While in San Antonio, Texas to attend the 2019 Women Writing the West conference, we toured the amazing Briscoe Western Art Museum. It was a tour to remember.
The museum is housed in a renovated historical building, a 1930s structure that once served as the city’s library. The Briscoe, located downtown San Antonio on the River Walk, opened in 2013. The museum, the city’s first dedicated Western art museum, features hundreds of western objects, including a full-size reproduction of a Wells Fargo stagecoach, and an actual chuck wagon used on cattle trail drives. Walls and display cases of saddles and spurs fire the imagination and bring the old West to life. In addition to cowboy culture, the museum also explores American Indian, Spanish and Mexican contributions to the area.
The museum’s three levels feature the story of the West through paintings and sculptures, from ancient concepts to the place we know today. Each floor has a theme showing the diversity of cultures, ideas and commerce.
In addition to the permanent displays, the museum also has a rotating display of the newest acquisitions. When we visited, the Briscoe featured a very large exhibit, the Art and the Animal, the flagship exhibition of The Society of Animal Artists.
Outside, the McNutt Sculpture Garden provides visitors a leisurely courtyard stroll among bronze sculptures depicting figures of the American West.
The Briscoe Western Art Museum Store has an impressive selection of merchandise including books, jewelry, arts and crafts, all relating to the Museum’s collection.
If you’re in San Antonio, be sure to visit the Briscoe Western Art Museum. It offers a memorable tour of yesterday and today’s American West.
Photos by April Brauneis