Modern Art Meets Accessibility Deep in the Heart of Texas

By Barbara & Jim Twardowski

Three brides dressed in wedding gowns obediently trail after their photographers stopping to pose at one stunning backdrop after another. You don’t have to be a bride to appreciate the lovely grounds, fountains, and courtyards at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, Texas. The Lone Star state’s first modern art museum sits on top of a hill in a 24-room Spanish Colonial home. Originally opened in 1954, the McNay celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2015.

McNay Art Museum

McNay Art Museum, Photo by San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Despite its age, the McNay is wheelchair accessible with ramps and elevators throughout the building.  When necessary, docents escort wheelchair users through “staff only” areas to reach the exhibits.  Wheelchairs are available for public use. Visitors with special needs may call 210.824.5368 or e-mail to make arrangements.

Accessible Art Museum

Barbara Twardowski admires Monet water lilies. Photo by Jim Twardowski.

The museum’s collection is predominately American art since WWII, prints and drawings from Modern European and American artists, and 9,000 theatre arts objects focusing on scene and theater design.

Accessible Art Museum

McNay Art Museum, Photo by San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Upcoming Must-see Accessible Exhibits

From now until January 4, 2015, the McNay is displaying Intimate Impressionism, a collection of 70 pieces organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The exhibit features landscapes, portraits, interiors and still-lives by Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Auguste Renoir and more. This touring exhibit will also appear in San Francisco, Seattle, Rome and Tokyo.

Accessible Wheelchair-friendly Art Museum

War Mother by Charles Umlaut. Photo by Jim Twardowski.

Some of the McNay’s upcoming exhibits include: Rodin to Warhol: 60th Anniversary Gifts and Recent Acquisitions, All the Rage in Paris, Viva Zapata!, Leslie Dill: Performance as Art, and Richard Duardo: Maestro of Pop.

For more on the McNay Art Museum, visit Address: 6000 North New Braunsfels; San Antonio, Texas. Phone: 210.824.5368. The museum is closed on Mondays.

Barbara and Jim Twardowski are freelance writers specializing in disability and travel topics. Their articles can be seen in AAA Home & Away, Global Traveler, Quest and many other outlets.  

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