Find It! Scavenger Hunt
We have to say that museums aren’t about things—they’re about stories and people. Having said that, go on a citywide scavenger hunt to find these artful items and learn some of the stories behind them. The objects and places may be different, but you’ll find some universal themes like love, ambition, conflict and curiosity. Use the hashtag #MuseumMonthSA on Instagram with any of these items and places to be eligible to win prizes (including memberships from the participating organizations!)
1. Artpace: Gimme Shelter
This shelter, provided by the Swedish-based non-profit Better Shelter, provides safe, secure, and reliable housing for displaced people across the globe. It’s part of the exhibition Borderland Collective: One to Another, which uses forensic archives, video and sound installations, and United Nations hearings to engender a critically conscious reading of how narratives are constructed.
2. Blue Star Contemporary: Arts Education Learning Lab
BSC provides activities for visitors to engage with their world through the lens of contemporary art in our Art Education Learning Lab. This permanent home for self-led exploration of exhibitions on view, includes response activities, hands-on creation stations for families to engage directly with the material and themes on view, and video interview and biographical information about exhibiting artists. One visitor said, “It’s like having a conversation with others who have seen the work without verbally communicating or having met each other. “ Visit Blue Star Contemporary and join the conversation!
3. Briscoe Museum of Western Art: Giddee-Up!
One of the most elaborate silver mounted saddles of all time, the Music Saddle was purchased around 1950 by Western film singer and actor Roy Rogers for the record price of $50,000. It was designed by John E. McCabe and J.P. Davis in the early 1930s for a lady named Mrs. Music and took sixteen craftsmen six months to build and adorn with 1,400 ounces of silver, one hundred thirty-six ounces of gold, and hundreds of rubies. This saddle and its related accouterments sold in the High Noon auction a few years ago for $412,000. It is on loan to the Briscoe from Juliana Hawn Holt.
4. The DoSeum: Finders, Not Keepers
This white collage wall features items of the past transformed and unified into a single art piece. It was designed by The DoSeum’s Artist-in-Residence Gregorio Mannino as part of the exhibition Dream Tomorrow Today. See what items you can find hidden in the collage!
5. McNay Art Museum: All You Need Is…
Pop artist Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE artworks in print, painting, and sculpture became some of the most recognizable images in twentieth-century American art. The McNay’s LOVE sculpture, acquired in 2015, is a popular favorite at the museum.
6. San Antonio Art League and Museum: Open the Vault
This Hidden Vault room is filled with work that spans a century of Texas art and culture. The vault was once a large butler’s pantry in the historic nineteenth-century building and includes the majority of the Edgar B. Davis collection of paintings, which are the heart of SAALM’s permanent collection. Ask a volunteer docent if you can take a peek!
7. San Antonio Missions National Park: El Ojo
An enigmatic fresco detail (ca. 1731) on the convento ceiling at Mission Concepción was called Eye of God until restoration in 1988. Before that, the fresco appeared to be just a single eye to the modern viewer. A second eye, sun shape, and facial hair was revealed thanks to preservation work. This piece is believed to have significant Catholic symbolism, with a nod to local native beliefs about the sun. The fresco represents the many groups that found cultural significance in Mission Concepción through the ages.
8. San Antonio Museum of Art: Dressed to Impress
This elaborate Edo-period Japanese samurai suit of parade armor (toke gusoku) dates to the eighteenth century and is made of iron, leather, lacquer, silk, and gilt brass. The intimidating grimace of the face mask is accentuated by a bristling moustache. It is displayed alongside a samurai’s steel sword (katana) from circa 1400.
9. Southwest School of Art: Lay of the Land
Jon Eric Riis’s 1997 textile work Vertical Landscape was originally commissioned for the Wild Wood IBM complex in Atlanta, GA. It was de-installed when IBM left the facility and became part of the Museum of Design Atlanta collection but was never installed because of its grandiose size. It measures 16 x 20 feet and weighs over 500 pounds.
10. University of Texas at San Antonio Institute of Texan Cultures: The Last Ride
The Castroville Hearse was used from approximately 1919–1930 in the small town just west of San Antonio. August L. Tschirhart was the hearse’s driver. Rumors of a haunting persist, and the piece has earned notice on the Travel Channel, Atlas Obscura, and various paranormal interest websites.
11. Villa Finale Museum & Gardens: Look Death in the Face
A bronze death mask of Napoleon Bonaparte is one of the most prized objects in Villa Finale's collection. When the museum's founder, Walter Mathis, was asked what piece from his extraordinary collection he would save if the house went up in flames, he answered, “The death mask.”
12. Witte Museum: Keys to History
Forged by a blacksmith working near Alamo Plaza in the 1840s (a decade after the famous battle), these keys to the Alamo were made when it was taken over by the United States Army as a supply post. The Alamo keys are on display in the exhibition Confluence and Culture: 300 Years of San Antonio History until January 6, 2019.