San Antonio Museum of Art
This spectacular 1884-era building, once the historic Lonestar Brewery, has been beautifully restored in its original location on the banks of the San Antonio River, a 30-minute walk north of downtown. Public art lines the Museum Reach of the River Walk, making this an interesting stroll.
The museum’s collection of Asian Art is internationally recognized, both for its sheer size – there are over 2,000 works spanning 6,000 years – and the quality of the pieces. Marvel at a Chinese bronze steamer from 1600 B.C. and a 17th-century Korean Buddha statue.
Equally as impressive are the collections of relics from ancient Greece, Egypt, The Near East and Rome, including vases, statues and engravings. Stop at the entrance to the Egyptian gallery and admire a massive statue of the goddess Sekhmet.
Collections of European, Islamic, Latin American and Oceanic art provide a fascinating insight into other cultures and times. The Latin American gallery houses one of the biggest collections of Latin American art in the U.S. Important paintings and decorative objects are arranged in chronological order. There’s an ancient drinking object from Peru, dating to the year 400, and an intricately painted Guatemalan platter from the year 600. There’s a page from a ninth or tenth century Qur’an in the Islamic gallery, and an important collection of Wedgwood China and Irish silver from Europe.
Contemporary art lovers aren’t forgotten, and the American Art collection houses works from many well-known artists, including John Singer Sargent and Ernest Lawson.
It’s worth taking your time through the extensive collections. Take a break at the museum café and stop by the gift shop for art books, prints and souvenirs.
There’s free parking at the museum, and it’s easily accessible by bus and water taxi.