The San Antonio Museum of Art (SAMA) is an art museum in Downtown San Antonio, Texas, USA.
With a collection spanning 5,000 years of global culture, SAMA is the only encyclopedic museum of fine art in South Texas. The Museum is housed in the historic former Lone Star Brewery (1886) on the Museum Reach of the San Antonio River Walk. Following a $7.2 million renovation, it opened to the public in March 1981.
The museum is situated on the northern section of the Riverwalk. With the opening of the Gloria Galt River Landing in 2009, it now anchors the "Museum Reach" expansion of the celebrated Riverwalk.
When the museum opened it specialized in art of the Americas including pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial, and Latin American folk art. It also included eighteenth-, nineteenth- and twentieth-century American and European paintings, photography, sculpture, and decorative arts. In 1985, it received collections of Latin American Folk Art formed by former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller and Robert K. Winn.
In the 1990s the museum expanded considerably with donations from Gilbert M. Denman, Jr., the addition of the Stark-Willson Collection which established a comprehensive collection of Egyptian, Greek, and Roman art, and a collection of Chinese ceramics from trustees Walter F. and Lenora Brown. The Chinese collection which also included other Asian objects resulted in a 15,000-square-foot wing named after them, The Lenora and Walter F. Brown Asian Art Wing, which opened in 2005 is now the largest Museum for Asian art in the southern United States.
In 1991, the 7,000-square-foot Cowden Gallery was opened for changing exhibitions and, in 1994, the 3,000-square-foot Beretta Hops House was renovated to provide a new area for schooling with three main classrooms. In 1998, the Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Latin American Art, a 30,000-square-foot wing, opened to display Latin American art.
The last half of the nineteenth century was a dynamic period for British art. Three generations of young artists and designers revolutionized the visual arts in Britain and beyond by challenging the new industrial world. Victorian Radicals: From the Pre-Raphaelites to the Arts & Crafts Movement explores the ideas that preoccupied artists at the time—the relationship between art and nature, questions of class and gender, the value of handmade versus machine-made, and the search for beauty in an industrial age.
Drawn from the outstanding collection of the City of Birmingham, United Kingdom, the exhibition brings together an array of art to illuminate this period including paintings, sculpture, silver, glass, and jewelry. It features such pioneering artists as Ford Madox Brown, Edward Burne-Jones, William Holman Hunt, William Morris, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Many of the works have never been seen outside the UK.
“The exhibition represents the spectrum of avant-garde practices of the Victorian era and Britain’s first modern art movement,” said William Keyse Rudolph, Chief Curator and the Marie and Hugh Halff Curator of American and European Art. “Visitors will see many original, iconic works of the Pre-Raphaelites and the Arts & Crafts Movement that they may have loved from popular culture—as well as discover lesser-known treasures. Poetic, gritty, beautiful, powerful, strange, and wonderful, this exhibition has something for everyone.”