Austin Museums And Historical Sites

Get your history or art fix at one of many Austin museums and historical sites.

Austin History Center
Web Site: Austin History Center
810 Guadalupe Street
Austin, Texas 78701

Phone: (512) 974-7480
The Austin History Center is devoted to keeping and maintaining Austin history. The Austin History Center is a repository of over one million items, from manuscripts, maps, and news clippings, to recorded oral histories and photographs, including historical artifacts from before 1839, the year of Austin’s founding. The Austin History Center is open both to the public and for research purposes with a reference service available online and over the phone. The Austin History Center presents one to two large-scale exhibits related to Austin history each year along with two additional smaller photograph exhibits on a staggered schedule to ensure that there is always something new to see at the Austin History Center. Exhibits are created by Austin History Center staff from the existing collections of photographs and documents are are often timed with anniversaries and other events happening in the Austin area. Admission to the Austin History Center is FREE.

Blanton Museum of Art
Web Site: Blanton Museum of Art
200 East Martin Luther King Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78701
Phone: (512) 471-7324
The Blanton Museum of Art is the largest art museum in Austin and features a substantial permanent collection of important works of art as well as traveling collections from around the world. Some of the free things to do at the Blanton on Thursdays include over 30,000 square feet of permanent and traveling collections and exhibits. The Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin is one of the foremost university art museums in the country, and has the largest and most comprehensive collection of art in Central Texas. The Blanton features modern and contemporary art from both the United States and Latin American including the Mari and James A. Michener Collection of 20th-Century American Art Modern and the Barbara Duncan Collection of Latin American Art. There is also a notable collection of paintings of the American West. Thursdays from 10 AM to 5 PM is FREE DAY at the Blanton Museum of Art.

Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
Web Site: Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum
1800 North Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
Phone: (512) 936-8746
The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum is named after former Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock, who was the driving force behind the establishment of the museum. It tells “The Story of Texas” with three floors of permanent, traveling and special exhibits on the history, traditional culture and popular culture of Texas including sports, business, performing arts and technology. It also features a “Texas Spirit Theater,” which showcases movies filmed in Texas and the special effects show, “The Star of Destiny,” a multimedia experience of the history of Texas narrated by the character of Sam Houston. It is also home to Austin’s only IMAX theater, and plays “Texas: The Big Picture,” a large-format film, as well as current commercially released movies. During the summer, there is a annual free concert series called “Music Under the Star” presenting popular Austin performers on the Lone Star Plaza under the 35-foot-tall bronze star. First Saturdays of the month are FREE admission at the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum from 2 PM to 6 PM.

The Contemporary Austin Jones Center
Web Site: The Contemporary Austin Jones Center
700 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701
Phone: (512) 453-5312
In the middle of downtown Austin, they feature continually changing exhibition and education programs that showcase a variety of 20th century and contemporary art.

The Contemporary Austin Laguna Gloria
Web Site: The Contemporary Austin Laguna Gloria
3809 West 35th Street
Austin, Texas 78703
Phone: (512) 458-8191
A blend of history, art, and nature, the museum is a recently restored 1916 Italianate-style villa that was the home of Texas legend Clara Driscoll, located on 12 acre grounds that feature a sculpture and historical gardens. Also home to “The Art School,” a thriving hub of activity that teaches more than 400 classes yearly. Private parties and community gatherings are held year round.

French Legation Museum
Web Site: French Legation Museum
802 San Marcos Street
Austin, Texas 78702
Phone: (512) 472-8180
The French Legation Museum is a house-museum in east Austin. The French Legation Museum represents a conscientious effort to return to details authentic to the Dubois and Robertson eras. Many pieces remain from the Robertson family’s ownership of the home in addition to items from Dubois’ Legation. The reconstructed French country kitchen, designed by architect Raiford Stripling, is notable for its extensive eighteenth and nineteenth-century equipment. Further archaeological study also provided the location of the privy/outhouse site; there is now a recreation of this outbuilding on site. Also available for weddings and private events.

German-Texan Heritage Society
Web Site: German-Texan Heritage Society
507 East 10th Street
Austin, Texas 78701

Phone: (512) 482-0927
The German-Texan Heritage Society is a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to promoting awareness and preservation of the German cultural heritage in Texas. The gardens of the German Free School are available for weddings, rehearsal dinners, and other special events. Public tours of the German Free School are offered every Thursday afternoon or by appointment.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
Web Site: Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
2313 Red River Street
Austin, Texas 78705

Phone: (512) 721-0200
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of thirteen presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The Library houses forty-five million pages of historical documents which include the papers from the entire public career of Lyndon Baines Johnson and also from those of close associates. The museum provides year round public viewing of its permanent historical and cultural exhibits. Special activities and exhibits are sponsored privately by the Friends of the LBJ Library and its parent organization, the LBJ Foundation. Free admission to children 12 and under and active duty military. The LBJ Library also offers free admission on the following days; Martin Luther King Day; Presidents Day; Explore UT Day; Memorial Day; The Fourth of July; August 27th (LBJ’s birthday); Veterans Day; and Austin Museum Day.

Mexic-Arte Museum
Web Site: Mexic-Arte Museum
419 Congress Avenue
Austin, Texas 78701

Phone: (512) 480-9373
The Mexi-Arte Museum provides education programs and exhibitions focusing on traditional and contemporary Mexican, Latino, and Latin American art and culture. Since its founding in 1984, Mexic-Arte Museum has been designated as the Official Mexican and Mexican American Fine Art Museum of Texas by the 78th Legislature of the State of Texas.

Neill-Cochran House Museum
Web Site: Neill-Cochran House Museum
2310 San Gabriel Street
Austin, Texas 78705

Phone: (512) 478-2335
The Neill-Cochran House Museum was designed and constructed by Abner Cook, the Master Builder responsible for Austin’s most elegant 19th-century houses, including the Texas Governor’s Mansion, Woodlawn, Sweetbrush, and Westhill. Filled with furnishings from 1780-1925 in period rooms: Colonial, Empire, Rococo Revival, Victorian, the Neill-Cochran House Museum provides a narrative for it’s former occupants, most notably the Texas School for the Blind and Federal troops during Reconstruction. The Neill-Cochran House Museum is available for weddings, rehearsal dinners, and other special events.

Republic of Texas Museum
Web Site: Republic of Texas Museum
510 East Anderson Lane
Austin, Texas 78752

Phone: (512) 339-1997
The Daughters of the Republic of Texas is an organization dedicated to the preservation of Texas Heritage formed in 1891. They own/operate several museums throughout Texas, including the Alamo in San Antonio. The Republic of Texas Museum is located at the Daughters of the Republic of Texas headquarters, and houses many artifacts from the Republic of Texas era.

South Austin Popular Culture Center
Web Site: South Austin Popular Culture Center
1516 South Lamar Boulevard
Austin, TX 78704

Phone: (512) 440-8318
The South Austin Popular Culture Center is located behind the Planet K on South Lamar just south of the Zilker Park and Barton Springs area. Presided over by Henry Gonzales, whose paintings and murals graced the walls of the famous Austin landmark music venue of the 1970’s the Armadillo World Headquarters, the museum presents art shows, exhibits, and music events related to Austin art and culture of the past 50 years. Formerly known as the South Austin Museum Of Popular Culture and founded in 2004, most of the original board of organizers for the museum were in some way connected either as employees, poster artists or musicians at the Armadillo World Headquarters, which was in an old Quonset hut located on Barton Springs and South First behind the current location of Threadgill’s South. The South Austin Popular Culture Center not only showcases artists of the pasts, but also current Austin artists. Over 40 exhibitions have been presented at the Museum featuring work by Austin artists and painters such as cartoonists Jack Jaxon and Gilbert Shelton, photographer Allan Pogue, poster and visual artists Michael Priest, Bill Narum, Guy Juke, Henry Gonzalez, Danny Garrett, Kerry Awn, Powell St. John, Jesse Taylor, Bob Daddy-O Wade and the originator of the icon Armadillo images associated with the “cosmic cowboy” era of Austin in the sixties and seventies, Jim Franklin. There is also a memorial wall that spans the length of the property that honors deceased artists, writers and performers, philanthropists and others who have been important to Austin’s culture. The launch of almost all exhibits is paired with an opening party with live music on the outdoor stage in the back parking lot that starts at the magical time of 7:09 PM.

Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum
Web Site: Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum
605 Robert E. Lee Road
Austin, Texas 78704

Phone: (512) 445-5582
Located right off of Zilker Park, the Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum features sculpture by 20th century American sculptor Charles Umlauf and other contemporary sculptors. It offers classes and workshops to the public, and is open Wednesday through Sunday. Open on Monday and Tuesdays from 10 – 4:30 pm for tour groups of 15 people or more. It is also available for weddings and other private facility rentals.

Texas Military Forces Museum
Web Site: Texas Military Forces Museum
2200 West 35th Street
Austin, Texas 78703

Phone: (512) 782-6967
The Texas Military Forces Museum is a military museum located at Camp Mabry. The Museum focuses on Texas Military Forces from 1823 and the first militia musters in Stephen F. Austin’s Colony to the present day in 5 different main exhibits, each of which highlights different parts of the Texas Military Forces story. A photo I.D. for all adults is required for entry onto Camp Mabry. Admission to the Texas Military Forces Museum is FREE.