Oakwood Chapel and Cemetery Exhibits Banner

Our permanent exhibit is the historic cemetery grounds that surround the Oakwood Chapel, burial place of over 23,000 people with approximately 15,000 monuments. So much of Texas’ history is written here in stone. The Cemetery is a survey of figurative and geometric sculpture, architectural designs, nature’s changes, carved metamorphic and sedimentary stone, engraved poetry in historic fonts, and proof that we have lived and loved greatly.

Digital Exhibits and Events

Within the Chapel, we have a digital exhibit program that rotates on the four seasons. We collaborate with experts in our community on content and events within these themes.

As the Chapel’s main purpose is to host funerals and memorials, all exhibits are in digital format in order to change on short notice to meet a family’s needs.

All Together Here: Fall 2020 digital exhibition 

All Together Here interprets the archaeology project as a result of the Chapel's restoration.

In 2016, during the rehabilitation of the Oakwood Cemetery Chapel, archaeologists monitoring construction discovered the remains of men, women and children beneath the footprint of the Chapel. Construction was halted and thus began the journey of confronting injustice and gaining insights into the lives of the people who were discovered.

On October 9-10, a two-day symposium continued the public conversation with help from 37 nationally renowned archaeologists, anthropologists, historians, community activists and City staff in an online forum. The symposium was recorded and available for public viewing, through the link above as well as through the Parks and Recreation Department's YouTube channel.

We are deeply grateful for extensive research from Save Austin's Cemeteries, AmaTerra Environmental Inc., and Dr. Maria Franklin for helping to interpret this information for you.

The exhibit contains 5 sections:

  • Oakwood Cemetery: a history of the Cemetery and Chapel with historic photos and video 
  • Historic Maps of Austin: a show of historic maps that include Oakwood Cemetery and the development of Austin since 1840
  • Unanticipated Discovery: a tour of the archaeology project and process started in 2017 with the restoration of the Chapel
  • Archaeology Findings: what was found and learned about the Chapel burials

The exhibit contains 2 dashboards:

  • Bioarchaeology Findings: summary tables of Chapel burials
  • Operational Dashboard: details about cemetery records in the segregated and community grounds

The exhibit debuts new digital maps:

An aerial map of Oakwood Cemetery with lot and section numbers to help visitors find their way around the cemetery. Within the above sections of the exhibit are interactive maps of the Chapel burials and headstones in the segregated grounds.