The Dallas Historical Society demonstrated how there are definite advantages to being patrons for the Awards For Excellence Luncheon on Tuesday, October 27, at Fair Park’s Hall of State. In addition to congratulating the 2021 honorees, they were given a sneak peak of the 335-square-foot Battle of the Alamo Diorama that won’t be open to the public until the spring. Here’s a report from the field:
The Dallas Historical Society hosted a Patron Party honoring the 39th Awards for Excellence Luncheon – Dallas History Makers at the newly renovated Hall of State at Fair Park on Tuesday, October 27.
DHS Executive Director Karl Chiao welcomed the crowd saying that the Dallas Historical Society was formed in 1922 and they look forward to celebrating their centennial year in 2022. Their collection consists of over three million items. The Hall of State was built in 1936 and has been home to DHS since 1938. It has undergone a $14.4 million bond renovation and is ready for rental.
Karl thanked Pegasus Bank, luncheon title sponsor for the past three years, Phoenix One for sponsoring the Patron Party and the Awards for Excellence committee, Mary Suhm and Shannon Callewart. He introduced DHS Board Chair/former city council member/Dallas Arts District Executive Director Veletta Lill and Roy Washburn, incoming board chair and retired as president of Park Cities Dental Group and on the boards of Dallas Can Academy, Park Cities Rotary Club, YMCA and Vestry for St. Michaels All Angels Episcopal Church. Veletta and Roy took turns introducing the Awards for Excellence honorees (Arts Leadership/Gayle Halperin, Creative Arts/Jonathan Norton, Education/Catherine LeBlanc, Health Sciences/Agape Clinic, History/ Nancy McCoy, Humanities/Alessandra Comini, Philanthropy/Diane Bumpas, Volunteer Leadership/Rene Martinez and The Jubilee History Maker Award/Cece Cox) presenting each one with a copy of the book titled “A Texas Journey, The Centennial Photographs of Polly Smith.”
As a very special treat, Karl announced the Texas Liberty Forever! Battle of the Alamo diorama which is the largest depiction of its kind and serves as the centerpiece of the upcoming Texas Independence Exhibit at the Hall of State. He invited everyone for a sneak preview of the exhibit which opens in Spring 2022.
About Texas Liberty Forever! Battle of the Alamo Diorama – Created by Pennsylvania-based artist Thomas Feely Jr. over 18 years and stretching across more than 336 square feet in size, the Texas Liberty Forever! Battle of the Alamo diorama is the largest depiction of its kind and serves as the centerpiece of the Texas Independence Exhibit at the Hall of State.
The re-creation of the besieged Alamo compound features over 2,000 hand-painted figures poised in battle, just as the combatants were on the morning of March 6, 1836.
Painstakingly researched and exquisitely detailed, the diorama showcases every aspect of the legendary battle—from artillery pieces and wagons, to cattle, horses, fortresses, and topography, all represented in 1/54 scale.
The permanent exhibit, which opens in the South Texas room at the Hall of State in Spring 2022, offers a bird’s eye view of history as it was unfolding—Colonel Romero’s charge on the cattle corral, troops spilling over the northeast wall into the courtyard, defenders perched atop the Alamo Chapel, and many more action scenes that bring the battle to life.
Feely, who crafted and painted each figure separately, designed the Texas Liberty Forever! diorama in four pieces which were acquired, crated, and shipped to the Hall of State, through the extensive efforts of the Dallas Historical Society and its many supporters. The exhibit will be part of a larger installation that will offer an interactive, technology-enhanced experience for visitors.
The Dallas Historical Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Dallas and Texas history. Offering education programming, lectures, historic city tours, museum exhibitions, and other special events, this organization strives to be the preeminent resource for exploring, and instilling appreciation for the diverse history of Dallas and Texas. We endeavor to encourage historical inquiry and maintain the importance and relevance of history today. Our collection of archival material- including historic photographs, diaries, journals, papers, periodicals, maps, and books- is available to researchers. Formed in 1922, the Dallas Historical Society is the oldest organization in Dallas County committed to preserving the history of the region and presenting it to the public in innovative and informative ways. Learn more at the website www.dallashistory.org.
* Photo credit: Danny Campbell