The Witte Museum, where nature, science and culture meet, hit an exhilarating milestone in March of 2017, when the new Witte opened to visitors after two years of construction and more than 170,000 square feet of renovations and expansion. Massive new exhibitions on dinosaurs, People of the Pecos and Texas Wild highlight changes at the new Witte, located on the banks of the San Antonio River. The renaissance of the 90-year-old Witte Museum is emblematic of the growth of San Antonio, especially as a catalyst to development of the Broadway Cultural Corridor. The Witte houses a key feature of San Antonio’s 300-year-old history, the 1719 Acequia Madre and Diversion Dam.
Built by artist and educator Marion Koogler McNay in the 1920s, this Spanish Colonial Revival residence became the site of Texas’s first museum of modern art in 1954. More than 134,000 visitors annually enjoy works by modern masters including Gauguin, van Gogh, O’Keeffe, Picasso, Pollock and Renoir. The museum offers rich and varied exhibits, as well as rotating displays from the 20,000 works in the collection. The 45,000-square-foot Jane & Arthur Stieren Center for Exhibitions, designed by renowned French architect Jean-Paul Viguier, features three major exhibitions annually. A tour of the 23-acre grounds reveals sculptures by Robert Indiana, Luis Jiménez Jr, George Rickey, Joel Shapiro and Kiki Smith.
The San Antonio Museum of Art is located in the distinctive, historic Lone Star Brewery building on the River Walk’s Museum Reach. The museum features 5,000 years of art from cultures around the world, including inimitable collections of Chinese and Latin American art; crowd-pleasing mummies, swords and a sand mandala; and family-friendly activities and tours. The renowned Latin American art collection spans from pre-Columbian to the modern era in the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art. Visitors will see works of art from all over Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Oceania, Ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, as well as galleries featuring American and Texan artists and a glass ceiling by Dale Chihuly.
The Southwest School of Art was established in 1965 and occupies several downtown acres along the River Walk. A portion is a historic landmark established in 1851 as the Ursuline Convent and Academy, the first school for girls in San Antonio. The Southwest School of Art is the only independent college of art in Texas, offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, as well as studio art classes for the community. The school also annually serves over 10,000 youth, most from low-income areas of the city, while also enrolling more than 2,000 adults. Regularly changing exhibitions of contemporary art are free to the public and focus on works by regional, national and international artists.
Now in its 30th year, Blue Star Contemporary (BSC) serves as an incubator for contemporary art in San Antonio, hosting over 20 exhibitions each year within its four onsite galleries and multiple offsite locations throughout the city that feature emerging and established artists from the Alamo City and across the globe. BSC expands the international contemporary art dialogue through an international exchange partnership with the Künstlerhaus Bethanien (KB) in Berlin, Germany, by sending Bexar county artists for 3 month residencies and in turn bringing KB residents to San Antonio. Each year, over 300,000 visitors interact with contemporary art at BSC through exhibitions, the MOSAIC Student Artist Program, and community outreach allowing BSC to fulfill its mission to inspire, nurture, and innovate through contemporary art.