I love it when you stumble upon a place that is unexpected and it turns out to be a feast for the eyes. The Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures in Corpus Christi is just such a place. Located within walking distance of several of the city’s tourist gems, this hidden treasure celebrates the art and culture of such countries as Koran, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Laos.
Founded in the 1960’s by local Mrs. Billie Trimble Chandler, the museum while small, houses collections of the ordinary as well as the extraordinary. While the museum has amassed a sizable collection of paintings, pottery, textiles and more, it also welcomes traveling exhibits from a variety of Asian countries. The museum also offers educational classes for both locals and tourists alike.
When I was there I saw several intricately embroidered and colorful kimonos on display and the collection of jade from China was vast and diverse. Since I am a collector of Korean Celadon Pottery I appreciated the intricacies of the ones that were shown. I was also amazed at the berth of the clay Hakata Dolls collection from Japan. How one woman could have collected all of these treasures during her 17 years spent teaching in Japan is beyond me!
One of the biggest assets this small museum has is it’s people. The staff is extremely knowledgable and will spend time pointing out particular pieces and answering any and all questions. Even the hard ones. In fact, I had a question that they staff was unable to answer but researched and emailed me the information that they discovered. Talk about service!
The Texas State Museum of Asian Cultures is located at 1809 N. Chaparral St, Corpus Christi, TX. It is open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Entrance fee is $5 per adult and less for students and children. It is about a one hour stop.
Small museums like this are priceless and deserve our support. Stop by…you will be glad that you did!