Culture of San Antonio - Museums


  • Artpace San Antonio is a residency, educational, and exhibition program that was opened in 1995. The foundation is housed in the renovated 1920s era Hudson Dealership building in Downtown San Antonio. The organization promotes itself as a laboratory for the creation and advancement of international contemporary art. Artpace's primary focus is its International Artist-in-Residence program which annually invites nine artists to live and work in San Antonio to conceive and create pivotal art projects that are exhibited three times a year. A guest curator selects three artists, a Texan, one from another U.S. state, and one international to create new work while living at Artpace. In addition to these nine artist exhibits, Artpace has an additional four exhibitions a year.
  • The Blue Star Contemporary Art Center (BSCAC) was established as a grassroots response to the cancellation of a contemporary arts exhibit at the San Antonio Museum of Art in 1985. The effort established a vibrant venue for the incubation of and exhibition of contemporary and new art in San Antonio. The center is housed in an adapted 1920s era warehouse facility located on the banks of the San Antonio River. The organization, which was originally operated by artists and volunteers and is now run by artist and director Bill FitzGibbons, was formally organized with a professional director and staff in 1988. Today the center a primary destination for new art in South Texas and the center has over 20 exhibitions each year that showcase local, regional, national and international artists from the emerging to internationally renowned. The facility in which the center is housed is now referred to as the Blue Star Complex and has been redeveloped as an arts-oriented mixed-use development that includes loft/studio apartments, galleries, retail, performance spaces, artists' work spaces, and design offices. The BSCAC is widely recognized as the catalyst for the gentrification of the South Alamo neighborhoods that surround the facility. In addition BSCAC is credited with the City of San Antonio's establishment of Contemporary Art Month held annually in July at over 70 venues throughout the city.
  • The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (GCAC), founded in 1980, is a nonprofit organization established for the promotion of the art and culture of Chicano, Latino and Indigenous peoples. The GCAC is located in the heart of San Antonio's west side and is currently the largest community-based, multidisciplinary organization in the United States. The center's public and educational programming consists of varied programs in six disciplines: Dance, Literature, Media Arts, Theater Arts, Visual Arts and Music. Annual events include the San Antonio CineFestival and the Tejano Conjunto Festival en San Antonio.
  • The Institute of Texan Cultures opened as the Texas Pavilion at HemisFair '68, the 1968 World's Fair. The exhibit was well received and remained after the fair closed. Now a museum run by the University of Texas at San Antonio, its mission is dedicated to enhancing the understanding of cultural history, science, and technology and their influence upon the people of Texas. The museum achieves its goal through permanent exhibits on 26 ethnic and cultural groups, touring exhibits, publications, a library focusing on ethnic and cultural history, a historical photo collection of over 3 million images, outreach and education programs, and the annual Texas Folklife Festival.
  • The McNay Art Museum, founded in 1950, is the first modern art museum in the U.S. State of Texas. The museum was created by Mrs. McNay's original bequest of most of her fortune, her important art collection and her 24-room Spanish Colonial Revival-style mansion that sits on 23 acres (93,000 m2) that are landscaped with fountains, broad lawns and a Japanese-inspired garden and a fishpond. The museum focuses primarily on 19th and 20th century European and American art by such artists as Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe, Diego Rivera, Mary Cassatt, and Edward Hopper. The collection today consists of over 14,000 objects and is one of the finest collections of Contemporary Art and Sculpture in the Southwestern United States. The museum also is home to the Tobin Collection of Theater Arts, which is one of the premiere collections of its kind in the U.S., and a research library with over 30,000 volumes.
  • Museo Alameda is the visual arts and educational component of The Alameda National Center for Latino Arts and Culture and is an affiliate museum of the Smithsonian Institution. Located in the historic Market Square in Downtown San Antonio, this new museum opened April 13, 2007. The institution's mission is to tell the story of the Latino experience in America through visual arts exhibitions, education initiatives, performances and public programming. As an affiliate of the Smithsonian, the museum will have access to the world's leading cultural experts and the Institution's collection of over 142 million objects. The museum is the official State Latino Museum of Texas.
  • The San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA), is housed in the historic 1884 Lone Star Brewery and was opened in 1981. The building's renovation and adaptive reuse, designed by the Cambridge Seven Associates, won several architectural awards. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. SAMA is the only comprehensive art museum in South Texas with over 20,000 objects in its permanent collection. The museum's maintains extensive collections of Asian, Latino and Ancient art. Since opening in 1981 the museum has had three major expansions in order to house these important collections. In 1989 the Halsell Wing for Ancient Art was completed and in 1998 the 30,000 square foot (2,800 m²) Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art opened. The Lenora and Walter F. Brown Asian Art Wing opened in 2005. The museum's permanent collection also contains significant collections of American, European, Oceanic and Contemporary art. Artists included in the museum's collection are Andy Warhol, John Singleton Copley, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Wayne Thiebaud, Frank Stella, and Philip Guston.
  • The Southwest School of Art, one of the country's largest community-centered art schools (enrollment 4000+ annually), is housed on the former site of an Ursuline convent and girls school dating from 1848. The Ursuline campus, adjacent to the River Walk, is one of the finest surviving examples of early French-influenced architecture in South Texas and includes a rare two-story "pies de terre" (rammed-earth) building designed by Francois P. Giraud (later the first mayor of San Antonio), working with the French mason Jules Poinsard. The campus and grounds are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The school's Visitors Center Museum explores the 150-year history of the site. Contemporary exhibitions, about eight per year, are presented in the 3,500-foot (1,100 m) Russell Hill Rogers Gallery on the Navarro Campus and feature national, regional, and local artists whose work reflects the school's curriculum.
  • The Witte Museum, established in 1926 under the charter of the San Antonio Museum Association, is located adjacent to Brackenridge Park on the banks of the San Antonio River and is dedicated to the history, science, and culture of the region. The permanent collection represents ethnography (study of social and cultural change), decorative arts and textiles, and science. The primary focus of the museum is natural sciences with emphasis on South Texas and the history of Texas and the Southwest.
  • The Texas Transportation Museum is a small museum that has information about railways that served Texas. They also have a model railroad club and a garden layout.
  • The San Antonio Buckhorn Saloon & Museum, established in 1881, is located on the corner of Houston and Navarro street. The museum includes a taxidermied wing, that holds birds, big cats, reptiles, and large mammals. It also has a wax museum attached entitled the Halls of Texas History. In the saloon you can meet with old Cowboys as they tell you stories, while you order food from a western setting.

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Famous quotes containing the word museums:

    In museums and palaces we are alternate radicals and conservatives.
    Henry James (1843–1816)

    Museums are just a lot of lies, and the people who make art their business are mostly imposters.... We have infected the pictures in museums with all our stupidities, all our mistakes, all our poverty of spirit. We have turned them into petty and ridiculous things.
    Pablo Picasso (1881–1973)