Situated in the heart of downtown San Antonio, The Briscoe Western Art Museum is one of the must-see attractions in the city. The museum, found in San Antonio’s famous River Walk, aims to share the history, heritage, and way of life of the Western United States with everyone.
If you can’t come to the museum, the museum would be more than happy to come to you. Here’s how you can explore the city’s Western history and heritage online.
Beyond The Briscoe
So that people can experience the city’s Western history and heritage from the comfort of their home, The Briscoe Western Art Museum launched Beyond The Briscoe, an online weekly newsletter. This online newsletter has something for everyone, from weekly trivia to unique recipes. Here’s what subscribers can expect:
- Historic trivia
- Behind the scenes gallery tours
- Western-style recipes
- Exclusive interviews with Western artists
- Weekly challenges and activities
Interested in subscribing to the museum’s newsletter? Take a look at these past topics:
- Work in the West. This newsletter takes you through the tools used to shape the West, from rifles to bear traps. Subscribers also learned how to incorporate tools such as barbed wire into their respective backyards.
- Music of the West. Music played a huge role in shaping the West, as well. Some of the featured artifacts include the handcrafted guitar of Mexican President Benito Juarez, as well as the banjo, an instrument commonly associated with country and folk music.
- Conserving Our Lands. Aside from exploring the history and culture of the West, Beyond The Briscoe also touches on conservation and how to make a difference in the world. Both young and old subscribers now have a deeper understanding of why and how ranching matters in Texas.
Briscoe Virtual Book Club
Explore various works of Western poetry, fiction, and non-fiction with the Briscoe Book Club. The book club, usually held via Zoom, meets every quarter and is facilitated by staff of the museum’s Education Department. Past book selections include Georgia: A Novel of Georgia O’Keefe by Dawn Tripp. Books may be purchased in person from the Museum Store online or reserved through the San Antonio Public Library.
Join the Briscoe Book Club by registering here.
Pre-pandemic, The Briscoe Western Art Museum would regularly hold a variety of events that continue to celebrate and showcase Western heritage. But after the pandemic hit, the museum decided to move a number of these events to the digital world. Now, more people have the opportunity to join the fun while sheltering in place.
Among the previous virtual events sponsored by the Museum were the Night of Artists Exhibition and Art Sale, the largest of its kind in Texas that featured around 300 works, and Quarantine Date Night with Artist Gladys Roldan-de-Moras.
Check out their upcoming virtual events:
- Adopt a Bison Virtual Event. To be held in November, The Briscoe Western Art Museum is hosting a webinar featuring the “Official Bison Herd of the State of Texas” and its importance to the American West. Ryan Badger, the museum’s Curator of Education, will be joined by Caprock Canyons State Park Superintendent Donald Beard.
- Yanaguana: Virtual Indian Arts Celebration. Also in November, this unique event honors the culture and traditions of the Payaya people, a group indigenous to the San Antonio region. The event includes a guided virtual tour, a ledger art workshop, dance performances, and many more.
- Virtual Saturday Studio Visits. Every month, the museum’s curator of collections meets with working artists to learn more about their processes and inspirations. Works of these artists are displayed in the museum’s permanent galleries or were featured in a temporary exhibit.
About the museum
The Briscoe Western Art Museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the art, history, and culture of the American West through its exhibitions, galleries, educational programs, and many other events.
Named after former Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe and his wife, Janey Slaughter Briscoe, this museum was once a public library. After a historic flood in 1921, the library suffered extensive property damage and became inaccessible. The library was moved to a new location and the building became home to the Hertzberg Circus Museum.
When the building closed 16 years later, Gov. Dolph Briscoe made a huge donation and used the building to house his impressive art collection.
Now, The Briscoe Western Art Museum houses the finest works on Western art on all three floors of the historic building.