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“Beautiful mansion, uptight workers!” 2 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 #6 of 135 Attractions in San Antonio
Type: Art Museums, Museums
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.
Nicholasville, Kentucky
Top Contributor
258 reviews 258 reviews
151 attraction reviews
Reviews in 70 cities Reviews in 70 cities
165 helpful votes 165 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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SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
30 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“the museum itself is great, but current Impressionism exhibit - so, so”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2010

I was disappointed with exhibit Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism and I went to museum on Thursday evening so only had to pay for exhibit. There are 40 pictures but it didn't seem like much. I have been to several different exhibits at this museum & this is first I'm disappointed in. If you are from out of town however, museum itself is definitely worth a visit.

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Fairfield, Connecticut
2 reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A little gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 24, 2010

A fellow tourist in San Antonio told us about the McNay. Apparently it's one of those undiscovered gems. You'll need to drive a few miles from downtown, but it's worth it. We were surprised by the quality of the collection: Cezzanne, Rodin, Van Gogh, Picasso, Mastisse, Dufy, Chagall, O'Keefe, as well as medieval and renaissance.

The main exhibit area is attached to a beautiful old mansion and courtyard which itself is worth the visit.

Museum gift shops are usually fun, but certainly not something we would normally think to mention in a review -- however, this one is exceptional. We planned on looking for a few note cards but I think we did half of our holiday shopping there.

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Mishawaka, Indiana
Senior Contributor
28 reviews 28 reviews
15 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Great museum”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 9, 2010

When you need a break from San Antonio history and the Alamo, go see the McNay Art Museum. Absolutely fantastic. Very reasonable price. Paintings and sculptures are wonderful as is the house that started the museum. We could only spend about 2 1/2 hours but would have like to spend another couple of hours.

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Houston
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
17 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“A small musem with an incredible collection”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2010

No, it is not on the Riverwalk. You'll have to drive out to Alamo Heights to see it -- about ten minutes. This museum is worth it.

It was the private home of Marion Koogler McNay who built a Mediterranean villa and live in it until it was converted into a museum in the 50's. The grounds are lovely and as a child, I lived nearby. As the museum was free, I could go in any time and wander at my leisure.

Imagine, the first paintings I ever saw were Monets, Diego Rivera's little girl sitting in a chair, an early Picasso portrait (the "real" kind of portrait), Georgia O'Keefe, Rodin bronzes. You name the artist, they've probably got one. My love of art started there and I think, if you wander with a child's eyes, you will have a fantastic time. I've seen many of the world's great museums, and this one stacks up favorably in the quality of its collection.

They've since added 16th century Flemish paintings from another San Antonio collector, and they are remarkable.

Even if you go as an adult, you will be delighted. No museum feet here, just pure pleasure.

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