Exhibits and Programs
The Layland Museum is comprised of multiple buildings located on Caddo St. and Main St. in downtown Cleburne. The museum’s gallery is located in the Carnegie Library building. The Smith History Center holds the research library and kitchen classroom. Many of the museum’s public programs will place in the Studio, located in the Cleburne Railroad Museum.
The museum’s study of regional home and family life is presented in three galleries, each centered by a hearth, the traditional feature around which home life revolves. Shelter, food ways, clothing, art and craft, transportation, and leisure are topics discussed in exhibits of artifacts, graphics and text.
- First Peoples Gallery: Displays 300 Years of Native American life in our region. Many of the objects in this gallery are part of the original W.J. Layland collection.
- Settler’s Gallery: Interprets the 1840-1900 frontier period in Texas. Visitors will learn about the process of setting up a homestead and life on a frontier farm.
- 20th Century Gallery: Gives a look into the transition into urban life in Cleburne. It delves into many aspects of life in the 1900s including home furnishings, transportation and the effect of global events on local residents.
The museum offers several temporary exhibits each year, generally lasting between 1-3 months and featuring objects loaned by other institutions or private collectors, as well as objects from the museum’s permanent collection.
Temporary and traveling exhibits enhance the visitor’s experience. Short-term loans from other institutions or private collectors and objects from the museum’s permanent collection offer additional enrichment opportunities. Contact the museum to see what the latest changing exhibit is!
The Museum Education Office presents a variety of enrichment programs for participants of all ages. Most programs are free.
Regularly scheduled events include quarterly tours of regional history and art, gallery talks, guest lectures, classes, book signings, and much more.
Some activities are available during regular hours, such as hands-on activities enhancing exhibits, or a scavenger hunt of the main exhibit. Other programs, such as Museum Camp in the summer, require advance registration.
Tours for student or adult groups may focus on the Permanent Exhibit, the Carnegie Building, or a custom theme. Reservations are required two weeks in advance (three weeks for custom themes). For more information, please call 817-645-0940.
The museum has a variety of material to assist researchers looking for information on a number of topics.
- Historic Homes and Structures
- Local History
- Texas and Confederate History
- Native Americans
Some research materials are available to walk-in visitors to the museum during open hours, other materials stored in the research library are only available by appointment. To find out if you should make an appointment to find the resources you need for your research project call the museum at 817-645-0940.
Museum staff and volunteers are available to assist in research projects. If you have a question, the staff may be able to find the information you are looking for so that you do not have to travel to the museum. Please note that it may take several weeks for the staff to respond with the answer to your research question.