Courtesy of the San Antonio Museum of Art
Although the cost of admission to San Antonio’s handful of museums is pretty much on par with national standards — hovering somewhere between $8 and $20 for adults, often depending on the variable of touring exhibitions — the whole concept of purchasing a ticket these days can be a deterrent. Thanks to the abundance of crappy movies released each year, most of us are familiar with that feeling of disappointment (or worse) when you realize you’ve simultaneously wasted valuable time and money. Fortunately for local culture seekers on tight budgets, the Alamo City is blessed with a vibrant gallery scene, contemporary art spaces that are free or super-cheap to visit (Artpace, Blue Star Contemporary and the Southwest School of Art among them), weekly free hours at museums (cheat sheet: 3-8pm Tuesdays at the Witte, 4-9pm Tuesdays at the Briscoe, 4-9pm Tuesday and 10am-noon Sunday at the San Antonio Museum of Art, 4-9pm Thursday at the McNay) and wallet-friendly initiatives like Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day Live.
Inspired by the spirit of the Smithsonian Museums (which are always free to visit), the “annual celebration of boundless curiosity” offers folks across the nation free admission to a wide variety of institutions dedicated to everything from science and space to fine art and natural history. With nearly 2,000 participating venues, making the most of Museum Day Live is as simple as creating an account at smithsonianmag.com
, selecting a museum and downloading a free pass for two.
Marilyn Lanfear, Uncle Clarence’s Three Wives
Spend the day perusing local found-object assemblage master Marilyn Lanfear’s “Material Memory,” Italian modernist sculptor/designer Harry Bertoia’s solo show or the globe-trotting permanent collection at SAMA
(200 W. Jones Ave.
); presentations and activities following Museum Day Live’s 2018 theme of “Women Making History” at the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures
(801 E. César E. Chávez Blvd.
); European antiquities, Early Texas art and Napoleon Bonaparte collectibles at King William treasure Villa Finale
(401 King William St.
); Spanish Colonial artifacts and architecture at the Spanish Governor’s Palace
, deemed “one of the oldest residential buildings still standing in Texas” (105 Plaza De Armas
); or military artifacts, images and stories at the Quadrangle-adjacent Fort Sam Houston Museum
(1405 E. Grayson St.
Or hit the road and discover one of the many other participating locations across the Lone Star State.
Free, hours vary Saturday, Sept. 22, smithsonianmag.com/museumday
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