McNay Art Museum offers a comprehensive collection of paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints and photographs. The museum is also home to one of the largest collections in the country devoted exclusively to Spanish art outside Spain. In addition to its permanent collections on view throughout the year, McNay hosts special exhibitions drawn from international private and public collections.
The three-story 1891 mansion was designed by Henry H. Heitmann for local businessman Charles Howard Mcllhenny (1840–1915) as his family residence with an eye toward displaying some of his substantial American Western art holdings alongside works by Old Masters such as Rembrandt van Rijn and El Greco that he had collected over time while living abroad. Today it is considered one of the nation’s finest examples of French Eclectic architecture.
In 1935, Mcllhenny’s son Robert donated his father’s entire estate to found an art museum bearing their family name. The following year he commissioned plans for a new building from New York architect John Russell Pope (1874–1937). Construction began in 1938 and was completed two years later when the doors opened to the public on October 12, 1940.
McNay Art Museum Collection
McNay Art Museum presents its collection through six different curatorial departments: American Western art; European paintings; European sculptures; photographs & modern media arts; contemporary drawings & pastels; and Spanish Colonial painting, sculpture, pottery & textiles. Highlights include works by Thomas Eakins, Claude Monet and Degas.
Rentals and Weddings
McNay Art Museum offers the largest outdoor wedding venue in San Antonio. With stunning views of downtown, gardens and artworks on display, it is a unique setting for your event. Weddings at McNay can take place indoors or outdoors with many different options to choose from including our newly renovated Sculpture Garden Pavilion that features an airy space perfect for ceremonies during all seasons.
They also offer indoor receptions within Mcnays beautiful galleries, featuring gorgeous natural light through floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Market Square Park below. Options include hosting the ceremony inside first before moving outside onto the main patio; exploring one of their three private galleries to host cocktails and hors d’oeuvres; or holding an entire reception in one of their galleries.
McNay Art Museum offers many different options for weddings inside the museum, from stunning Sculpture Garden to intimate cocktail receptions at any one of the three private galleries.
Things To Do in McNay Art Museum
-Explore the 1891 Mansion, designed by Henry H. Heitmann
-View centuries of art in one place from around the world and across time periods
-Learn about their Collections: American Western Art; European Paintings & Sculptures; Spanish Colonial Painting, Pottery, & Textiles
-Examine contemporary drawings and pastels through a lens that explores issues surrounding identity
-See temporary exhibitions including works by Picasso, Dali or Kahlo on display for short durations with special events to explore their connections to San Antonio’s history.
McNay Art Museum Library
The McNay Art Museum Library is home to the largest collection of Spanish art outside Spain, with over 30,000 volumes and rare books on subjects such as history and sculpture. It offers a wide variety of resources for anyone interested in studying or exploring the rich artistic tradition that has shaped culture throughout Europe and America since ancient times.
McNay’s library also houses an extensive selection from its own permanent collections; not just paintings but drawings, prints, sculptures and photographs too- all housed under one roof. The museum’s holdings are robust enough to satisfy even the most discerning collector while presenting a unique opportunity for scholars to research their subject matter more thoroughly than they might find elsewhere. In addition to classical nudes by Titian and Rubens, the McNay Library’s library offers a wealth of materials by artists from Spain and Latin America.
McNay Art Museum also hosts events in its library throughout the year such as lectures, panel discussions, and other programs to broaden visitors’ understanding of art history.
Benefits of Being a McNay Member
-Advance notice of all exhibitions and programs
-Invitations to special events with discounts for McNay members only. Discounts on art.com purchases, too!
-Free admission to the museum (a $40 value!) or a guest pass for you and your family ($25) which can be used as many times as you like during one year
The McNay Art Museum is a fantastic place to explore not only some of the best art from around the world, but also how these pieces are made. From paintings and sculptures to photography and design, there’s something for everyone at this museum. If you’re looking for an educational field trip with your kids or just somewhere new to visit on your own, we recommend checking out our blog about San Antonio’s favorite spot! Did any of these posts capture your attention? We have plenty more available on our website so be sure to check it out when you get a chance!
If you’re looking to do some fun activities near Six Flags Fiesta Texas in San Antonio, Texas you’re in luck! Here’s our list of the best of the best you shouldn’t miss:
- The Shops at La Cantera – San Antonio, Texas
- San Antonio Brewery Tours
- Edwards Ridge Distillery
- SeaWorld San Antonio – San Antonio, Texas
- Texas Transportation Museum – San Antonio, Texas
- San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium – San Antonio, Texas
- Witte Museum – San Antonio, Texas
- The Doseum – San Antonio, Texas
These amazing attractions are located just down the street from our location at 9793 Culebra Rd, Suite 102. Stop by for a visit anytime!