THE MUSEUM IS CLOSED MONDAY, MAY 30.

Due to a power outage, the Witte Museum will be closed today while crews work to restore power. We apologize for this inconvenience.

If you pre-purchased tickets online, we will be in contact tomorrow to discuss your options.

The museum is scheduled to be opened Tuesday from 10 am – 6 pm.

carreta wheel
This carreta wheel c. late 1880s was common on freighter carts across the south west. Imagine a store filled with pots, pans, farm tools, coffee, fabrics toys and various other sundries. Every item arriving to San Antonio via a carreta wheel like the one shown here.

Caretta Wheel Poems – 2022 National Poetry Month

Celebrate National Poetry Month with poetry inspired by art in honor of San Antonio’s 2022 Ekphrastic Poetry Contest.

For this year’s competition, the Witte invited poets to write about the carreta wheel in our collection. Additionally, Octavio Quintanilla, Poet Laureate of San Antonio from 2018 through 2020, wrote a poem inspired by this artifact.

Carreta Wheel

By Octavio Quintanilla

I see our distance yoked
between two oxen,
and I hear your axle’s
creaking a song of origin. 

You were there
you arrived here,
there before the world
could be called history.

You were there
when our grandfathers
sowed the road
with the clatter and jangle
of our future, and here,

as we contemplate
your crossings,
as we listen
to the endless journey
of where we come from.

Witte Museum Winners

Congratulations to the Witte Museum’s winners of the 2022 NPMSA Ekphrastic Poetry Contest, Diane Gonzales Bertrand and Milton Jordan.

Abuelo’s First Job

By Diane Gonzales Bertrand

Along that dusty Mexico trail,
we ate the burro to stay alive.
Papa and Rogelio pushed the carreta
as Sergio and Rosalinda crossed
the leather harness between them
pulling like two skinny ponies.
Catching rain in empty horns,
we shared sips of water,
the river still many days away.
My job was to stay alive
inside Mama’s rebozo.

A Wheelwright

By Milton Jordan

Your grandfather strapped metal rims to wood,
Emiliano, replaced spokes, greased hubs
and took care of repair like an order
for four new wheels. On temporary axles
he watched every turn and knew the bow
he wanted in each spoke above the metal
rim as it flattened a bit on hard ground.
I took reluctant lessons on lumber
in that shop where Tate’s Garage is now,
took most of them to my first sawmill job
when no one needed repaired wagon wheels.