The Sherman Museum is a non-profit educational institution that acquires, preserves, interprets and displays items of enduring cultural, historical and educational value related to Grayson County and the local Red River area. Formerly known as the Red River Historical Museum, The Sherman Museum embraces our responsibility to engage and educate our community. We enrich the lives of others by promoting historical awareness; fostering research through shared knowledge; and encourage interaction through exhibitions, programs, and events.
The museum was founded in 1976 by a group of civic-minded citizens who were concerned about the loss of heritage in the area. The city of Sherman leased the historic Carnegie Library building to the founding group. Volunteers ran the museum until the late 1980s when the first experienced museum personnel was hired. With the introduction of educational and community outreach programs during the 1990s, the museum is now able to meet the goals and responsibilities of the public through off-site programs, children’s workshops, and traveling exhibits.
The museum is housed in the former Sherman Public Library. It was built with funding from the Carnegie Foundation in 1914, and is one of only a handful of remaining Carnegie Library buildings in Texas.
In the late 1980s a second facility was acquired. The historic Church of Christ building situated next door was to be used for storage of the 50,000-plus artifacts in the collection. The most significant feature of the Church of Christ facility is the 48 original stained-glass windows. Both buildings became recorded Texas Historical Landmarks in 1986. In 1990, the Carnegie building was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
In 2005, the City of Sherman transferred ownership of the Carnegie building and the museum’s collection to the Friends of the Red River Historical Museum. Since that time, the name has changed to the Sherman Museum. It is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees that meets monthly. The City of Sherman provides partial funding to support the mission of the museum and to assist in maintaining the collection of artifacts related to Sherman and Grayson County history.
The Carnegie building houses three beautiful oil-on-wood paintings by Texas artist James Swann, that were installed in the building in 1934. These muses, allegorical in nature, are of three classical female figures draped in Greek robes representing music, literature, and painting each bearing the symbol of their field. The muse of music has a lyre, the muse of literature a scroll, and the muse of painting, a brush and vase. Each muse is three by seven feet on pressed wood with a background of gold leaf. The robes are in grayed tones of green, yellow and blue. The only interrelating detail is a delicately traced, stylized trees whose branches extend through the three pieces. It is assumed that Mr. Swann chose the Greek theme since Sherman was known as the “Athens of Texas” because of the number of colleges in the area at that time. The muses are possibly the only example of WPA art in Grayson County.
We acquire, preserve, interpret and display items of enduring cultural, historical and educational value related to Grayson County and the local Red River area. The museum currently has more than 50,000 objects in the collection. Museum staff are currently involved with the computerization of the collection and have completed over 14,000 documents, 9,000 historic photographs and 800 books.
THE SHERMAN CULTURAL DISTRICT
The Sherman Cultural District represents both a geographic area encompassing cultural sites, restaurants, museums and theaters; and a partnership comprising the many arts and cultural groups that call Sherman home. Our partners are dedicated to advocating for and promoting the arts and humanities that enlighten our community. The Cultural District Advisory Council is hosted by Austin College in cooperation with the City of Sherman.
Board of Trustees
Bea Herod Harmon
Honorary Board Trustees
Dr. Clyde Hall
We acquire, preserve, interpret and display items of enduring and evolving cultural, historical and educational value.
The Museum engages and educates our community through historical awareness, research, shared knowledge, and interaction with exhibits, programs and open dialogue. As guardians of the past, we connect the present and embrace the future.
The Sherman Historical Museum
The Red River Historical Museum