King of Beasts

Now Open

Presented by Susan Naylor

Explore extraordinary African lions and majestic mountain lions of Texas this spring at the Witte Museum. Experience the power of lions through artwork by renowned artist John Banovich and see the connection between the big cats of today and their prehistoric ancestors. 

King of Beasts spans nearly 25 years of research featuring more than 30 artworks by renowned artist John Banovich. The exhibition assembles a collection of Banovich’s work focused on African lions and explores questions about humankind’s deep fear, love, and admiration for these creatures. 

In addition, this exhibit will examine the evolutionary relationship of today’s big cats with the prehistoric American Lion and saber-tooth cats that once lived in what is now Texas 13,000 years ago.

In Africa, the lion has served as a symbol of strength, bravery, and physical prowess among many cultures. However, today nearly all wild lions are found within small regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, and a tiny population exists in India. Outside of protected areas, the African lion is disappearing at an alarming rate. Learn what conservationists and communities are doing to conserve habitats in order for lions to thrive.

Mountain lions in Texas are common in the Trans-Pecos, South Texas and parts of the Edwards Plateau. They are expanding their range, with sightings reported in part of central Texas, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

King of Beasts is included with Museum Admission. Reserve your timed-ticket today! *Members do not need to reserve tickets.

King of Beasts is generously presented by Susan Naylor and sponsored by Susan and John Kerr and Amy and Bradley Martin. 


King of Beasts Coloring Book

Download and color the King of Beasts Coloring Book to receive $2.00 OFF museum admission when shown.

View Book Here