Monday, January 02, 2006


Exhibit to focus on historical shipwrecks of the area


The Brownsville Herald
By Jeff Raymond
December 21, 2005

Shipwrecks are coming to Brownsville.Through collaboration with the Museums of Port Isabel, the Brownsville Heritage Complex is bringing the coastal community’s shipwreck exhibit inland.

The traveling exhibit includes objects from three Spanish ships that sunk 30 miles off the coast of Port Isabel in 1554.

The exhibit also features items from the Port Isabel museums’ U.S.-Mexican War collection, including soldiers’ uniforms and drawings of uniforms by Port Isabel artist Manuel Hinojosa.

The exhibit will include maritime artifacts and panels depicting the shipwreck.

Ed Meza, director of the Port Isabel museums, said the exhibit contained “tidbits of the history of Port Isabel” and mirrored one that traveled to the Rio Grande Valley Museum in Harlingen.

“I believe in collaboration, and we all gain strength from it,” he said, adding that he expected to continue working with the Brownsville Heritage Complex in the future.

Meza said the shipwreck artifacts were a definite draw for his museums, which include the Treasures of the Gulf Museum, Port Isabel Lighthouse and Port Isabel Historic Museum.

Priscilla Rodriguez, executive director of the Brownsville Historical Association, agreed the pairing of the two museums’ resources likely would continue.

“The traveling exhibit is one way for ... smaller museums to share resources,” she said, noting the shipwreck exhibit also was special because it included artwork.

In exchange, the heritage complex will loan the Port Isabel Museums a portion of its collection of border textiles from the 1860s to 1960s.

Rodriguez said the two museums were working on a program to share replicas of artifacts with area schoolchildren using traveling trunks.

“When small museums get together, we have more to work with,” she said.

IF YOU GO: WHAT: “Shipwrecks, Wars and More!” exhibit

WHEN: Jan.5 through Feb. 20.

WHERE: Bruce Aiken Education Center, Brownsville Heritage Complex, 1325 E. Washington St.

FOR MORE INFO: Call 541-5560 or e-mail


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