Science Museums, History Museums, Art Museums and Galleries - These are the best!
Austin is a cultural city, and as the state's capital, it is filled with impressive museums and galleries. Whether you're looking for a science museum, art gallery, history museum, or kid's museum, these are some of our favorites.
Big Medium is a local nonprofit that's mission is to support and encourage local artists in the Austin area. They host a number of art events and manage the Big Medium Gallery along with several other local galleries. The nonprofit also organizes Austin EAST and West Studio Tours, which brings local artists together to network. There are also a number of other opportunities available through the nonprofit for local artists including courses and studio space.
916 Springdale Rd Bldg 2 #101, Austin, TX, 78702
Blanton Museum of Art
The Blanton is part of the University of Texas at Austin. With a permanent collection of almost 18,000 works, this is one of the largest university museums in the United States. There are both temporary and permanent exhibits that cover contemporary art, Latin American art, Old Master paintings, and more.
The museum is popular with Austin residents, local artists, and students in the area. In addition to the permanent collections, the museum hosts rotating exhibits that feature world-renowned artists as well as emerging artists.
200 East Martin Luther King Jr Boulevard, Medical District, Austin, Texas, 78705
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
This history museum is owned by the Texas State Preservation Board and tells the story of the state of Texas. It is a popular museum that offers a unique educational experience using films and more than 700 local artifacts. The museum is spread out over three floors with the first floor focusing on early Texas history through the "Becoming Texas" exhibit. The second floor focuses on the Civil War, Reconstruction era and the Great Depression. The third floor highlights Texas in the 20th century.
1800 Congress Avenue, Medical District, Austin, Texas, 78701
This gallery features the work of emerging artists including 12 artist studios and workshop facilities. It's part of the Hill Country Galleria and offers a dedicated space and collaborative setting that encourages growth for young artists. The exhibits are constantly changing so you'll likely see something new every time you visit.
12912 Hill Country Blvd f140, Bee Cave, TX, 78738
Elisabet Ney Museum
This museum showcases the works of Elisabet Ney. There is a permanent collection that includes her personal works and memories from her life. Works from the 1850s through 1907 are on display. The museum is located in the home and studio of the artist and tours and events are hosted here regularly.
304 East 44th Street, Austin, Texas, 78751
George Washington Carver Museum
This museum and cultural center in East Austin once housed the George Washington Carver branch of the Austin Public Library. Today it preserves and educates the public on the African American history and culture of the area. It houses a number of unique artifacts that highlight the importance of the African American influence in this community. The museum tells the story of the community and several notable members.
1165 Angelina St, Austin, Texas, 78702
Harry Ransom Center
The Harry Ransom Center offers an impressive collection of countless manuscripts. The gallery on the first floor includes rotating exhibits of work from the center's expansive archive. There's also a permanent exhibit that includes a complete Gutenberg Bible, the first-ever photograph, and much more.
300 W 21st St, The University of Austin, Aust, TX, 78712
This exhibition space offers a unique combination of local Austin artists and artists from the international scene. The gallery hosts a number of events, art shows, and educational programs. It showcases a number of contemporary artists and encourages the lively discussion of art and the art scene.
916 Springdale Road Building 2 #102, Austin, TX, 78702
Laguna Gloria is a sculpture park with a permanent outdoor art installation that is designed to enhance the natural beauty of Lake Austin. The park spans a number of different ecosystems including woodlands, meadows, the lake, and gardens. The contemporary works make for a beautiful and peaceful space to explore. There are also free art-making workshops once a month as well as drop-in tours the first Sunday of every month.
3809 W 35th St, Austin, TX, 78703
LBJ Presidential Library & Museum
This museum and research center offers a wide range of information on the life and legacy of Lyndon Baines Johnson - the 36th president of the United States. Johnson took office after the assassination of JFK and during his leadership the country experienced many challenges and reforms including the Great Society social reforms and the Vietnam War. The library is on the east side of the University of Texas campus.
2313 Red River St, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, 78705
MASS Gallery is a nonprofit gallery that features the work of a diverse range of artists including musicians, writers, and educators. The gallery offers an annual membership and exhibits a range of works.
705 Gunter St, Austin, Austin, TX, 78702
The Mexic-Arte Museum features the impressive work of artists from the United States, Mexico, and Latin America. It's one of the few Mexican art museums in the country and it offers a unique cultural experience that is not to be missed. There are murals of iconic Latino figures as well photographs, paintings, prints, sculptures, and more. There's also a Day of the Dead festival that is held annually. The museum features the works of both emerging artists as well as established and reputable contributors to the art scene.
419 Congress Ave, Austin, TX, 78701
South Austin Popular Culture Center
This cultural center is dedicated to preserving and displaying everything that illustrates Austin's eclectic personality. They focus on the works of local artists and are involved in the "Keep Austin Weird" movement.
6416 N Lamar Blvd, Austin, Texas, 78752
The Contemporary Austin - Jones Center
This is Austin's main community art museum and it highlights contemporary art works through exhibits and educational programs. There are two branches to the museum, the museum at Laguna Gloria and this branch on Congress Avenue. There's also an art school.
This museum includes 5,100 square feet of exhibition space as well as a community room and a rooftop terrace. They host a number of events here as well as educational programming.
700 Congress Avenue, Downtown, Austin, Texas, 78701
Thinkery is a fun-filled children's museum that let's kids learn through play. The museum spans an indoor and outdoor space that includes a number of hands-on activities. There are interactive exhibits that focus of the fun sides of science, engineering, technology, math, and the arts.
1830 Simond Ave, Austin, TX, 78723
Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum
This sculpture garden and museum is near Barton Springs and Downtown Austin. It features the works of Charles Umlauf as well as other visual and performing artists. The garden offers a beautiful green space that includes a shady area filled with native Texas plants. The setting gives a secret garden feel which offers a serene escape from the city. There are also many educational programs and cultural opportunities available here as well as summer camps and an annual Garden Party.
605 Azie Morton Road, Zilker, Austin, Texas, 78704
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