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Austin, Texas

Austin: Art Museums

Austin is a burgeoning city for the arts, as the downtown area has recently seen a rapid increase in development of high rise apartments, commercial space, and artistic venues for progressive and creative talent. The art museums and galleries have responded in kind by making significant efforts to expand and reach out to the cities’ emergent visual arts audience.

In 2011, two of Austin’s largest art institutions – the Austin Museum of Art and Arthouse at the Jones Center – united in order to create a more extensive and stronger visual arts entity. The merger creates the opportunity for the combined audiences to experience new and innovative programs and exhibits in three distinctive locations in Austin. Both AMOA and Arthouse will continue to offer programs and exhibits in their current spaces in the heart of downtown Austin, with additional exhibitions offered in the picturesque Italianate-style villa (and original Austin Museum of Art) in West Austin called Laguna Gloria.

The University of Texas has also contributed to the growth of visual art in Austin through the 2006 opening of the Blanton Museum of Art, a grand structure boasting a collection of over 17,000 pieces. The new facility has become a community icon and popular destination for art lovers in Austin who love to mingle, hosting an endless flow of parties and monthly ‘B-scene’ happy hours that feature live music and occasional performance art. While the majority of the collection focuses on Western European art from the fourteenth through twentieth centuries and modern and contemporary art of the Americas, the Blanton has keenly incorporated contemporary and international artists to reach a diverse audience.

The growth of these large art institutions has been supplemented by the ever-expanding local arts scene, with more artists and galleries adding to the collective art frenzy that has taken place over the last ten years. Showcasing the rich wealth of talent of East Austin’s large and wildly diverse creative community is the East Austin Studio Tour (E.A.S.T). Arguably the cities’ most attended art event, the 10th annual E.A.S.T. took place in November 2011 and hosted over 300 artists. Events such as these capture the excitement and innovation of the contemporary Austin arts community. It is certainly an exciting time for the Austin arts scene, as the expansion of museums and galleries offer more opportunities and options than ever before for both locals and visitors to enjoy. (Kallie Kirkland)

Austin Art Museums: Art Museums Around Austin

Below are our Austin Art Museum recommendations, with information on location, admission, transportation/parking, museum history and other points of interest in Austin Art.

Austin Museum of Art

Austin Museum of Art makes it part of its mission statement to celebrate and nurture cultural awareness through programs and exhibitions at its two locations.  It began in 1961 as the Laguna Gloria Art Museum, housed in the former estate of Texas businesswoman and philanthropist Clara Driscoll.  The property on which the Laguna Gloria stands in fact once belonged to the city’s namesake, Stephen Austin.  An Art School facility was …more…

Blanton Museum (Austin, TX)

The University of Texas at Austin’s Blanton Museum is the largest university art museum in the United States, with over 17,000 works from Europe, the United States and Latin America in its permanent collection. Most notable is the Suida-Manning Collection, a superb gathering of Renaissance works by such masters as Veronese, Rubens, and Tiepolo ...more...

Mexic-Arte Museum

The Mexic-Arte Museum was founded as a non-profit in 1984 by local artists of Mexican heritage, though its activities began the year before with the Mexican Day of the Dead festival.  Located in downtown Austin just blocks from the State Capitol building, the Museum is the official Mexican and Mexican-American museum of the state of Texas.  It may be the most complete museum on the subject in the country, because …more…