The McNay Museum, located orth east of downtown is the hidden jewel of San Antonio. The museum is housed in the home of the McNay family, heirs to Joske's Dept. Stores, and the home and grounds would be worth touring if they were the onlt attraction offered. But inside the expanded mansion is a wealth of art both modern and classical. When we were there, two traveling exhibition of Tim Burton's "Nightmare Before Christmas" was on display with concepts and actual sets from the movie and a large exhibit of Japanese influence on Western Art. Touring counter clockwise through the McNay mansion, buit around a central courtyard, the visitor encounters the large collection of Northern European Rennaisance art. Many of the pieces were recovered after the war and were saved from trash heaps (the docent told me this). Next you see contemporary Southwestern art, highlighted by several O'Keefe's and native artists and artisans. My favorite section of the museum is the Impressionists exhibit. There is a large Monet water lilly, and several Picassos, Rousseaus, Cezannes', Degas, and more. In addition to the traditional arts, the museum also exhibits theatrical costumes and set design studies from famous theater art designers (a docent told me that, too!) We finished our tour in an area featuring modern scuplture, including a Calder mobile, and some assorted commercial art. Overall it was an enjoyable two hours. Oh, about the docents, the museum has a VERY large "staff" of voluteers, and they are very protective of their exhibits. It appears to beapproximately on docent every 15 to 20 feet, so you better be on your best behavior, or else ! But overall, they are ready to visit and tell you about their area of the museum. And they areall over seventy so if you do act up, you can probably out run them! So enjoy the McNay, but remember...please don't step on the docents!
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