The Pearce Museum on the campus of Navarro College in Corsicana is pleased to announce the opening of several temporary exhibitions that celebrate women – women as spies, cowgirls, farm workers, barrel racers, car racers, nurses, artists, cooks, and of course, nurturers. 

The museum draws from its own permanent collections using letters and documents.

Women in the war

“Women in the War” compares and contrasts the lives of women in the industrial north and the agrarian south before, during and after the war.

Letters from Confederate spy Rose O’Neal Greenhow and Union spy Sarah Thompson expound their own and very different causes.

Charlotte Maria Cross Wigfall tells how she turned her wedding dress into a flag for her husband’s regiment.

Other women talk of loneliness, fear and starvation. Still others marched off to war, or struggled to work as nurses.

Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” currently on display, became the rallying cry for the republic.

Women in

western art

“Women in Western Art” features all 17 women artists from the permanent collection of the Pearce Museum.

From Sonya Terpening, who has painted mostly in watercolor, to landscape artist Kathryn Stats; and from Brenda Murphy, who works in graphite, to the Australian-born Krystii Melaine, this collection of women artists are each unique yet representative of the breadth of style in western art today.

Others, like Joni Falk, are inspired by the Native-American pueblos, while Sharon Brening’s paintings reflect a natural respect of and connection to Native-American children.

Real women

of the west

The third exhibition engages the community at large. Scanned photos brought to us by area residents make up this exhibition.

“Real Women of the West” reflects the lives of everyday women who lived in Texas. Proper Victorian women in photographer’s studios are displayed alongside barrel-racing horsewomen of the 1960s. Young college women with bobbed hair and dropped waistlines hang next to candid shots of little girls at play. Studio portraits, professional photographs, and family photos reveal the lives of these women – who they were, and what they enjoyed. Their backgrounds and experiences may have been different, but their one common bond was that they were all women of Texas.

 Apron chronicles

On May 28, the Pearce Museum will open “Apron Chronicles: A Patchwork of American Recollections,” a nostalgic, thought-provoking exhibition that views the American experience through 46 photographs and text panels, along with 155 vintage aprons. It uses the apron as an easily recognizable symbol, from which we as visitors can explore oral histories, family stories, and cultural mores. The comfort of an apron and the remembered warmth of a woman’s kitchen relay the shared lessons of life we must all experience. This exhibition is on loan from the Women’s Museum in Dallas. 

These four exhibitions and associated summer programming are funded in part by the Corsicana Development Commission and by Humanities Texas, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The Pearce Museum is located in the Cook Education Center on the campus of Navarro College at 3100 W. Collin St. in Corsicana, and is open to the public 10 a.m-4 p.m. Monday-Friday, noon-4 p.m.  Saturdays. 

General admission applies.

For more information about these exhibitions or other programs at the Pearce Museum, call 903-875-7642.