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Review of McNay Art Museum

McNay Art Museum
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Half Day San Antonio Afternoon Grand Historic Tour
Ranked #17 of 274 things to do in San Antonio
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed May 28, 2013

If you like art galleries, put this on your "required" list. Beautiful home, setting, gardens, statues, and the art! Picasso, Gaugin, Manet, Chagall, O'Keeffe, Medieval, Native American. Plan to spend 2-3 hours, and there is no cafe there, but according to the incredibly friendly and helpful staff , there are good eating establishments nearby. It required a quick $20 cab ride from the Riverwalk, each way, but was more than worth it.

1  Thank 60922Daisy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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in 13 reviews
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592 - 596 of 769 reviews

Reviewed May 28, 2013

Nothing stood out at this museum except for the Spanish style colonial structure. Security staff appearance was sloppy and they seemed complacent and unprofessional.

Thank Papi_Latino
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 22, 2013

Main part of the museum was built as a Spanish style colonial house in the 1920s as residence and eventually became a museum to house the collection left by the owner. .There is now also a large modern extension and the whole building is very interesting and sits in attractive grounds.
The collection is very strong in 19th to mid 20th c european and American art and has many high quality paintings. There are also displays of other periods and an extensive selection of sculpture.
Well worth a visit for art lovers. Entry $10 for adults. Only a small selection of snacks from on-site vending machine.

Thank rjg4321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2013

What a fine collection , with examples of art from many of the greats and a wonderful building with an interesting history

Thank reynbo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 4, 2013

The McNay is a beautiful home that has expanded over the years to accomodate a growing collection of artwork. Styles included impressionism, post impressionism, modernism, american modernism, sculpture, theater arts (costume), medieval and renaissance, and southwest art.

At the time of my visit, the changing exhibition was Real/Surreal - Selections from the Whitney Museum of American Art. Noted names I recognized in this collection (I have minimal knowledge of art) are Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth. This display was interactive in that an iPad was provided (check out/in with i.d.) which elements in certain paintings could be matched to the items on the iPad touch screen. Additional information on the painting or artist might be provided, for example. One could also vote if the painting was "real or surreal" and see the percentage vote. This was a little fun in that it prompted us to discuss the painting and it's elements more than we may have on our own without the game. FYI: No pictures are allowed of this exhibition.

There is too much to list about the permanent collection, but highlights are sculpture from Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin and paintings from Paul Gauguin, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Pablo Picasso, and Georgia O'Keeffe. (When in the dark room of Renoirs, be sure to look up at the artistic detail on the ceiling!) Note the art collection at McNay includes a section for local artists too. Also there was a movie showing an artistic film outside of Leeper Auditorium. The theater room led us to a beautiful huge library with bookshelves to the ceiling! Had we not had small child with us, I would have loved to peruse that more. The centerpiece of this room was a beautiful Fiesta gown for the Coronation of the Queen of the Order of the Alamo. One wall has a selection of hats and masks to try on for fun and pose for a picture (take it yourself) with a "framed" backdrop.

There are placards throughout for each piece of art. Some have basic info such as artist name and painting title/year, and some placards give further explanation of meaning behind the piece, etc. If you bring a cellphone you can access the "acoustiguide" free cell phone tour. There is a local number to call (english or spanish) on your McNay pamphlet/map, and certain artwork will show a "stop" number to dial to hear more info on the art piece.

If you have small children, you will be watched very, VERY closely by attendees in every room. Many art pieces, especially sculptures are within reach of little ones. There are strict rules to maintain at least 12 inches away from the artwork. At one point my friend leaned in to peer at a small detail and we promptly heard "too close too close!" Keep in mind that there are some non carpeted rooms that will carry stomping footsteps and shrill voices very easily. We were advised that strollers are allowed. There is elevator and wheelchair access.

The architecture of this building had me daydreaming this was my home and veranda! The grounds are also very nice, with several sculpture and fountain displays outside. Benches are throughout. We saw at least a couple different people having photos taken outside the lovely architecture of the building. There was a small pond with blooming lily pads and some of the largest koi i've ever seen within. Even spotted a tiny turtle!

We got there around 10:00 a.m. and left around 2:00 p.m. pretty pooped. We really tried to spend time looking and commenting on our favorite pieces. We sped the visit up in the end because the toddler was ready to go. There is no cafeteria. At the time the adult fee was $15. The attendant asked if I were a student or active military, so safe to assume a discount may be offered with the respective i.d. There is a gift shop.

Highly recommended. There is bound to be something appreciated here by art lovers and art novices alike.

1  Thank K M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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