Housed in what was once the Lone Star Brewery, this museum boasts fairly comprehensive collections of both ancient and Asian art. The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art displays what is probably one of the most impressive collections of pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, and Latin American modern and folk art in the United States. On Sundays, the museum sponsors educational workshops for children, in which they can create their own pieces of art to display at home. The museum also plays host to touring exhibits such as one featuring Egyptian artifacts on loan from Boston's Museum of Fine Arts.
This Spanish-Mediterranean mansion, located in the heart of well-to-do Alamo Heights, houses impressive artworks from 19th and 20th Century America and Europe, in addition to one of the largest theater arts collections in the United States. Its grounds are as lovely as its collections, boasting fountains, streams, goldfish ponds and Japanese-style gardens. Recent touring exhibitions include works by Georgia O'Keefe, a collection of pop art and American Pictorial Photography. The auditorium and portions of the McNay Art Museum are available for private functions.
Originally the Mission San Antonio de Valero, the Alamo is by far the most famous historical site in Texas, playing a significant role in Texas' quest for independence from Mexico. Under the command of Col. William Travis, 189 Texan soldiers bravely defended this fort for 13 days before finally succumbing to Santa Anna's massive Mexican army in early 1836. The chapel and the Long Barrack are all that remains of the fort. Saved from civilian apathy by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, the mission is now a museum containing relics from the era. Narrated tours are available.
The San Antonio Holocaust Memorial Museum is made up of several exhibits intended to educate the public on the dangers of prejudice. The first exhibit displays the history of the Nazi era, and includes, video, print propaganda disseminated by the Nazis, photographs, and other documents. The second exhibit traces America's response to the Holocaust, including the stories of survivors who settled in San Antonio. Finally, there's an outdoor contemplative area that memorializes those who died in the Holocaust. Admission is free and tours are available through appointment.
For lovers of history, architecture and antiques, this home is a must-see. Built in 1876, this three-story, French Second Empire-style home belonged to prominent citizen Edward Steves. The interior is decorated with original pieces from the era. Incidentally, the one-story River House behind the home housed the first indoor swimming pool in the city. Since 1954, the San Antonio Conservation Society has maintained the homestead as a historic house museum.
This is a fascinating museum honoring the heritages of the settlers who created Texas. Twenty-seven cultural and ethnic groups are represented in detailed exhibits featuring religious artifacts, household items, clothing, tools and more. The multi-screen video presentation shouldn't be missed, as it enhances the experience. As part of the University of Texas system, the museum offers educational programs, special exhibits, entertainment and symposia.
Land Heritage Institute is a museum that is owned and manged by the Land Heritage Foundation. Its mission is to preserve and nurture the existing archaeological resources along the River Medina and surrounding areas. The land itself is worth exploring to gain insight into the cultural, historical and social aspects of human habitat. It comprises Presnall Watson Farm, Los Caminos Naturales and LHI Equestrian Center. Though there is no entry fee for individual visitors, donations are welcome. For more details, call ahead.
Briscoe Western Art Museum is located on Market Street, in Downtown San Antonio. The museum, named for one of the most beloved governors of Texas, Dolph Briscoe, boasts of an interesting collection of artworks typical to the Western regions of America. A part of the Public Library, the museum is home to several contemporary and historic pieces and artifacts, including some that date back to the time of the Spanish conquest of the 1800s! The place also hosts numerous exhibitions and workshops throughout the year for the benefit of art students and enthusiasts. Open from Tuesdays through Sundays, Briscoe Western Art Museum makes for an interesting visit. Check the website for more details.