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“Well worth the trip from downtown . . .but please don't dtep on the docents!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of McNay Art Museum

McNay Art Museum
6000 N New Braunfels Ave, San Antonio, TX 78209 (Uptown Broadway)
210 824 5368
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Ranked #14 of 327 things to do in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Activities: Group tours/walking tour
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: A huge Mediterranean-style mansion that houses over 10,000 paintings, sculptures and prints.
Longview, Texas
Top Contributor
135 reviews 135 reviews
42 attraction reviews
Reviews in 32 cities Reviews in 32 cities
93 helpful votes 93 helpful votes
“Well worth the trip from downtown . . .but please don't dtep on the docents!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2011

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!

Visited October 2011
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391 reviews from our community

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Shreveport, LA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“A delight to add to the beautiful places you keep in your memory bank"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2011

My husband, daughter and son-in-law took advantage of the free admission to this wonderful museum on the first Sunday of August. What a wise choice! After the festive atmosphere of the River Walk, etc. a trip to this calming and contemplative site was heavenly. I am no art expert, but I absolutely was blown away by the original artwork on exhibit in this lovely old Mediterranean villa and the more recent additions. Several hours visiting this beautiful spot was a lovely way for us to end our long weekend in San Antonio. I hope to return.

Visited August 2011
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Laredo, Texas
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
21 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“1st Museum in Texas”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2011

I've visited the McNay several times and I've always been able to enjoy it so much. Mainly because it's small for a museum (huge for a house) and the art is first class but there is not so much that it is so overwhelming you can't appreciate it or study it to your hearts content. Even the house and the gardens are a work of art so you can just sit outside and take it all in.
I must confess that I never appreciated Diego Rivera until I saw the Nina Delfina painting here. It is just a lovely picture, and Picasso, and so many other Great painters. Mrs. Koogler McNay had a great eye and started collecting some of these pieces while the painters were relative unknowns. The medieval rooms are also a must see and I specially love that I don't feel suffocated when visiting these rooms as I do in the larger museums.
It is true as other reviewers say that the guards are over zealous but they must have their reasons and sometimes they give great tips like not missing the bathroom in the new wing. Even if you don't need to use the facilities they are a work of art. Just be for-warned if it gets to closing time you must go directly to the lobby and your eyes must not stray from the forward position. LOL :)

Visited September 2010
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Don't miss it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2011

Outstanding, diverse collection of art shown in Spanish Colonial style mansion and added buildings. Don't miss this gem!

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Nicholasville, Kentucky
Top Contributor
258 reviews 258 reviews
151 attraction reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
168 helpful votes 168 helpful votes
“Beautiful mansion, uptight workers!”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 26, 2011

I am torn what to say about this place. We visited twice. Once in Cooler January and once in April. They offer a free evening to the public one evening a week. We took advantage of the opportunity to see something different add some culture to our children's lives. (It is not all about rollercoasters!) In January we stayed indoors and toured the whole complex inside. On our return visit we briefly stayed indoors and enjoyed the grounds for plenty of picture taking opportunities. Art lover's will love the variety and quantity of art. O'Keefe, Picasso, Monet, and Renoit to name just a few. There is art from the American south west and other varieties from around the world. The mansion and grounds were spectacular. So if you are an adult that loves art, then chaulk up 5 stars. Problem is, I brought my family...with three kids. Do not assume that the problem was the kids. I can assure you that I can admit when they are wrong or misbehaving. I felt like the problem was that the kids are not wanted by the museum. Before we entered the museum, we cautiously told our kids to be on their best behavior and not touch anything. Stay with in a few feet of us, talk sofly and look with your eyes. When we walked in, the receptionists, were very gracious and helpful. We noticed one of the workers in the background had on headgear and was communicating with other workers throughout the complex. Looking back, I can't help but wonder if he was calling out a CODE RED, for kids in the building. For as we entered the first section, a lady immediately got on us for crossing on line on the floor. Okay, our mistake. But what was an annoyance, soon became a comedy of errors. My WIFE, was yelled at twice! When I say yelled at, I don't mean literally, but none the less, lectured. Every room we entered, we were immediately decended on like vultures on road kill. Watching our every move. There are many rooms and this happened throughout the whole complex. My wife was asked to remove a fanny pack she had on her back. It was a small purse, but apparently she could have turned causing a chain reaction of great destruction. Another time she pointed at a picture to show something and was jumped on for having her finger within twelve inches of the object. Every room was the same thing. It is not pleasureable to view art with condescending stares. We did not cause a commotion. We just entered a room and breathed. At one point my youngest son was tired and I proceded to put him on my shoulders. You would have thought I tried to run out of the museum with a painting or two. I am sure anyone reading this is thinking. Okay, sure. I bet those kids were running willy nilly in the museum. I cannot emphasize enough that this was not the case and the proceeding sequence is no exaggeration. We returned in April with my wife saying, "Why are earth, are we going back?" I assured her that we we only go in briefly and then tour the grounds. I thought that the previous time was perhaps a fluke. But when we went indoors we were soon lectured for standing too close to the glass encasement for a piece of art. We immediately headed outside and enjoyed the grounds with no hassle. The San Antonio Art Museum also offers a free night once a week. Not once did we receive this treatment. Nor any other art museums throughout the United States that we have visited. So despite the amount of art and beauty this place provides, I simply cannot give it a good grade based on our experiences there.

Visited April 2010
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