Reopening to Share the West from the Heart of San Antonio at The Briscoe Western Art Museum
Sharing the spirit and beauty of the West through art and artifacts, the Briscoe Western Art Museum brings the vibrant history and stories of the West to life—and is ready to do it in person again. The Briscoe will reopen in two stages: Members are welcome to visit the museum May 21-22, with exclusive member access and the first look at the museum’s Night of Artists exhibition. The Briscoe then welcomes everyone to saddle up and ride West again on May 23.
In true Western hospitality, the Briscoe will feature a reopening special, offering half-off of general admission. And to thank the healthcare heroes who have worked tirelessly to keep the community safe and well, all healthcare workers receive free museum admission throughout the summer – just show your valid identification and enjoy the museum.
“The Briscoe is committed to protecting our community and safely sharing the spirit and beauty of the West,” explained Michael Duchemin, President and CEO of the Briscoe Western Art Museum. “We are implementing safety measures that allow us to share our collections and exhibitions in person. We look forward to welcoming everyone to journey West again from the heart of the River Walk and we can’t wait to thank our healthcare heroes in person.”
Under the directives of The Governor’s Report to Open Texas, museums are among the organizations that can now open to the public. At this time, the directives outline 25 percent capacity, with plans for 50 percent capacity beginning May 18. With the Briscoe’s planned reopening set for May 21, the museum anticipates operating at 50 percent capacity, but will adjust its operations as necessary if those guidelines change. The Briscoe is hopeful it can play a part in the safe and strategic reopening of San Antonio museums and attractions. Reopening protocols include:
- Masks, Sanitizers and Cleaning
- All museum staff will wear masks onsite.
- Per the Reopen Texas guidelines, guests are not required to wear masks to enter the museum. However, in accordance with the City of San Antonio, masks are recommended.
- Additional hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the museum.
- Museum staff will be continually monitoring and cleaning all public areas, including handrails, doorknobs, elevators, bathrooms.
- Safe Admission Purchases
- The museum’s visitor admissions desk will feature plexiglass shields to protect staff and visitors.
- Tickets may be purchased in advance online to limit in person interaction.
- Limiting Guest Capacity
- To safely welcome guests, the Briscoe will monitor attendance through ticket counts, limiting admission as necessary. Security personnel will also monitor galleries in person and by video to ensure social distancing guidelines are maintained. If the museum reaches capacity, guest traffic will be stopped until enough guests exit to safely allow further admissions.
- The Briscoe’s elevator, designed to assist with artwork and exhibition installation, offers a larger capacity than standard elevators. However, only one family will be allowed at a time.
- The Briscoe’s Museum Store has altered its floor plan will limit admission to ensure guest safety. A plexiglass shield will allow for safe transactions. Shoppers will be provided gloves upon entry, as well as safe glove disposal upon exit.
- Closed Interactive Displays
- Following the guidelines, all interactive media and displays will remain closed, including the museum’s touchscreens and audio devices. The museum’s theater will have limited seating and signage limiting viewing to one family at a time.
- The McNutt Sculpture Garden
- The museum’s beautiful outdoor courtyard featuring bronze sculptures depicting iconic figures of the American West will be open for guests to enjoy. Cleaning protocols have been implemented to ensure guest safety.
- The Jack Guenther Pavilion
- Per Reopen Texas guidelines, the Briscoe’s event space remains closed for public or private gatherings. Event planners may schedule a private tour for future event planning by contacting the Briscoe.
- The Briscoe San Antonio Library Portal
- As of now, all San Antonio Public Library (SAPL) locations are closed through May 19, including the Briscoe Portal.
Enjoying the Night of Artists In Real Life
The reopening means that the public can enjoy the Briscoe’s 2020 Night of Artists Exhibition and Art Sale, featuring more than 300 new works of painting, sculpture and mixed media by 80 of the country’s leading contemporary Western artists. Night of Artists annually draws artists, collectors and art enthusiasts from around the country to celebrate Western art. From scenic landscapes, inspired Native Americans and classic cowboys to stunning wildlife and detailed portraiture, Night of Artists offers something for every art enthusiast to enjoy. This year’s Night of Artists opening was moved online in the wake of COVID-19, making the Briscoe’s reopening the first opportunity for everyone to enjoy it in person.
Sharing the Stories of the West
The Briscoe has been temporarily closed to the public since March 16 in adherence to city and state recommendations on slowing the spread of COVID-19. Since then, the Briscoe has brought the museum’s collection and exhibitions to life beyond its home on the River Walk, sharing the stories told through Western art and artifacts in a new weekly newsletter. Beyond the Briscoe delivers the West to inboxes everywhere and, featuring online content for everyone to explore.
To honor mothers and all they do, the Briscoe is also offering Mother’s Day membership specials and contactless curbside pickup that includes a year-long membership to the museum, as well as gifts for mom to enjoy. The membership specials may be ordered online, with pickup from the Briscoe’s Museum Store in time for Mother’s Day. All membership options include unlimited admission to the Briscoe and its events, as well as invitations to private members-only events, including exclusive reopening access. Full membership benefits are detailed online. Memberships are instrumental support that help the Briscoe continue to share the art, history and culture of the American West and are tax deductible.
Reopening to the general public on May 23, admission to the Briscoe Western Art Museum is free for children 12 and under, as well as active duty members of the military and up to four members of their family. Regular museum admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and $5 for retired military, first responders, educators, firefighters and police officers.
Museum hours starting May 23 are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday. The Briscoe offers extended hours and free admission every Tuesday from 4 to 9 p.m. The museum is located on the River Walk, with convenient parking at the Riverbend Garage directly adjacent to the museum or at one of many downtown surface lots. Tickets for the museum may be purchased onsite or online.