Museums >Mc Nay Art Museum
Displaying art, architecture and fish: This museum is a veritable renaissance institution..
First-time visitors are invariably struck by the beauty of the grounds: canals meander through the velvety grass; somber statues hold court at the fountain; a Japanese pagoda provides shade for graceful koi fish; smiling girls in white pose for an endless stream of quinceniera photos.
But stopping at the door would mean missing a surprising collection of international art. Wall space is occupied by Monets and Renoirs downstairs; upstairs finds religious art and antiques and ever-changing exhibits fill in the in-between. Also on the grounds is a lecture hall, fully functioning art library and an impressive central courtyard. Here, visitors can follow the story of Don Quixote on painted tiles or bask in the afternoon sun next to the fountain. Admission is free, except during special exhibitions and events.
A complete package. My favorite thing about the McNay is that a visit is a full experience, not just a trip to a museum. You enter the grounds through beautiful gardens, filled with modern sculptures and fountains. Most of the art work is housed inside the hacienda-style house, and the beauty of the ambient architecture adds to your appreciation of the many modern masters hanging on the wall. The curators do a good job of rotating shows and finding the tours which reflect the spirit of the permanent collection and/or of San Antonio itself. Even if you're not normally a museum-goer, the McNay's lazy elegance can still draw you in.
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