Top 12 Art Museums In Austin

Top 12 Art Museums In Austin Including Local Art Galleries.

Austin's art scene may not be as well-known as its music, film, and food offerings, but the city does boast a respectable showing of art galleries and museums. Here are the best art museums in Austin.

1. Blanton Museum of Art

Blanton Museum of Art

If you love art, visit the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin. Its collection of more than 21,000 works includes European paintings, prints, drawings, and contemporary art. The museum is well known for its collection of Ellsworth Kelly's Austin.

The museum's changing exhibition schedule is one of the most fascinating aspects of the museum. Its changing collection highlights both local and global artists. Visitors can enjoy the permanent collection of Texas art, as well as rotating special exhibitions.

In addition to the permanent collection, the Blanton Museum of Art also hosts exhibitions and events. The museum has free-to-attend days, and members get discounted admission to special events and classes.

You can learn more about the museum's collections by joining their volunteer program. You can also attend artist talks and lectures.

The Blanton Museum of Art is the largest university art museum in the country, with over 18,000 works of art. Highlights of the museum's collection include European and Latin American art, encyclopedic collections of prints, and modern art.

Founded in 1963, the Blanton has one of the largest public art collections in Central Texas. It is the primary art collection for the city of Austin. Aside from the permanent collection, the museum also offers traveling exhibits.

The Blanton Museum of Art on Austin's grounds has undergone a transformation that includes new public spaces and site-specific sound art. 

2. Mexic-Arte Museum

Mexic-Arte Museum

Mexic-Arte Museum is a fine arts museum located in Austin, Texas. Its mission is to educate the community, promote the culture of Mexico, and enrich the local community.

The museum is a must-see for all Austin residents. Visitors will have a chance to see a variety of fine art and exhibits that span centuries and continents.

The collection includes many important works of art from Mexico and beyond. Mexic-Arte was founded in 1983 by Pio Pulido and Mary Ann Martinez, who wanted to bring Mexican culture to their adopted home state.

The duo connected with master printmaker Sam Coronado and the museum was established. The two women incorporated the museum as a nonprofit organization, and in 1984, it opened its doors to the public.

The museum was initially housed in a small building at San Antonio Street but eventually moved to its current home at 419 Congress Ave.

The Mexic-Arte Museum's Screen It Program, which introduces youth to screen printing and other careers in the arts, was awarded the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award by the First Lady in 2016.

The Mexic-Arte Museum, located in the heart of the city, has been a source of Latin art and culture for more than a decade.

Visitors will love its unique art exhibitions and educational lectures. The museum also includes rotating works of contemporary art and hosts a Day of the Dead celebration.

Its guided tours allow for interactive learning experiences that include art history, contemporary Mexican art, and Latin and Chicano art.

Moreover, it offers a free Sunday tour. The museum offers educational opportunities for children from K-12.

3. The Contemporary Austin

The Contemporary Austin

The Contemporary Austin Jones Center is another popular museum in Austin. This multi-venue museum is situated on the shores of Lake Austin and features a glittering outdoor installation by Jim Hodge.

Visitors can even touch some of the artwork. Visiting this museum with kids is an excellent way to experience the beauty of modern and contemporary art in Texas. 

4. Lora Reynolds Gallery

Lora Reynolds Gallery

After working with Anthony d'Offay and Matthew Marks Galleries in London and New York, Lora Reynolds opened a gallery in Austin in March 2005.

Various art mediums, including drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, printing, film, and video, are featured in this exhibition by emerging, mid-career, and established artists.

The gallery comprises a project room with four to six installations each year in addition to a major exhibition space that hosts six to eight exhibitions annually.

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5. Ao5 Gallery

Ao5 Gallery

The largest modern art gallery in Austin, Ao5 Gallery, has been dedicated to delivering a wide variety of affordable fine art to Austin since 1998.

Six of the seven continents are represented in the gallery by artists. To draw new customers and keep the gallery interesting, Ao5 Gallery frequently changes its display of highlighted artists.

Even for repeat visitors, there is always something new to see and experience because there are numerous artist receptions and events every month.

6. Mass Gallery

Mass Gallery

The MASS Gallery which is a nonprofit gallery and an art project space was established in 2006.

MASS Gallery influences Austin's creative culture by fostering a physical environment for artistic engagement.

Members of MASS, which are drawn from Austin's vibrant community of artists, writers, musicians, and educators, collaborate on the daily management and long-term planning of exhibitions, programs, and events.

7. Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum

Charles Umlauf's work, as well as that of other visual and performing artists, is on display at the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum.

The UMLAUF offers educational and cultural opportunities that promote awareness and appreciation for nature, sculpture, and the various fine arts.

A natural refuge close to Barton Springs and just a few blocks from the center of a metropolitan capital city, the UMLAUF Sculpture Garden + Museum embodies so much of what makes Austin special.

It features outstanding natural art that is beautifully displayed in a shaded garden of Texas plants.

8. Women And Their Work Gallery

Women And Their Work Gallery

Located in Austin, Texas, Women & Their Work is a nonprofit arts organization that acts as a catalyst for contemporary art produced by women residing and working in Texas and other states.

Women & Their Work has been bringing innovative art to Austin for 44 years through exhibitions, performances, and educational initiatives.

Women & Their Work actively engages the neighborhood by introducing contemporary art to viewers of all ages.

Children in impoverished Austin schools are served by a comprehensive education program that W&TW has created since 1986.

The arts education program of Women & Their Work includes in-school concerts, classroom projects, teacher training, gallery visits, talks with the showing artists, and hands-on workshops for students in the Austin Independent School District.


9. South Austin Museum of Popular Culture

South Austin Museum of Popular Culture

Located in downtown Austin, South Texas, the Austin Museum of Popular Culture is a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting and preserving art, memorabilia, and the eclectic contributions of Austin to world popular culture.

Its collection of memorabilia ranges from the works of famous artists to popular musicians and film actors.

While you're there, make sure to check out the Austin Museum of Natural History, located nearby. 

10. Elisabet Ney Museum

Elisabet Ney Museum

Housed in the artist's former studio, the museum presents the life and works of the famous sculptor. Visitors will be able to see her memorabilia and a permanent collection of portrait busts.

In addition to the museum's permanent collections, you can also see Ney's own personal items.

The Elisabet Ney Museum is devoted to a woman who had a profound impact on the city's history and art culture. A sculptor by training, Ney built her studio and home in an elegant Formosa stone villa.

She cultivated a reputation as a philosopher, feminist, humanist, and historian, and her legacy lives on in this museum.

Located in the heart of the city, the Elisabet Ney Museum is a unique place to visit. Featuring portraits of prominent Texas figures, many of these portraits are plaster casts of famous statues.

Examples of notable portraits include Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, and Albert Sidney Johnston. 

11. Davis Gallery

Davis Gallery

Davis Gallery & Framing supports the notion that the arts have a special capacity to enhance a community.

Along with the compelling themes presented in the gallery, Davis Gallery is dedicated to continually working with and supporting neighborhood charities, non-profits, and groups that share the gallery's values.

12. Mondo Gallery

The Mondo Gallery is presently closed as a result of COVID-19.

Mondo Gallery

Here are few additional galleries and museums to keep in mind.

The Natural and Artificial Ephemerata Museum

Another museum located in East Austin, the Museum of Natural and Artificial Ephemerata, is a unique space dedicated to preserving endangered artifacts. This museum is free and open to the public.

Carver Museum

This museum is located in the former George Washington Carver branch of the Austin Public Library. Featuring a variety of collections, the museum is a wonderful place to learn about the history of art and Texas.

Visitors can explore paintings, sculptures, and modern art. The museum is open to the public, so you can visit it for free or purchase a ticket to attend.

The Carver Museum celebrates African American history and culture by displaying rotating exhibitions and showcasing the work of local artists.

This museum is also home to a Children's Gallery where children can meet famous Black inventors and learn about the history of Juneteenth. The museum is also home to the works of Jamel Shabazz.

Check out these Famous Artists who have shaped the art world!

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