The story of French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, and his doomed 17th century expedition to colonize North America began with piracy and ended with murder and abandonment. Miscalculations, mistakes, and general misfortune filled out the rest of the plot.

Much of that story was revealed with the 1995 discovery of the wreckage of La Belle, one of La Salle's four expedition ships, resting in the mud of Matagorda Bay. Called one of the most important shipwrecks in North America, La Belle itself comes to the Bullock Museum along with hundreds of artifacts that share the dreams and dangers of building a new colony in 17th century America. 

The exhibition

The Bullock Texas State Museum's special exhibition showcasing recently conserved hull timbers and artifacts excavated from the 1686 French shipwreck in Matagorda Bay opens on October 25.

More than 100 artifacts and a live-action reassembly tell a story that was lost at sea for 300 years. Discover what items 17th century French settlers thought were important enough to transport across the ocean to establish a new North American colony. Artifacts such as brass kettles, cooking utensils, and carpentry and farming tools shed light on both European domestic culture and future colony planning. Colored beads and other trade goods perhaps speak to strategies for interacting with American Indians. An iconic La Belle artifact, the bronze cannon, tells more than a military story. It was the carved dolphin handles, along with other cannon insignia, that helped historians determine that the wreckage they had discovered was indeed La Belle. A replica of the ship pinpoints where the artifacts were found during excavation. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, watch up-close inside the gallery as the ultimate artifact of the exhibition, the ship itself, rises again as experts reassemble the vessel, timber by timber. Be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Shipwrecked: A 4D Film Experience

Young Pierre Talon probably had no idea of what was to come when he and his family stepped aboard La Salle's ship, La Belle, to sail to North America. He probably knew that he, his mother, and his siblings would be part of a new colony established near the mouth of the Mississippi River intended to expand the French empire and thwart Spanish colonization in the area. But as for what would happen to his family at La Salle's Fort St. Louis colony? His own separation from the colony and his adoption into a Caddo tribe? Young Pierre probably had no idea, and that might have been a good thing.

In Shipwrecked, an original 4D immersive theater experience produced by the Bullock Museum, Pierre recounts to Spanish captors the incredible saga of events from the time La Belle left France in 1684 to the ultimate demise of the ship, the settlers, and the colony. Premiering in the Bullock Museum's Texas Spirit Theater, Shipwrecked features 4D sensory effects that bring the young survivor's tale of a pivotal moment in history to misty, rumbling, and dramatic life. Appropriate for ages 6+. 26 minute runtime. 

La Belle: The Ship That Changed History is organized by the Bullock Texas State History Museum with the Texas Historical Commission, the Musée National de la Marine, and Texas A&M University. Support provided by the State of Texas, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

For more information, please visit the Bullock Texas State Museum
Educators, find out more about public programs and special events from October 8 to 27: HERE

This event is supported by the Cultural Service atthe French Consulate in Houston and is part of the French Cultures Festival

 
Bullock Texas State History Museum 1800 Congress Ave. Austin, TX 78701

La Belle: The Ship That Changed History

When
October 25, 2014 - May 17, 2015
Where
Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 Congress Ave.
Austin, TX 78701

The story of French explorer René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, and his doomed 17th century expedition to colonize North America began with piracy and ended with murder and abandonment. Miscalculations, mistakes, and general misfortune filled out the rest of the plot.

Much of that story was revealed with the 1995 discovery of the wreckage of La Belle, one of La Salle's four expedition ships, resting in the mud of Matagorda Bay. Called one of the most important shipwrecks in North America, La Belle itself comes to the Bullock Museum along with hundreds of artifacts that share the dreams and dangers of building a new colony in 17th century America. 

The exhibition

The Bullock Texas State Museum's special exhibition showcasing recently conserved hull timbers and artifacts excavated from the 1686 French shipwreck in Matagorda Bay opens on October 25.

More than 100 artifacts and a live-action reassembly tell a story that was lost at sea for 300 years. Discover what items 17th century French settlers thought were important enough to transport across the ocean to establish a new North American colony. Artifacts such as brass kettles, cooking utensils, and carpentry and farming tools shed light on both European domestic culture and future colony planning. Colored beads and other trade goods perhaps speak to strategies for interacting with American Indians. An iconic La Belle artifact, the bronze cannon, tells more than a military story. It was the carved dolphin handles, along with other cannon insignia, that helped historians determine that the wreckage they had discovered was indeed La Belle. A replica of the ship pinpoints where the artifacts were found during excavation. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, watch up-close inside the gallery as the ultimate artifact of the exhibition, the ship itself, rises again as experts reassemble the vessel, timber by timber. Be a part of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Shipwrecked: A 4D Film Experience

Young Pierre Talon probably had no idea of what was to come when he and his family stepped aboard La Salle's ship, La Belle, to sail to North America. He probably knew that he, his mother, and his siblings would be part of a new colony established near the mouth of the Mississippi River intended to expand the French empire and thwart Spanish colonization in the area. But as for what would happen to his family at La Salle's Fort St. Louis colony? His own separation from the colony and his adoption into a Caddo tribe? Young Pierre probably had no idea, and that might have been a good thing.

In Shipwrecked, an original 4D immersive theater experience produced by the Bullock Museum, Pierre recounts to Spanish captors the incredible saga of events from the time La Belle left France in 1684 to the ultimate demise of the ship, the settlers, and the colony. Premiering in the Bullock Museum's Texas Spirit Theater, Shipwrecked features 4D sensory effects that bring the young survivor's tale of a pivotal moment in history to misty, rumbling, and dramatic life. Appropriate for ages 6+. 26 minute runtime. 

La Belle: The Ship That Changed History is organized by the Bullock Texas State History Museum with the Texas Historical Commission, the Musée National de la Marine, and Texas A&M University. Support provided by the State of Texas, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Texas State History Museum Foundation.

For more information, please visit the Bullock Texas State Museum
Educators, find out more about public programs and special events from October 8 to 27: HERE

This event is supported by the Cultural Service atthe French Consulate in Houston and is part of the French Cultures Festival

 
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