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Best Free Museums in Austin

By: Cityseeker
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O. Henry House Museum

Short story writer William Sydney Porter, whose pen name was O. Henry, lived in this home for three years while he spent time in Austin. It was constructed in 1891 and is filled with rare books, O. Henry's writing desk, original furniture, photographs, personal belongings and the chairs that brought The Gift of the Magi to life. Enjoy a guided tour and learn about the history of this home and its famous occupant. The house has been moved twice since from its original location at 308 East Fourth Street. It now features a gift shop with books, videotapes and more. The museum offers writing clubs for Austin children and sponsors many local events such as the Victorian Christmas celebration and the "O. Henry Pun-Off." Admission is free, but donations are welcome.

Austin, TX, United States
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Harry Ransom Center

At Harry Ransom Center you will enjoy viewing the first photograph ever taken, alongside one of only 13 remaining Gutenberg Bibles, created in 1456. Also showcased are rare compositions and manuscripts by Galileo, Beethoven, Hemingway and more. You will find a wonderful collection of theater arts pieces and a book library with over 800,000 priceless manuscripts. Take advantage of the free admission and experience many of the University's unique treasures.

Austin, TX, United States
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George Washington Carver Museum and Cultural Center

As the first neighborhood museum in the state dedicated to African American history and culture, this 1926 structure houses various forms of art. The center was once Austin's main library and received a Texas State Historical Marker in 1976. The museum is named in honor of Dr. George Washington Carver, former slave who went on to become a renowned botanist and inventor. The museum exhibits a fantastic collection, as well changing exhibits of black history and culture in Austin and Travis County.

Austin, TX, United States
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Elisabet Ney Museum

The former home and studio of German sculptress Elisabet Ney is open to the public for exploration. This home was one of the first buildings erected in the Hyde Park neighborhood, which was developed as a suburb in 1892 by Monroe Martin Shippe. Visitors flock to this museum to view nearly 50 busts and statues of Texas heroes, as well as Europeans she sculpted as a young artist. Her tools and several personal items are also on display. Admission is free.

Austin, TX, United States
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Texas Military Forces Museum

The Texas Military Forces Museum is an extensive museum that documents the story of the Texan military over the years, and the important contributions that they have made. One can find a number of rare exhibits here, that include pieces from the Texan Revolution and the Spanish-American War as well. The gallery is huge, and is divided into sections such as Main Gallery, Lost Battalion, Great Hall, World War II Pacific Theater Exhibit and Air Guard Gallery. The Armor Row and Artillery Park on the museum grounds consists of a vast collection of guns, tanks and aircraft. The museum also includes a library and movie room, making it interesting for visitors of every age.

Austin, TX, United States
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