History and Art

This week I thought about going to some of the outdoor adventures nearby, but rain was in the forecast so I decided to wait on those. Instead, I went to 2 museums in San Antonio: the Witte Museum and the San Antonio Art Museum. Both museums offer free admission on Tuesday evenings, so I took advantage of that.

First was the Witte Museum. I really enjoyed the Witte museum. It’s a natural history museum and it had a good mix of prehistoric, cultural history, and local animals. It is also right along the river, and there is a treehouse exhibit overlooking the river that was really nice. There is a large green courtyard area in between the main museum and the treehouse exhibit that looked like it would have been a nice place to hang out. The last exhibit area in the Witte museum that I went to was a Texas heritage focused area. There was a neat exhibit of propaganda posters from WWII. There was also interesting stuff about farming and settling Texas. The museum did have a decent bit of information on early Native Americans, but only had one small mention of Natives in the more recent Texas heritage exhibits which was disappointing to see. Overall, I enjoyed the museum and really liked how it was laid out.

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After the Witte, I went to the San Antonio Art Museum. The museum had a wide variety of art, and it was really neat walking through and sort of going through the history of art as I went through. The museum is currently under construction and several exhibits were closed or off display. The exhibits start with ancient Greek and Egyptian art followed by the Asian and Far Eastern cultures. The last historical art section was the Near East and Islamic art. I really liked getting to see the progression and the major stylistic differences in each exhibit. The second half of the museum had European and American art as well as contemporary art. Two of my favorite pieces were in this section. I really enjoyed the how do you spell America piece, and I was a little surprised to see that it was made in 1993 because it still felt so relevant and like it could have been made yesterday. The second piece I really enjoy was a fabric cactus in a pot. At first I wasn’t really sure about it, but the description is really what got to me. Margarita Cabrera, a Mexican-American artist, made the cactus using fabric from border patrol uniforms which I thought was really powerful.

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Art and history are both so important in understanding culture. It was really neat to get to see how relevant and powerful art can be even years after it’s been created. It was also really powerful to see how much art and history can help us give context to things that are happening now. I’m glad that I got to go to both museums, and that they were free. Taking advantage of opportunities to learn or do things for free has been one of the best things I’ve done in travelling, and it doesn’t take much looking to find awesome free things to do and see anywhere you are.

Never stop learning,

Sarah

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