Riverside Sculpture and New Works on Display Include a Touch of Alamo History Waiting to be Explored During New Locals Day on August 15

Educators Admitted Free through Labor Day   

San Antonio, TX – (August 4, 2020) The Briscoe Western Art Museum isn’t letting summer melt away. Instead, it’s keeping the dog days of summer at bay with deals for locals, while rolling out the welcome mat for educators and healthcare heroes so everyone can end their summer with the history and art of the West. The museum is premiering its first-ever Locals Day on August 15, offering 50 percent off general admission and giving educators a much-needed break with free admission through Labor Day. To greet everyone on Locals Day, the first 50 guests will receive a 2020 Briscoe Fiesta medal. Thanks to all of the specials and new additions throughout the museum, there’s never been a better time to head West.

Look West for a Deal – Locals Day and Educator Offers 

While the Briscoe has been tipping its hat to healthcare workers with free admission all summer, it’s making the end of summer even easier for everyone to head West by hosting a Local’s Day on Saturday, August 15. All residents of Bexar County and bordering counties receive 50 percent off general admission on August 15. And through Labor Day, all educators are welcome to enjoy the Briscoe for free. Just show your valid identification and enjoy a mini-Western getaway to kick-off the school year. As always, children 12 and under receive free admission, as do active duty members of the military, making the Briscoe a terrific spot for families to enjoy.

The Briscoe Spreads Its Wings on the River Walk

The wilder side of the West greets everyone as they stroll the River Walk thanks to “Great Blue Heron Pair”, a new outdoor sculpture gracing the banks of the river in front of the Briscoe.

The sculpture flanks the museum’s River Walk staircase, a natural extension of the peaceful water features that welcome everyone as they stroll from the Arneson River Theatre. Along with “Camino de Galvez, the stunning bronze by T. D. Kelsey depicting the first official cattle drive out of Texas in 1779, “Great Blue Heron Pair” provides a glimpse of the Western beauty that fills the Briscoe.

Crafted by Walter Matia in 2001, the sculpture was purchased for the Briscoe by the Jack and Valerie Guenther Foundation. Its installation was approved by the City of San Antonio and the Office of Historic Preservation in February but was delayed due to the museum’s COVID-19 closure. 

The new River Walk feature is the latest of a series of gifts to the Briscoe from the Jack and Valerie Guenther Foundation and one of 32 outdoor sculptures on the museum’s campus. The museum’s McNutt Sculpture Garden, a lush public outdoor space that features a beautiful courtyard surrounded by bronze sculptures depicting iconic figures of the American West, offers the perfect respite during any River Walk visit, with tables, chairs and benches to rest and enjoy the view. One of the founding board members of the Briscoe, Jack Guenther was the visionary behind the sculpture garden.

“The Guenthers’ tireless support of the Briscoe Western Art Museum exemplifies the impact that philanthropy can have in a community, creating opportunities to tell our history and broaden our cultural experiences,” explains Michael Duchemin, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Briscoe Western Art Museum. “Their commitment has helped create a space for everyone to see the stories of the West told through visual art. Whether it’s the story of the cowboy, the vaquero, the Native American or the wildlife they shared the West with, it’s a history unique to the United States, and one in which San Antonio played a key role. Exploring our campus brings that history to life.”

New Works Refresh the End of Summer

The herons aren’t the only new sculptures joining the Briscoe. The museum’s New Works Gallery is showcasing new additions to its indoor collections. Of particular note is Paul Moore’s “The Procession”, bronze, 52” x 35.5” x 13”, from the recently concluded Night of Artists exhibition. “The Procession” won the museum’s 2020 purchase award has been added to the Briscoe’s permanent collection. Another Night of Artists work by Alfredo Rodriguez, “A Real Belly Buster”, oil on linen, 30” x 40”, is also featured in New Works. The piece inspired the Briscoe staff to participate in the viral #MuseumChallenge and share the results via social media. The gallery features continually rotating new works, giving everyone an opportunity to enjoy the museum’s collection as it expands. 

A View of Travis’ Work Before the Alamo

The Briscoe’s A-Tex Elliott Family Gallery, home to the museum’s popular display on the Battle of the Alamo, is offering a new glimpse into William Barret Travis’ life before the Alamo. Now featuring a legal document signed by Travis when he was working as a lawyer in San Felipe de Austin on the eve of the Texas Revolution, the gallery is a must-see for fans of Texas history. Travis likely had no inkling that just a year from the time he wrote the document, he would meet his demise in the Battle of the Alamo.

To safely welcome guests, the Briscoe is operating at 50 percent of its admission capacity, monitoring attendance through ticket counts and limiting admissions as necessary. The museum’s health and safety protocols require that both staff and guests wear masks. Temperature checks are also conducted. Additional sanitizing and cleaning protocols are practiced throughout the day and both visitor services and the museum store feature plexiglass shields for additional protection. 

Museum hours are 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. seven days a week. The Briscoe is located on the River Walk, with convenient parking at the Riverbend Garage directly adjacent to the museum or one of many downtown surface lots. Through August, parking is free at city-owned garages, pay-stations and meters all day Saturday and Sunday. Museum hours and admission details are available online.

About The Briscoe Western Art MuseumPreserving and presenting the art, history and culture of the American West through engaging exhibitions, educational programs and public events reflective of the region’s rich traditions and shared heritage, the Briscoe Western Art Museum is located on the San Antonio River Walk at 210 W. Market Street in the beautifully restored 1930s former San Antonio Public Library building. Named in honor of the late Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe Jr. and his wife, Janey Slaughter Briscoe, the museum includes the three-story Jack Guenther Pavilion, used for event rentals and programs, and the outdoor McNutt Sculpture Garden. Follow the Briscoe on social media, @BriscoeMuseum.