Medieval southwest: manifestations of the old world in the new

Celebrations of the City of Lubbock's urban centennial showcase the creation of a new city on the High Plains. Yet its southwestern culture did not spring out of nothing. Geographical concepts, architecture, music, art, ranching culture, and other aspects had already been developing for centuries. At the end of the European Middle Ages, contacts between Europe and what it saw as a "New World" brought European institutions and technologies to a new land, where indigenous peoples and continuing waves of immigrants transformed them into vital parts of the southwestern culture of today.

From August 25, 2008, to April 4, 2009, visitors to the Southwest Collection/ Special Collections Library at Texas Tech University can journey back in time to an earlier Texas, a world revealed by rare and precious items from the holdings of museums, libraries and private collections from Texas, New Mexico and California.

Right:   A griffin detail showing the medieval influence on the Texas Tech University Administration Building.  Many such details cover the university's oldest building.


Generously funded by the Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain's Ministry of Culture and United States Universities, Humanities Texas, and the Helen Jones Foundation, the exhibit on "The Medieval Southwest: Manifestations of the Old World in the New" highlights connections between late medieval / early modern Europe and contemporary culture.

Below:   Close up of metal detail on a sixteenth century Spanish trunk.  The leather trunk is covered with leather, heavily embroidered on all sides except the bottom, and has metal bands to hold the sides together.  On loan from the Mathes Collection.

Contributors to the exhibit

This multidisciplinary exhibit was developed with the help of the following:

Bruce Cammack
Maggie Elmore
Cynthia Garcia
Corey Green
John Howe
W. Michael Mathes
Freedonia Paschall
Curtis Peoples
Armando Rodriguez
Cameron Saffell
Angela Mariani-Smith
Christopher Smith
Gary W. Smith
Lyn Stoll
Ashton Thornhill
Frank Tierney
Tamra Walter
Lauren Whitman
Lynn Whitfield
Traci Townsend

Special thanks to the following for contributors to this exhibit:

Kristin Bingham
Donald Blakeslee
Robin Gillam Crawford
Grant Hall
Scott Irlbeck
Ana Krahmer
Melinda Goodspeed
Artie Limmer
The Floyd County Historical Museum
The Institute of Texan Cultures
The Mathes Collection
New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum
San Saba Mission online exhibit onTexas Beyond History
Texas Tech University College of Music
Texas Tech University Department of Art
Texas Tech University Department of Anthropology and Sociology
Texas Tech University Department of Architecture
Texas Tech University Department of History
The Museum of Texas Tech University
The National Ranching Heritage Center
Presidio de San Saba Restoration Corporation
Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library
Texas Tech University Communications and Marketing

Free, guided tours of the exhibit are available by calling (806) 742-8675
or by emailing the webmaster.