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San Antonio Museum of Art

200 West Jones Avenue
San Antonio, Texas

Phone: 210-978-8100 --

Statement of Purpose:

It is the mission of the San Antonio Museum of Art to educate by collecting, presenting and preserving the significant artistic achievements of the world's cultures from ancient times to the present, and through aesthetic and educational experiences develop a deeper understanding of human cultures, values, and traditions for visitors of all ages.

Highlights & Collections:

Since opening in 1981, the San Antonio Museum of Art has become home to the region's finest display of Greek and Roman antiquities, Asian art, Latin American and folk art, and American paintings. Housed in the historic Lone Star Brewery, built in 1884, the 104,000-square-foot facility is San Antonio's finest museum exhibition space.

And, it continues to grow.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art, a new 30,000-square-foot wing dedicated to the study and appreciation of Latin American art, will open its doors in 1998.

The San Antonio Museum of Art offers one-of-a-kind exhibits, poetry readings, concerts, storytelling, dance performances, lectures, family days, art workshops and more await visitors who hunger for art, thirst for knowledge and crave creative entertainment.


The beginnings of the Museum's Folk Art collection date to the 1930s, but it was not until fifty years later that the Museum firmly established itself in this area. In 1985, two major collections of folk art, belonging to the late Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller and Robert K. Winn, were donated, creating one of the world's most important repositories of this type of material. The collection now numbers more than 10,000 objects representing a broad range of functions, types, and materials dating from the 18th century to the present, with an emphasis on examples from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


The Museum's pre-Columbian collection comprises a wide assortment of materials from Mesoamerica, Central America, and the Andean region. Mesoamerica has the strongest representation with a broad range of outstanding examples in stone and ceramic. The pre-classic cultures are represented by pieces from the Olmec region as well as the West Coast cultures of Jalisco, Colima, and Nayarit. Classic period objects are from Teotihuacan and Oaxaca sites and the Veracruz and Maya regions. Stone objects from the Aztec, Mixtec, and Toltec periods make up the largest portion of our post-classic collection. Our Andean holdings include fine ceramics and textiles from throughout South America. Most of our collection is from the first millennium A.D., but it also contains a few objects from such late periods as the Inca.


The Museum's Spanish colonial collection, primarily religious art, encompasses over 100 paintings and objects from Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, El Salvador, and the Philippines. Although most of the Museum's works from this period are anonymous, painted in a popular style, the collection contains important pieces by academic painters such as Juan Correa. The Museum has a small, but important, group of 17th and 18th century "estofado" images of Santa Teresa de Avila from Guatemala. The minor arts of this period are represented by an impressive collection of liturgical silver and secular textiles.


The Museum's Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century collection reflects many of the artistic, historical, political, and religious events of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the United States. These paintings show the artistic development of painting in America during this period. They consist of portraits, landscapes, still-life subjects, religious images, and historical scenes. Virtually all artworks produced during this time were portraits providing a visual record of individuals commissioned for specific occasions or to commemorate other special events. The collection features works by John Singleton Copley, Benjamin West, Jasper Cropsey, and Gilbert Stuart.


A significant portion of the Museum's 20th century collection is devoted to the post-World War II American painting and sculpture, beginning with the works of leading abstract painters, first and second generations of the New York School. It features such exemplary paintings as Hans Hoffman's "Liberation" and other large-scale works by Helen Frankenthaler, Philip Guston, and Frank Stella. of particular importance is the Museum's commitment to the collection of contemporary Texas art. Focusing on painting and sculpture produced by Texans from the late 60s to the present, the collection shows the diversity of expression being produced by local artists. The importance of this collection is based on the Museum's responsibility and commitment to exhibit, document, and collect outstanding works by Texas artists.


The Museum's permanent Asian galleries, together with the Far-Eastern Department at the Museum of Art, comprise the first such department in a Texas museum and one of the most actively growing departments in the southern United States. Featured in the collection is a large group of Chinese ceramics dating from 2000 B.C. through the 18th century, as well as Chinese paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts. The galleries have been recently expanded, through a gift from Walter F. and Lenora Brown, doubling the existing space. The new galleries feature Chinese ceramics, bronzes, archaic jades, porcelain and other works of art from the Ming and Qing dynasties, Japanese art, Korean art, and east Asian art and sculpture.


The Egyptian and Classical holdings of the Museum span 5000 years and represent most major periods of the Mediterranean world from prehistory to the Byzantine, with special emphasis given to Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art. The core of the current collection came to the Museum through the generosity of Mr. Gilbert M. Denman Jr., whose gift of Greek and Roman statuary and Greek and Roman painted pottery single-handedly established the Museum's Department of Antiquities in 1986. The Museum has continued to expand its holdings in this department and now presents the finest and most comprehensive array of antiquities in the southern United States. The Museum also has a strong ancient glass collection, displayed in one of America's few galleries devoted exclusively to ancient glass, chronicling glassmaking's history and inception in the Near East.

Exhibits & Special Events:


Admission & Directions:

North from the Alamo on Broadway. Make Left at Jones. Museum on Right, parking on Left.


Key Personnel:

Douglas Hyland, Museum Director
George DiGiacomo, Public Relations Manager.

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