The Briscoe Western Art Museum 2021 Calendar Brings the West to Life in the Heart of San Antonio
The Briscoe Western Art Museum is welcoming 2021 with a robust range of exciting exhibitions and programs, celebrating the new year immersed in the art and beauty of the West. The term “Western Art” may bring to mind cowboys on the range, yet the genre is as expansive as the region itself, showcasing the rugged beauty of the area alongside the diverse people and wildlife who call it home. And it’s all available to explore at the Briscoe. The museum’s 2021 exhibitions include:
VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art
Through Jan. 18, 2021
The new year opens with the final weeks of a modern view of Native American art that showcases stories of the West far beyond boots and spurs. VISUAL VOICES: Contemporary Chickasaw Art includes 15 Chickasaw artists and more than 55 artworks, features the artworks of present-day Chickasaw painters, potters, sculptors, metalsmiths and weavers.
In San Antonio on the last stop of its national tour, the exhibition tells a beautiful and compelling contemporary visual story. From oil and watercolor paintings to textiles and metals, glass and bronze, the artworks are unique, intrinsically Southeastern in design and distinctive among contemporary tribal artists. Chickasaw artists featured in the exhibition include San Antonio native Brenda Kingery.
2021 Night of Artists
Mar. 27, 2021 Celebration and Auction
Mar. 28 – May 9, 2021 Public Exhibition and Sale
The Briscoe Western Art Museum’s 2021 Night of Artists Exhibition and Art Sale marks 20 years of celebrating Western Art with a first, an opening event that includes both in-person and virtual celebrations. The largest Western art auction in Texas and one of the largest in the world, Night of Artists includes the viewing and sale of nearly 300 new works of painting, sculpture and mixed media by 80 of the country’s leading contemporary Western artists.
When COVID forced the 2020 in-person event to be cancelled, the museum successfully hosted the Night of Artists sale online. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Night of Artists, the Briscoe will again welcome a virtual audience, as well as host the event in-person, ultimately allowing more art lovers to participate than ever before through the Briscoe’s first-ever hybrid Night of Artists event. The public exhibition and sale will also span in-person and online.
Still in the Saddle: A New History of the Hollywood Western
May 28 – Sept. 6, 2021
Premiering this summer at the Briscoe Western Art Museum, Still in the Saddle: A New History of the Hollywood Western tells the dramatic story of the Hollywood Western from the late 1960s to the 1980s.
Against a historical backdrop of social unrest, political turmoil, economic uncertainty, and generational change, competing cinematic visions of the Old West vied for Americans’ attention within the popular culture of the day. And as they did so, the Western remained as rich and entertaining as at any time in its history.
“True Grit”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, “The Wild Bunch”, “Little Big Man”, and “The Outlaw Josey Wales” are just a few of the classic Western films highlighted in this exciting new exhibition organized by the Briscoe. Featuring costumes, props, and dozens of vintage movie posters, Still in the Saddle immerses visitors in the history and artistry of the Western, Hollywood’s greatest genre.
Vaqueros de la Cruz del Diablo: Photography of the Contemporary Northern Mexican Cowboy
September 16, 2021 – January 17, 2022
Making its United States debut, Vaqueros de la Cruz Del Diablo features celebrated photographer Werner Segarra inviting audiences to peer into the world of the Northern Mexican Vaquero – not as a casual tourist, but as an intimate observer. With almost 40 images that span more than 20 years of the lives of the vaqueros, Segarra reflects a complex contemporary composition of the everyday life of the vaquero.
Offering realistic moments of how they view themselves, surrounded by the tools of their trade, intertwined with the realities of their existence, the images detail a legacy that reaches back over generations and is the birthplace of the modern cowboy.
The Briscoe traditionally hosts free community events throughout the year, featuring complimentary museum access and activities. Scholars and cultural institutions including the Briscoe identify distinct themes within Western Art including wildlife, Native American heritage, and of course, cowboys. Due to the undeniable influence of Mexican and Spanish heritage across Texas and the Southwest, the Briscoe also highlights that influence on Western Art. Community days at the Briscoe include free museum admission, programming and entertainment throughout the museum campus. 2021 community days include:
May 1, 2021
Briscoe Fandango celebrates the influences of the Hispanic culture of south Texas with a day that includes music, art, food and dance. Offering a chance to engage with others in San Antonio to learn more about the role that Mexican and Spanish heritage played in shaping San Antonio and South Texas, Fandango highlights everything from the important role vaqueros played in cattle drives and ranching to the heritage’s indelible influence on the region’s food, music and culture.
National Day of the Cowboy
July 24, 2021
One of the Briscoe’s most treasured annual events, National Day of the Cowboy is celebrated on the fourth Saturday of July each year. Attracting Western fans of all ages for a day filled with fun, music and art throughout the museum’s home on the River Walk, the day is filled with boots, hats and all things cowboy, cowgirl and vaquero. The celebration typically includes western lessons like the art of the lasso, cowboy poetry, chuckwagon treats and cowboy crooning filling the air of the museum’s McNutt Sculpture Garden.
Yanaguana Indian Arts Celebration
November 20 – 21, 2021
Highlighting the continued vibrancy and artistic traditions of Native American communities, Yanaguana Indian Arts Celebration offers a glimpse into traditional and contemporary Native American culture. Featuring Native American artists, musical performances and dancing, the event features storytelling, artist demonstrations of painting, printmaking, pottery, weaving and carving, as well as Native American-inspired food.
Yanaguana Indian Arts Celebration also features workshops and lectures celebrating Native American culture. The event traditionally begins with a Native American blessing, followed by a ceremonial drum circle where everyone is invited to join.
See the West All Year Long at the Briscoe
An oasis of Western beauty just off the River Walk, the McNutt Sculpture Garden and the museum grounds feature 32 sculptures portraying various aspects of Western life. A look inside the museum’s beautifully restored historic home inside the former San Antonio Public Library building reveals much. The Briscoe’s collection spans 14 galleries, with special exhibitions, events and a fantastic museum shop, providing art, culture, history and entertainment.
The Briscoe is open Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and closed to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Admission is free for children 12 and under and for active duty members of the military and up to four members of their families. The museum is proud to participate in Museums For All, Blue Star Museums and Bank of America Museums on Us.
The Briscoe is located on the south end of the River Walk, near the Arneson River Theatre and La Villita. There is convenient parking at the Riverbend Garage directly adjacent to the museum or one of many downtown surface lots. Museum hours, parking and admission details are available online. The museum is operating at reduced capacity with health and safety protocols that require both staff and guests to wear masks. Temperature checks are also conducted upon entry.