The San Antonio Museum of Art
Overall Rating: 9 Good for: ages 12+ Time Spent: 3.5 hours
Last week I had the pleasure of visiting an art museum in SA with my ‘Little.’ We had a blast! Specifically, we visited the San Antonio Museum of Art, which is located downtown San Antonio in this absolutely stunning historic building. I’m talkin’ super old. The best part of this building though? It’s totally free to get into on Tuesday’s and Fridays. Yeah, even parking.
The museum itself is four floors connected on the ground and second floor, and on the fourth by the sky bridge (which is under renovation until January of next year). It is filled with beautiful works of art from Japanese sculpting, Oceanic pieces, Meditterian works, 1800’s paintings from the U.S., Texas made art, and my personal favorite, modern art. It was bustling, but with a quietness that often accompanies museums, and the greatest pieces were nothing short of surrounded. There was just enough to each collection and just enough variety to keep you captivated.
The piece that struck me the most was on titled How do you Spell America? by Willie Cole, finished in 1991. This work lives in the contemporary section of the museum, above American art, and on the second floor. It’s not a happy piece, to say the least. What it is, however, is a striking capture of modern day America, of the challenges its peoples face. With every word I read, my stomach sank further and further toward the ground as a began to grasp the reality of this artwork, and both the fear and despair present in its lines. It is daunting and infuriating and amazing. It’s the kind of work you long to see in a museum. It’s not a 1600’s portrait of some white guy in a wig, but it is something that draws you in and forces you to think about its context, and how this context challenges the world around you. After all, if art doesn’t exist to challenge the status quo, then what’s the point of creating it in the first place? This museum delivers art that does just that and more. It contains pieces that challenge us to think, and it contains pieces that map out the history of land across the world. It is a must see in San Antonio, and, even better, it’s free (sometimes).
This museum delivers art that does just that and more. It contains pieces that challenge us to think, and it contains pieces that map out the history of land across the world. It is a must see in San Antonio, and, even better, it’s free (sometimes).
I’ll leave you with the wise words of Jawaharlal Nehru. Have a wonderful, adventurous day. “We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm, and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”