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The Best Museums & Galleries in Austin
Austin, TX – Museums and art galleries in Austin strive to share the diverse and eclectic culture the city is often known for. Around Austin and Central Texas, you’ll find many options for art and interactive experiences the entire family will enjoy.
You can view permanent works and collections at several different museums in Austin as well as view temporary installations in local galleries. Everyone has their own taste in art, and you can find just about every form of art in Austin.
Check out our list of the best museums and galleries in Austin, and let us know your favorite works!
The Best Museums and Art Galleries In Austin:
- Big Medium
- Blanton Museum of Art
- Bullock Texas State History Museum
- The Contemporary Austin
- Contra Common
- ICOSA Collective
- Laguna Gloria
- MASS Gallery
- Mexic-Arte Museum
- Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum
Image Credit: Big Medium
Artist Credit: Manik Raj Nakra’s solo exhibition Wildlife
Big Medium is a well-known local nonprofit dedicated to supporting local artists in Austin and building an art community through their city-wide art events and local galleries, especially the Big Medium Gallery.
Each year, Big Medium curates the Austin EAST and WEST Studio Tours to give locals a chance to meet artists in their creative spaces. They also host the Texas Biennial, which showcases contemporary art in Texas.
They also provide development courses, provide artists with studio spaces, and give one local artist a residency. With all the different ways they showcase local Austin-based art, it shouldn’t be hard to find a Big Medium gallery near you!
Image Credit: Blanton Museum of Art
Artist Credit: Ellsworth Kelly
200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Austin, TX 78712
The Blanton Museum of Art, located at The University of Texas at Austin, is known to be a major resource for artists and students on campus and in Austin. With over 19,000 different works ranging from European paintings to abstract and modern art, the Blanton Museum of Art attracts admirers of art from around the world.
Even with their own huge collection of art, they always switch it up with their major exhibitions featuring world-renowned artists as well as up-and-coming artists. Check out what major exhibitions are currently on view and come book an appointment to visit the Blanton!
Image Credit: Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
The Bullock Texas State History Museum has told the story of Texas to over 9 million visitors through a meaningful and educational experience. They have hundreds of artifacts, films, and community events to help those explore Texas’ dynamic stories.
Their three floors showcase over 700 different artifacts. The first floor is their “Becoming Texas” exhibition that uncovers Texas history. The second floor discovers the story of Texas from the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Depression-era. Finally, the third floor showcases Texas’s emergence onto the national stage in the 20th century.
Image Credit: The Contemporary Austin
Artist Credit: Deborah Roberts solo exhibition DEBORAH ROBERTS; I’M
700 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
The Contemporary Austin is known to display contemporary art through its exhibitions, commissions, and educational classes. The three-story brick building built in 1851 is celebrated for its eclectic and collective spirit.
The current exhibition, DEBORAH ROBERTS; I’M, runs from January 23 to August 13, 2021, and showcases Austin-based Deborah Roberts’ first solo exhibition in Texas. Roberts’ work critiques notions of beauty, the body, race, and identity in contemporary society through the lens of Black children.
Image Credit: Contra Common
Artist Credit: Holly Kuhl, Ely German, Steef Crombach, Madeline Marak and Sixuan Zhu
12912 Hill Country Blvd f140, Bee Cave, TX 78738
Located in the Hill Country Galleria, Contra Common was established by a group of artists who wanted to create a dedicated space for artists as well as support emerging artists in a collaborative setting. Their gallery space houses 12 artist studios and workshop facilities to provide artists with the help they need to battle the challenges of traditional studio and gallery settings.
Because they showcase work from emerging artists, there’s always something new and exciting to see.! Currently on exhibition is SOFT, a group exhibition of textile and fiber from emerging artists. Artists include Alissa Alfonso, Steef Crombach, Ely German, Alie Jackson, Holly Kuhl, Madeline Marak, Natalie Toth, Tuk Vaughankraska, April Wright, and Sixuan Zhu.
Image Credit: ICOSA Collective
Artist Credit: Untitled (Open Space) curated by Leslie Moody Castro
916 Springdale Road Building 2 #102, Austin, TX 78702
ICOSA, located in the blossoming gallery and studio hub at 916 Springdale Road, is an exhibition space that fosters ideas and relationships between the Austin and global art communities. Founded by a network of artists who wanted to stray away from the traditional gallery model, ICOSA gives artists the power to bring their creative ambitions to life through events, art shows, educational programs, and partnerships with diverse organizations.
They showcase some of the best contemporary art and art discussions, and give local artists and art lovers a place to engage and discuss art. Check out the opening reception on May 22, 2021 for their newest exhibition, Elements of Expression. Elements of Expression will be displaying the works of Austin and San Antonio-based artists Xavier Gilmore, Taylor Galvan, Sarah Fox, Sara Corley Martinez, Raul Rene Gonzalez, Randy Guthmiller, Jacqueline Ramirez, Cassie Gnehm, and Ursula Zavala.
Image Credit: The Contemporary Austin
Artist Credit: Wangechi Mutu, Water Woman
3809 W 35th St, Austin, TX 78703
Laguna Gloria, part of the Contemporary Austin, is a sculpture park that allows for the commission of new works by leading international contemporary artists. These sculptures are meant to be permanent outdoor art installations that embrace the natural beauty of Lake Austin.
The sculpture park has diverse ecology that includes woodlands, meadows, gardens, and the lake. Laguna Gloria also offers free art-making workshops on the second Saturday of every month and drop-in tours on the first Sunday of the month. Current artists on the exhibition include Ai Weiwei, Terry Allen, Carol Bove, Sarah Crowner, and new artists such as Nicole Eisenman and Juan Muñoz!
Image Credit: MASS Gallery
Artist Credit: Yvette Mayorga, solo exhibition Monochromatic Dreams
705 Gunter St, Austin, TX 78702
MASS Gallery is a non-profit gallery that consists of Austin’s diverse community of artists, writers, musicians, and educators. They strive to impact the culture of Austin in a creative and cultivating way through their studio space with the interests and acts of art-making. Want to become a part of MASS Gallery? Sign up to be a MASScot and be a part of their annual membership program for donors and sponsors.
Image Credit: Mexic-Arte Museum
Artist Credit: Bruno Andrade Retrospective solo exhibition
419 Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701
Did you know that the Mexic-Arte Museum is one of the few Mexican art museums in the United States? With 75,000 visitors coming to the Mexic-Arte Museum every year, they strive to present art by established and emerging artists from the United States, Mexico, and Latin America.
They also host a Day of the Dead festival every year in Austin as part of the museum’s initiative to bring Mexican culture to life. Currently on exhibition at the Mexic-Arte Museum is Mexico, the Border and Beyond: Selections from the Juan Antonio Sandoval Jr. Collection. This exhibition showcases prints, photographs, paintings, sculptures, and popular art from the El Paso region and Mexico.
1830 Simond Ave, Austin, TX 78723
Thinkery is an indoor and outdoor children’s museum where kids and their families can learn through play. These activities include hands-on activities that teach science, technology, engineering, the arts, and math. Through these hands-on activities, Thinkery encourages children to be physical and emotional, which is important for growth and development.
Artist Credit: Charles Umlauf605 Azie Morton Rd, Austin, TX 78704
The UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum is a sacred part of Austin. The museum represents Austin through its shady garden of native Texas plants, and its close proximity to Barton Springs and downtown Austin. The garden displays mostly the works of Charles Umlauf but also displays the works of other visual and performing artists.It’s an art destination where viewers can learn, play, and reflect. The UMLAUF Sculpture Garden and Museum also provides educational and cultural experiences through summer camp programs and more. Be sure to attend their 23rd annual Garden Party on Thursday, June 3, 2021!
As originally posted in AustinLocal.com