Private collectors are integral to the preservation of history. Their dedication to collecting historical maps, documents, artifacts, and works of art ensures that the material evidence of the past is safeguarded for future generations. The Collectors’ Gallery showcases the passion behind privately owned collections in Texas, featuring some of the finest treasures in the state.
The Bryan Collection, owned by J. P. Bryan, Jr., contains the world’s largest collection of historical artifacts, documents, and artwork relating to the Southwestern region of the United States. It spans more than 2,500 years, from ancient Native American cultural artifacts to pieces from the 21st century. With approximately 70,000 items in total, the collection includes 20,000 rare books, more than 30,000 documents in Spanish, German, French, and English, three dozen saddles, over 250 antique firearms, several hundred spurs, exceedingly rare maps, the works of Texas craftsmen, and a large collection of fine art, religious art, and folk art.
J. P. Bryan is the founder and chairman of Torch Energy Advisors. He has been involved in the energy industry for more than four decades. Devoted to historic preservation, he has received numerous preservation awards, has been president of both the Texas Historical Foundation and the Texas State Historical Association, and was appointed commissioner for the Texas Historical Commission by Governor George Bush. He is a frequent author and speaker on subjects pertaining to Texas history and its preservation.
In October 2013, Mr. Bryan purchased the old Galveston Orphans Home in Galveston, Texas and embarked on a restoration of the historic 1902 structure. The completed building is now home to the Bryan Museum where much of Mr. Bryan’s collection can be enjoyed by the public.
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