Explore Western Art in San Antonio Texas

A visit to San Antonio Texas is always a trip into history. At one time the largest city in Spanish and Mexican ruled Tejas, today San Antonio Texas offers the tourists several historic Spanish missions, historic structures such as the Pioneer Flour Mill, the King William Historic District and the very popular San Antonio River Walk. In addition to these there are plenty more historic sites to visit.

wells fargo stage coach
Wells Fargo stage coach exhibit

The Briscoe Western Art Museum

Along the River Walk there’s another quite unique venue you may enjoy visiting. This is the Briscoe Western Art Museum is located on the River Walk and whose street address is 210 W. Market Street. The museum resides in the same historic building that once housed the Hertzberg Circus Museum. At this time many people are not acquainted with this museum since it is so new.

The Brisco Western Art Museum, which actually had been planned over a ten year period, opened it’s doors in late October 2013 to a very well attended ribbon cutting ceremony. The museum came to being by a public/ private partnership which included a $4 million dollar contribution by the Brisco Family. A partnership between the national Western Art Foundation, City of San Antonio and Bexar County created the Dolph and Janey Briscoe Western Art Museum.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum is named after former Texas governor Dolph Briscoe. Briscoe was the 41st Governor of Texas. The museum is highlighted with art from the Briscoe Family collection. The museum exhibits are displayed on three different levels of the museum.

river walk san antonio boats
River Walk boat rides along the San Antonio River.

The  museum is meant to educate the public that Texas history started with the Native Americans, and then from there to the Spanish, and from there to the Mexicans, and then to the Texicans, who then became known as Texans, then the confederacy years, and after those eras to become a big part of American history.

The Briscoe Western Art Museum Campus includes the historic Museum building, the Jack Guenther Pavilion and the adjacent McNutt Courtyard & Sculpture Garden spread across 1 1/4 acres in downtown San Antonio. The museum is a gem along the San Antonio River.

san antonio river
Another view of the San Antonio River

Briscoe Western Art Museum Exhibits

If you’re interested in cattle drives, the old west and Texas history this is a museum you do not want to miss.

The first floor lobby area of the museum has an art deco / neo-classical decor.

The second floor mezzanine level features Western painting, sculpture and photography.

The museum’s third level features a chuckwagon, Alamo Battle diorama and several galleries.

Among the many exhibits is a beautiful reproduction of a Wells Fargo stagecoach, a fine restoration of a cattle drive chuck wagon, an example of classic Aeromotor windmill, saddles, spurs, firearms, sculptures, paintings, photos and a diorama of the Alamo Battle. The art collection has an excellent blend of mixed media.

See the Trips Into History articles below…

The Historic Alamo

The Resting Place of the Alamo Defenders in San Antonio

Also our Western Trips articles on the links below…

A San Antonio Historic Hotel

The Guenther House and Pioneer Flour Mill

From Trips Into History see…

Visit Luling Texas / Railroads, Oil and Watermelons

Additional Attractions Along the San Antonio River Walk

While you’re visiting the San Antonio Riverwalk and the Briscoe Western Art Museum you’ll want to see the La Villita Historic Arts Village which is also one of San Antonio’s oldest neighborhoods. La Villita was originally settled nearly 300 years ago as one of the city’s first neighborhoods. This arts village of one square block has been in existence since 1939 and features all types of art…sculptures, oil paintings, pottery and much more. You’ll also want to check out events planned at the arts village before your trip to San Antonio. La Villita Historic Arts Village is adjacent to the hotels and the Riverwalk. La Villita hosts some of San Antonio’s best parties with festivals, concerts and celebrations scheduled year-round. See their website at www.lavillita.com

san antonio texas museums
Briscoe Western Art Museum

If you take a boat ride on the San Antonio River along the River Walk, which is highly recommended, you’ll learn quite a lot about San Antonio and the construction of the Riverwalk itself. The cruise is 35 minutes long and passes by the RiverCenter Mall which is the only mall in the U.S. that actually has a river running through it.

Along the San Antonio River and the River Walk is the Arneson River Theater.  This outdoor theater directly on the River Walk becomes a festival of lights during the Christmas and New Year holiday period. You’ll also hear local sounds of folklorico and flamenco music during the summer months and especially during celebrations such as the Fiesta Noche del Rio.

(Article copyright 2014 Trips Into History)