McNay Art Museum, San Antonio
Unfortunately the museum wasn't open on the way we went so hopefully next year I'll be able to update this tip with a bit more info about the museum's collection. But even if it was closed, it was still worth going because the grounds are really gorgeous and the museum itself is located in a splendid Spanish colonial revival-style villa. There are some outdoor sculptures to see, some beautiful garden arrangements, and visitors are welcome to bring a picnic. Admission is free and there's plenty of parking space available. Chances are you'll see a bride or two go by as this is a very popular spot for wedding pictures!
The McNay Art Museum opened in 1954 as the first modern art museum in Texas. The first thing you notice upon approaching the museum is the spectacular 24-room Spanish Colonial-Revival Mansion situated on a lush 23 acres of gardens and sculptures in downtown San Antonio. It is easy to forget that you are in a city of about 1.4 million people. The home was built in 1929 for Marion Koogler McNay. She started collecting art concentrating on 19th and 20th century American and European master like Picasso, Chagall, and others. She also had a passion for Southwestern art. When she died she had over 700 pieces of art. This formed the nucleus of the collection in the museum today but a lot has been added through the years. Hours are 10 AM to 4 PM Tuesday through Saturday (9 PM on Thursday) and Noon to 5 PM on Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for seniors (65 and up); students and active military (with ID).
Those who enjoy modern art will appreciate a visit here as the museum does have some signifcant works of art such as paintings by Picasso. In addition to the exhibits, the museum itself is set in a mansion that is an itself an architectural masterpiece. The grounds are also nice for exploring.
My first visit was for college course requirement - I came and fell in love with the wonderful atmosphere of the building.
We were to write about the collections of art (anything from the following modern artists Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, Auguste Rodin, Henri Matisse, and Pablo Picasso, to Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Sloan, and Marsden Hartley and more besides). But nothing stired my interest more than that the house itself. I just wanted to "live" here as Marion Koogler McNay did in this 24 room house, surrounded by 23 landscaped acres built in the late 1920's. I looked down on the moorish courtyard and relaxed in the sun surrounded by balconies and wrought iron lamps - relaxing perfection.
Although admission is free - a $5 bill is recommended - please pay and keep up this awesome building for the future.
There are quite a few nice sculptures scattered around the grounds of the McNay Art Museum. I still prefer sculptures that I know what I am seeing and don't have to look at the signs. Walking around the grounds is free.
This small museum has beautiful grounds and Spanish architecture. It used to be a woman's home. General exhibits are free, and special exhibits moderately priced.
Also on the grounds of the McNay Art Gallery is a nice, relaxing Japanese Garden. There is a pond with fish, small statues and benches so you can meditate and relax away the cares of the big city.