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 added in 1983 that became hugely popular among Austin art lovers.
In 1996, the Museum changed its name to the Austin Museum of Art and, despite some economic hurdles and changes of plan, relocated to its current home in downtown Austin. The Museum’s downtown location features numerous exhibitions of works from its permanent collection, with a primary focus on twentieth-century and contemporary works of art. A number of activities, including gallery tours, lectures and performances, enhance the artistic interchange between institution and community.
In 2000, an ambitious renovation project was undertaken to refurbish the Laguna Gloria site and the adjoining Art School. Today this location features regularly rotating exhibitions, as well as opportunities to appreciate the renovated Italianate villa and its surrounding acreage, which includes historic gardens and a collection of sculpture. The Art School here offers over 400 classes annually in the visual arts, to students of all ages.
Austin Museum of Art Information
- Public Transportation: Fair
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Downtown: Tues, Weds, Fri, 10 am-5 pm; Thursday, 10 am-8 pm; Saturday, 10 am-6 pm; Sunday, noon-5 pm; Mondays and holidays, closed (website for details)
- Laguna Gloria: Tues-Weds, noon-4 pm; Thursday-Sunday, 10 am-4 pm; Monday, closed
- Downtown: AMOA members, free; Adults, $5; Students/Seniors, $4; Children under 12, free
- Laguna Gloria: Suggested donation of $3
- Memberships: Individual membership is $30, Household $60; benefits include unlimited admission, exhibition previews, Museum Store discount and more; Benefits increase with larger gifts to the museum, including Art School discounts, event invitations, guest passes and more.