A city without museums is hardly a town, and though San Antonio prides itself on retaining a small-town feel, our museums are known internationally — as institutions that could only happen here.
– Scott Andrews
San Antonio Museum of Art
SAMA is San Antonio's encyclopedic museum, spanning cultures 'round the globe from Ancient Egypt to New Guinea, with especially strong collections from Asia and Latin America. Modern and contemporary art is well-represented, too, and among the pieces of blue-chip art are ever-increasing numbers of works by local artists. Changing exhibitions are organized in-house by accomplished curators.
200 W Jones, (210) 978-8100,
Blue Star Contemporary
Formed more than a quarter century ago by SA artists, the Blue Star is the center of the First Friday art party and a curatorial force, presenting contemporary art by local talent, backed-up by national and international shows. Blue Star also sends artists from SA overseas to enlighten Berlin and Scandinavia.
Free on First Thursdays and Fridays.
116 Blue Star, (210) 227-6960, bluestarart.org
McNay Art Museum
Founded in 1950, the McNay is the oldest modern art museum in Texas, and arguably the most beautiful museum in SA. Modern masterpieces by the greats, from Gauguin to Matisse and Cassatt, are joined by contemporary works by Calder, Judd, and de Kooning, exhibitions by local artists, and the Tobin Collection of Theater Arts, one of the top collections of its kind in the U.S.
6000 N New Braunfels,
(210) 824-5368, mcnayart.org
Kids of all ages love dinosaurs, and the Witte delivers. Equal parts science museum, environment explainer, and center for all things Texas, the Witte is home to amazing traveling shows and great in-house exhibitions. Situated along the San Antonio River, it's a great museum for kids, and the H-E-B Science Treehouse provides a climbing wall and high-wire bicycle rides for hands- (and feet-)on fun.
3801 Broadway, (210) 357-1863,
Artpace is known throughout the art world for its International Artist-in-Residency program, which brings Texan, out-of-state, and international artists together to live and make art in SA. Founded by the late artist-philanthropist Linda Pace, this nonprofit isn't strictly high art, as kid-friendly parties like October's Chalk it Up street painting fest and potluck community dinners attest.
445 N Main, (210) 212-4900,