From art installations to history-filled museums, Texas has it all. Around the state, you’ll find well-known museums housing some notable collections as well as centers dedicated to honoring some Texas heroes. Whether you’re into finding unexpected treasures or looking to learn something new, Texas has what you’re looking for.
In Amarillo, the recently-renovated American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame and Museum features one of America’s most famous native horse breeds, as well as the famed and quirky Cadillac Ranch – a public art installation showcasing ten classic Cadillacs buried nose down at the same angle as Cheops Pyramid in Egypt.
Don’t miss the art in the West Texas. Located in the heart of the Big Bend region, Marfa has a rapidly-growing and internationally popular arts community which houses the Chinati Arts Foundation, founded by famous minimalist artist Donald Judd. You'll also find classic pieces and some of the most interesting contemporary art in the nation. Make sure to plan a road trip and mark Marfa off your bucket list.
In Austin, the Blanton Museum of Art is recognized as one of the country's top university fine arts collections. Located on the University of Texas campus, the Blanton boasts a notable permanent collection of more than 17,000 works and is recognized for its Old Master paintings, modern and contemporary American and Latin American art, and an encyclopedic collection of prints and drawings.
Don't forget to visit one of the greats. The Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock houses a permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and music of Buddy Holly, housing unique memorabilia donated by the family, friends and fans of Lubbock’s favorite son. The Center also houses the Texas Musicians Hall of Fame and the Lubbock Fine Arts Gallery.
Created in 1936, the El Paso Centennial Museum was the city’s first museum and one of the earliest buildings at the College of Mines, now the University of Texas at El Paso. Permanent exhibits focus on the Chihuahuan Desert region, the largest desert in North America. The El Paso Museum of Art was founded in 1959, and with a permanent collection of over 5,000 works of art, is a major cultural and educational resource for West Texas.
In Abilene, Frontier Texas! allows visitors to experience the big picture of the Texas frontier between 1780 to 1880, bringing the story to life in this multimedia facility. The original Shackelford County Old Jail Art Center is worth touring as well. Built in the late 1800’s, the walls are adorned with extensive permanent collections from American and European twentieth-century works, outdoor twentieth century sculpture art, Asian tomb figures dating back to the early Han and Tang Dynasty’s, in addition to a collection of pre-Columbian art dating back to as early as 1,000 B.C.
The American West also lives on at the Kerrville Museum of Western Art showcasing Western art and artists, past and present. The National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg is dedicated to preserving the history of the war while honoring and remembering those who were lost. Check out the American Airpower Heritage Museum in Midland. If you're planning on heading to Dallas, you'll find the Commemorative Air Force Headquarters, recognized for its collection of authentic World War II artifacts, memorabilia and the world's largest collection of original aviation “nose art.”