Texas Brazos Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Tom Lea - Art Trail

Tom Lea (1907-2001) was a genius of the twentieth century who worked as a muralist, illustrator, war correspondent, novelist, historian and easel painter.  He worked alone in his native El Paso for most of his life and was never associated with Art World trends.

The Tom Lea Trail is based on the Piero della Francesca Trail in Italy and connects the regional histories of eleven Texas cities: Odessa, Seymour, Dallas, Waco, College Station, Galveston, Austin, Fredericksburg, Kingsville, and Hebbronville, crossing the border at El Paso.

Waco and Bryan/College Station connect the Tom Lea Trail to the Texas Brazos Trail. In Waco, we learn about the Texas Rangers by visiting the Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum, home to three original Tom Lea works. Another subject of Tom Lea’s in Waco is R.E.B. Baylor for whom Baylor University is named.  The working drawing and final portrait are located in the Texas Collection at the Carroll Library in the Aynesworth Foyer.

In Bryan/College Station, learn about President George H.W. Bush and Desert Storm through Tom Lea’s drawing for Old Breed, New Brotherhood, purchased by Texas A&M cadets for the campus collection. The drawing depicts a Fort Bliss soldier who posed for Lea in his studio after returning from Desert Storm. It is one of the last works of art Tom Lea completed before his death in 2001.  While visiting the drawing, visitors can also learn about the A&M graduates who are Medal of Honor recipients and commemorated in the Memorial Student Center on campus. To learn more about all the cities on the Tom Lea Trail visit

For questions or to plan a visit call:

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame and Museum      (254) 750-8631

The Carroll Library, Baylor      (254) 710-1268

The Student Memorial Center, Texas A&M      (979) 845-1515


Return to Our Stories