Art Museum Though no longer free it is still one of
best museums in town. Unfortunately, it is not on the normal
tourist path as it's on the north side of town and doesn't promote
itself sufficiently to the tourist clientele. It's within a few
blocks of my home and is a favorite spot for bride's wedding
photos. Come early some weekend morning and you will find several
ladies in white accompanied by their attendants being photographed on
the grounds. The museum building is originally the home of Mrs.
Marion Koogler McNay who died in 1950. Situated on 23 acres the
museum is host of frequent distinguished lecturers. You will like
the art, the home and the grounds.
There must be a new trend in museum attendance late into the evenings.
The McNay now has a closing time of 9pm on Thursday evenings.
Now that's pretty late.
6000 N. New Braunfels Ave.
Gallery:Tue-Fri 10am-4pm; Thu to 9pm; Sat 10am-5pm; Sun noon-5pm; Grounds: daily
Take Bus Route 14, can combine with
Route 7 for other sites
of Texan Cultures If you're going to pay to see any
museum, this is the one you need to go to. It's not your typical
museum, it's more a cultural museum of the 26 different ethnic and
cultural groups that comprise Texas. I find it very interesting
and difficult to do justice to in a brief trip, but well worth the try.
100yds from the Tower of America's
801 S. Bowie St.
Tues-Sat 10am-6pm; Sun noon-5pm
Adm: $4 child-$7.00 adult
Museum of Art A fine museum housed in an old brewery
building about a mile north of downtown. Recognized as having a
premier collection of hispanic art both ancient and modern. This
in addition to a prized oriental collection and contemporary art.
200 W. Jones Ave.
Tues 10am-8pm; Wed-Sat 10am-5pm; Sun noon-6pm
Third Thur. of mo. open till 8pm
FREE Tues 4pm-8pm
Take Bus Route 7
Museum Located on the northeast edge of Brackenridge
Park along Broadway St. the museum backs up to the San Antonio
River. An extremely little known fact is that the old
"mother" irrigation canal that ran behind the Alamo starts
just on the north side of the museum issuing from the river. It
looks just like a rock walled drainage ditch and normally you wouldn't
give it a moments notice. But this ditch, or canal, was dug by
hand from this point all the way (about 6 miles) to the Alamo and
several miles beyond. There is no historical marker there and
unless you read it here you would never know. Of course, the 6
miles of irrigation ditch is now covered up and only one small piece of
it exists, that I know of, on private property.
But to get back to the museum, it was founded in 1925 by an energetic
Mrs. Ellen Quinllin who started it with a bequest of $65,000 from Mr.
Alfred G. Witte, a barber, who made the stipulation that the museum had
to be built within Brackenridge Park. The museum houses
predominately a miscellany of Texas/Natural History items. Housed
on the grounds are several historic buildings that were moved there: the
Francisco Ruiz house (believed to be from before 1765, it was home of
one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, 1836) and
the John Twohig house (a prominent citizen). John Twohig destroyed his
store on Main Plaza in 1842 when the Mexican army again invaded
Texas. This a precursory action that was in several years to lead
to the War with Mexico.
Mon, Wed-Sat 10am-5pm; Tue 10am-8pm; Sun noon-5pm
FREE Tues 3-8pm
Take Bus Route 7
affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution This is our newest museum and
how proudly I write that it is affiliated with the prestigious Smithsonian
Institution. Now the bad part. It is not worth visiting.
At least at the moment. Dedicated to showcasing the mexican-american
influences upon our nation it is dreadfully inadequate, unsatisfying and
embarrassing in its attempt. Don't waste your time. But it did
get good press. Here's the
New York Time's critical assessment.
(101 S. Santa Rosa)
Tue-Sun 10am-6pm;Wed close at 8pm; Sun open at noon. Closed Mondays
The above are the primary museums that I consider one should see
first before any others. Of course, we wouldn't be caught dead
without an entire tier of other museums, from exemplary down to
"what was that all about". The following are some other
choices for your consideration, just in case you are desperate for
something to do.
445 N. Main Ave.
An incubator for artists. ArtPace sponsors nine artists annually
to two month residencies providing support for the artist allowing them
to engender new art ideas. The museum normally has at least two
exhibits of recent artists in residence.
Star Contemporary Art Center
Building C, Blue Star Arts Complex
1400 S. Alamo St.
Looks better on paper than in reality. Very contemporary art.
Instituto de Mexico
600 Hemisphere Plaza Way
It's been years since I've been there. Last choice.
Antonio Art League
130 King William St.
Very small art museum focused on Texas artists. In the King William area.
School of Art & Craft
300 Augusta St.
An historic set of buildings worth seeing just for
themselves. It's more school than a museum. Offers all types
of art education: jewelry making, paper making, sculpting, painting,
photography, pottery, weaving, etc.