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Guide to the Best Museums in Austin!

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The city of Austin is home to a myriad of cultural centers and museums that not only preserve history but highlight what makes the capital city one to explore for many generations to come. See visiting art exhibits from renown artists and curators that each tell a unique story. Brush up on multicultural history, sculpture, pop & contemporary art, Latinx art, Texas state history, and so much more at some of the best museums in Austin.

This is your one-stop-shop for Austin museums!

📷 Evelyn Garcia for UNATION

One of Austin’s most notable museums, the Blanton Museum of Art is home to internationally known works of art, exhibits, and events. With 189,340 square feet of art exhibits, the Blanton Museum is one of the largest museums in the United States. Its space includes many different visiting exhibits, in-house gallery collections, classrooms, print rooms, their museum shop, café, and an auditorium for events! You can even experience Blanton’s in a 360 degree virtual tour as well. But we think you should see one of the best museums in Austin up close and in person!

MON | CLOSED
TUES | CLOSED
WED-SAT | 10AM-5PM
SUN | 1PM-5PM

A source of Latinx art and culture collections since the eighties. The Mexic-Arte Museum lies in the heart of Austin for all to visit and shop at. Visit Mexic-Arte for a total immersive experience on the culture of Mexico, Latino, and Latin American timelines throughout history. The musuem community offers educational lectures, exhibitions, and visiting art collections all with the purpose to encompass the rich history of our neighbors down south. Visit their website for upcoming events to check out!

MON–THUR | 10AM–6PM
FRI-SAT
| 10AM-5PM
SUN | 12PM-5PM

The official museum of the state of Texas carries exhibits that made the lone star state not only memorable, but historically significant. The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum is home to galleries rich with Texas history, the mystery of Texan Freemasonry, oil & gas history, and various artifacts from different regions of Texas state. You can learn a lot about our history through visiting lecture circuits and even witness live music in the Austin City Limits Theater.

WED–SUN | 10AM–5PM

📷 Charles Bogel

Honoring President Lyndon B. Johnson, this library stands on top of the University of Texas and provides a place for study, reflection, and an Oval Office replica. The LBJ Presidential Library and Museum offers endless resources and history on the Lyndon B. Johnson’s Presidency and legacy. Experience permanent exhibitions like the First Lady’s gallery, the Great Hall, and Lady Bird’s John’s office. Learn more about the history through visiting exhibits and educational events at one of the best museums in Austin.

Emulating the dime museums popularized by the likes of PT Barnum, Austin’s own museum of weird contains plenty of oddities and curiosities. The Museum of the Weird offers tons of artifacts and lore around renown mysteries and conspiracies. This weird museum plays host to myths like Fiji mermaids, shrunken heads, mummies, and wax scultptures of famous movie villains and creatures. Most recently the museum acquired an ancient photograph of the Cottingley Fairies, an infamous hoax from England’s early aughts.

 

MON–SUN | 10AM–7PM

THE SOUTH AUSTIN MUSEUM OF POPULAR CULTURE IS CURRENTLY A VIRTUAL MUSEUM. Keep your eyes peeled though! Live music, events and exhibitions will be headed your way in the near future! While the museum looks for its next residency, they will be partnering with the Austin Public Library to maintain its standing as a virtual resource to all of the museum archives. Follow along on social for more updates on their journey and history.

Pop Culture comes to life at this museum. Collecting the old and the new, the South Austin Museum of Popular Culture allows visitors to understand our mantra: “Keep Austin Weird.”

 

Currently 100% online.

This nationally recognized gallery was founded in the 70s and helped develop the lives and careers of countless female artists its had to opportunity to host and represent. As a vessel for expanding on art curated by women thriving in Texas, Women and Their Work Gallery offers art in many mediums, educational resources, and community engagement. Witness diverse art exhibits from live performances to visual works of art. Admission is free, but donations are always appreciated!

TUES–FRI | 10AM–6PM
SAT | 12PM-6PM

Named after Charles Umlauf, this garden preserves his work alongside pieces of art belonging to his influences and contemporaries. Featuring modern art, sculpture, light art, architecture highlights, and other mediums, Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum is visually stunning. There’s always something new to check out in the musuem. Experimentation with a variety of mediums and artists from across the nation draw your senses into total immersion!

TUE–FRI | 10AM–4PM
SAT-SUN | 11AM-4PM

 

A combination of outdoor and indoor exhibits, The Contemporary Austin’s mission reflects the dream of interweaving modern art with modern life. By showcasing many forms of contemporary art, the museum’s mission is to reflect that ability to be transformed by a work of art and the way we connect with one another. Explore various exhibits that flow with visual art, music, and sculpture. Check out the Daniel Johnston Mural exhibition while you’re there; a commissioned piece reflecting his “posthumous reflection.”

 

THURS-SUN | 12PM-6PM
MON-WED | CLOSED

Celebrating the historic home of German artist Elizabeth Ney who moved to Austin in the 1880s, this museum works to highlight her sculptures, history, and legacy. Within the confides of Hyde Park National Register Historic Neighborhood, Elizabeth Ney Musuem hosts her works of art spanning from the 1850s to her passing in the early aughts. Her work features preservation efforts with the Historic Prairie Landscape Restoration project, which we founded. See current exhibits and tours of the facility by visiting their website!

WED-SUN | 12PM-5PM
MON-TUES | CLOSED

Home to a space where the global work of African American  individuals in history are recorded and celebrated, the George Washington Carver Museum pursues their mission by storytelling through various exhibitions. Among the many featured exhibits include Small Black History Residency, which showcases three talented Austin-based artists and their distinct mediums. In light of the chaos of the past few years, the Carver musuem has linked with City of Austin Equity office in conjunction with local poets, artists, and scholars to create a large-scale work of art to enlighten us in these trying times.

MON-FRI | 10AM-6PM
THURS | 10AM–9PM
SAT | 10AM-4PM

More Austin Museums

Harry Ransom Center

Located right on the University of Texas at Austin campus, The Harry Ransom Center provides research and visiting opportunities to their collection of over 1 million books, manuscripts, photographs, and works of art.

TUES–FRI | 10AM–5PM 
SAT | 12PM-5PM

📍 300 W 21st St, Austin, TX 78712

Mondo Gallery

This permanent art space hosts rotating exhibits known for their opening nights and influence by pop culture.

TUE–SAT | 12PM–6PM
MON-SUN | CLOSED

📍 4115 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78751

Yard Dog

Whether it’s fine, pop, or folk, the Yard Dog prides itself in showcasing southern history through various mediums.

THURS-FRI| 12PM-3PM
SAT | 12PM-5PM

📍 916 Springdale Road Building 2, #103B, Austin, TX 78702

Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center

This center preserves and highlights the arts of Latinx and Mexican American cultures by hosting center and city wide events outside their regular exhibit hours.

MON–THUR | 10AM–6PM
FRI | 10AM-5:30PM
SAT | 12PM-4PM

📍 600 River St, Austin, TX 78701

Visit Austin Museums Today!

Whether you live in Austin, or if you’re just visiting, the various museums capture the essence of the city that is a must-see. 

Be sure to visit these places and tag @StuffToDoInAustin on Facebook and Instagram, and Tik Tok in all your posts so we can follow along on your Austin Museums’ adventures!

For more awesome places to check out in the capital city be sure to download the UNATION app. 

Hailey Way

Hailey Way

An alum of University of Washington's Journalism program, Hailey's cultural beats include technology, style, and the arts. Writing eventually transitioned into editing content for SEO best practices in balance with brand storytelling. As a digital marketing strategist, she wears many hats consulting clients in B2B/B2C small business, e-commerce, film, cosmetology, and lifestyle brands. Since 2018 Hailey has been a contributing style editor for Gabriel & Co. New York. She currently resides in Austin, where she enjoys thrifting, exploring local businesses, pop up events, and nature.

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