One of the most visited presidential libraries in the nation, Lyndon Baines Johnson Library & Museum is supplied with information regarding one of the most controversial times in United States history. Peeking inside the life of the 36th President, Lyndon Baines Johnson, the LBJ tapes provide listeners the opportunity to learn about the John F. Kennedy assassination and the Vietnam War. Along with the famous tapes, visitors can see a to-scale replica of the Oval Office, political memorabilia and more than 39 million pages of historical notes. Plan on a full day at this library and museum, but if you are a real history buff, you will barely scratch the surface of what this fantastic archive has to offer.
This museum has grown into one of the most fabulous experiences for children in Austin. Find out about the development of children from birth to adolescence, climb a "time tower," and learn about everything from dinosaurs to computers. Special programs for children and their parents are regular parts of the museum's curriculum. Take tiny tots to the 2-and-under special explore time, or learn about multimedia with your teen. With excellent specialty programs and wonderful exhibits, this is a museum the whole family can enjoy.
A 35-foot (10.7 meters) bronze Lone Star sculpture greets visitors at the entrance of this epic museum. This place narrates the story of Texas, sharing its rich cultural heritage and traditions. The three floors of the impressive building present interactive exhibits, special effects shows and more. On the first floor, you will find a permanent exhibit called Encounters on the Land, which highlights the first meetings between Native Americans and European explorers. The second and third floors have exhibits that showcase the evolution of Texas from the time of its inception. The museum boasts a total of 17 media installations and over 700 artifacts, not to mention Austin's only IMAX Theater.
Charles Umlauf (1911-1994), one of the more famous Austin artists, was a prolific sculptor. This museum displays many of his works in a fantastic garden spot located close to Zilker Park and just minutes from downtown. His sculptures range from realism to abstraction and include families, religious figures, animals and mythological characters.
With a collection of more than 17,000 works of art, this is one of the most visited museums in the city and also the largest University art-space in the country. It is located in the University of Texas campus and houses a large variety of Latin American art, American art and European work. With an atrium that extends 70 feet (21.3 meters) above the stone floors, this museum offers a unique, natural space. Temporary exhibits are constantly changing, with fresh work being showcased regularly. This research-based museum also offers lectures by artists, museum curators and art historians from across the country.
This hidden treasure is an offbeat and charming museum of arbitrary collections, including train tokens from all over the world. Sometimes special local events are hosted here as well. The museum is maintained by Jen Hirt and Scott Webel, who run the tours. Be sure to check out the Ephemerata Gardens, and know that the couple keeps cats around the venue.
The Joseph & Susanna Dickinson Hannig Museum is located right in the middle of downtown Austin, but is still a hidden gem. This place was the home of Susanna Dickinson, who was the one of the two survivors of the Battle of Alamo, the second being her little daughter. This rubble rock style house provides one a good glimpse into her life after the battle, being the house where she settled with her fifth husband. There are other artifacts relating to local Texan history, as well as temporary exhibitions held on different subjects.
Its large German population has always influenced Central Texas and Austin is no exception. This simple stone structure is the current home of this society. Once a German Free School,German-Texan Heritage Society was built by settlers who donated their labor to construct the building. Originally, there were no fireplaces, and it was heated by huge potbellied stoves. Exhibits include a reference library, Victorian era antiques and a beautiful garden. Programs include speakers, special exhibits, events and classes.
King Louis Philippe ordered Alphonse Dubois de Saligny of France to Austin in 1839 to become the French liaison to the Republic of Texas. He insisted on being called "Count" and built this home on 22 acres of land in 1841. While waiting for building to cease, he was involved in a dispute over pigs and moved to Louisiana. He never returned to Texas and did not spend a single night in this home. In 1848, Dr. Joseph Robertson purchased the home and passed it on through his family for years; in 1949, the State of Texas acquired it. The home has been restored and even houses a French Creole kitchen.
This museum holds a special place in the heart of Texans, especially in Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World. Founded in 1984, the museum's mission is to promote and preserve Texas music. By presenting two or three major exhibits a year in and around Austin, often including musical performances, the organization works to keep music alive and well. Along with funding these projects, the museum conducts research, sponsors touring exhibits and collects photographs and documents related to all aspects of Texas music.