates, they made spurs as a form of vocational training. Prisoners weren’t allowed to sign their spurs, so each artist developed unique styles and tell-tail designs. The museum has a phenomenal collection of 800+ pairs of spurs.
Fun fact: I make homemade limoncello!

Kate Gray

Kate Gray

Librarian

Favorite artifact: Mission Bell in the Spanish Colonial Gallery – the beautiful tone creates the hushed atmosphere of the missions. It engages your hearing – one additional sense. And it comes as a bit of a surprise as you walk around.
Hometown: Colts Neck, New Jersey – which is in Monmouth County, which is interesting because…Maria Austin’s (Emily’s mother) first American ancestor was an original patentee of Monmouth County. A fact I learned while reading Emily Austin of Texas by Light Townsend Cummins.

Mary Lou Hollender

Mary Lou Hollender

Director of Development

Favorite artifact: I love the Onderdonk still life painting of the smashed ripe watermelon and bees because it is so real that you can tell how sweet and juicy the fruit is and hear the bees buzzing when you look at it. The light is soft and inviting, the colors vibrant, and the sultry summertime ambiance surrounds the viewer.
Hometown: Flemington, New Jersey

Mitzy Barringer

Mitzy Barringer

Horticulturalist

Her passion: My work of creating a beautiful, nurturing, peaceful landscape is my passion for the Museum. I hope that the gardens are a visual invitation to take a tour inside the Museum to which I’m sure the visitors will be amazed.

Hometown: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Peter Ochoa

Peter Ochoa

Director of Events

Favorite artifact: I love the Jeweled Ames Sword presented to Capt. Allen Lowd in 1846. It’s embellished with a Sapphire on the handle and a large Amethyst on the tip of the handle (my birthstone). I also love the 1920’s sombrero with the embroidered Indian profile.
Hometown: I am BOI – right here on Galveston Island

Rebecca Diaz-Arrastia

Rebecca Diaz-Arrastia

Director of Volunteers & Guest Services

Favorite artifact: The Escudo de Monja because they are beautiful examples of 18th century Spanish art and are interesting in that they represent women in art and in the church.
Hometown: Houston, Texas

Richard Farnsworth

Richard Farnsworth

Events Assistant

Favorite artifact: I am passionate about The Museum because art changes everything. The 17th Century Mesquite Cross in the Spanish Colonial Gallery is most intriguing.
Hometown: I am first generation Houstonian.

Rocky Herrin

Rocky Herrin

Facilities and Asset Protection Manager

Favorite artifact: The three Andy Warhol paintings. My wife and I love his approach to pop culture.
Hometown: Hempstead, Texas.

Stephanie Stafford

Stephanie Stafford

Guest Services/Ticket Counter

Favorite artifact: Silver Service set presented to Ann Chase, British wife of U. S. Consul General to Tampico, Mexico, for her clandestine service to the United States Army during the US Mexican War. On one occasion an infuriated mob attempted to pull down the US flag that floated over her residence; but, with revolver in hand, she defied the crowd, and declared that no one should touch the flag except over her dead body.
Fun fact: I am a direct descendant of a survivor of the 1900 Storm, my great grandfather.

Tyra Brunz

Tyra Brunz

Tour Coordinator & Guest Services Liason

Favorite artifact: John Wesley Hardin’s playing card and business card. These two cards from John Wesley Hardin’s life succinctly illustrate both sides of the famous Texas outlaw’s life; a man who established his own law practice in El Paso, but also a man with the reputation of being a sharpshooting murderer who loved to gamble.
Hometown: Weatherford, Texas. The resting place of Oliver Loving and Bose Ikard.

Wardah Ajaz

Wardah Ajaz

Marketing Manager

Favorite artifact: The Mother-of-Pearl Chest that carried a Spanish Royal Grant for California lands. The history behind the chest is fascinating and the chest is covered with mother-of-pearl and the borders are tortoise shell!
Her passion: From the chandeliers inside the building to the saddle ring in the case, everything has a story that is waiting to be explored. I love that these stories establish an emotional connection to the past, inspiring enthusiasm and interest of many!