Fathers, sons and tons of fun await everyone at the Briscoe Western Art Museum this summer. Featuring the fantastic summer exhibition The Sons of Charlie Russell: Cowboy Artists of America, the Briscoe is hosting an array of programming to allow everyone to step into the West from the heart of the River Walk. (Briscoe Western Art Museum, 2022)
Premiering at the Briscoe and including works from 17 public and private collections, The Sons of Charlie Russell features 70 works of art showcasing the forefathers of Western art and how their great works provide foundations, traditions and ideals for today’s contemporary artists. On display through September 5, the exhibition is the first and only time these works will be viewed together. To accompany the exhibition, the Briscoe is hosting a summer of programming that brings Western art to life through artist talks, demonstrations, and more.
The summer line-up includes:
Cowboy Creations: Learn from Cowboy Artists
Bringing the art of The Sons of Charlie Russell to life, members of the Cowboy Artists of America are appearing in a series of demonstrations and talks throughout the exhibition. Guests can enjoy meeting and watching these talented cowboy artists share the processes behind their work. All sessions are included in general museum admission.
- Saturday June 25 – Mikel Donahue
- Saturday August 6 – Chad Poppleton (Paint-along)
- Saturday July 23, 10a.m. – 3p.m. – Jason Scull (Sculpture demonstration, part of the Briscoe’s National Day of the Cowboy Celebration)
- Saturday August 27, 10a.m. – 11:30a.m. – Bruce Greene (part of The Lessons of Our Fathers Panel)
- Saturday September 3, 11a.m. – 1p.m. – Teal Blake (Paint-along)
- Saturday September 3, 11a.m. – 3p.m. – Jason Scull (Sculpture Demonstration)
STEAMing into the West with The Sons of Charlie Russell
Families and visitors of all ages are invited to learn about the American West through the works featured in The Sons of Charlie Russell during the museum’s “Full STEAM Ahead” series on the third Saturday of each month. From transportation and weather to animals, astronomy and engineering, each program explores an aspect of life in the West to engage and inspire learning. Full STEAM Ahead is included with museum general admission. Children 12 and under receive free admission to the Briscoe.
- Saturday June 18, 11a.m. – 1p.m. – Full STEAM Ahead: Red Moon – Participants will learn about the lunar eclipse, and the significance the moon had on the people of the American West. Guests will also learn and practice perspective and contrast in creating art, exploring “Red Moon,” by CAA member Phil Epp and featured in The Sons of Charlie Russell. Children and families will paint their own fizzy moons using special combinations of baking soda and paint to create uniquely textured and colorful moons.
- Saturday July 16, 11a.m. – 1p.m. – Full STEAM Ahead: All A-Gnome – Families will make their own gnomes inspired by the beloved children’s book “Charlie Russell and the Gnomes of Bullhead Lodge” by renowned author and Briscoe curator Emily Wilson. Wilson curated The Sons of Charlie Russell exhibition.
- Saturday August 20, 11a.m. – 1p.m. – Full STEAM Ahead: Whimsical Windmills – While conservation and renewable energy efforts may seem like new solutions to the energy crisis, cowboys and settlers alike used renewable energy long before access to gas and electricity was ever invented. Guests will learn how windmills were some of our first sources of alternative energy.
What is a Western? Summer Film Series
The Briscoe’s popular Summer Film Series returns with a question: What is a Western? What are the elements of a Western and how has the Western been re-interpreted through the years? The first film in the series will explore the traditional components of Western cinema. A short presentation discussing the foundations of the Western will begin at 1p.m., followed immediately by the screening. Each film is included in general museum admission, with free brews courtesy of Ranger Creek Brewery. Popcorn, drinks and snacks will be available for purchase.
- Sunday June 19, 1p.m. “The Searchers” – In the 1956 movie considered by many to be the greatest Western ever made, John Wayne stars as a post-Civil War veteran on a journey to find his niece after Comanche Native Americans kidnapped her. Its influence is reflected in the works of Martin Scorsese, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and other critical filmmakers.
- Sunday July 10, 1p.m. “Dances With Wolves” – In his directorial debut and breakout role, Kevin Costner stars as a post-Civil War veteran who comes into contact with the Lakota while on assignment in South Dakota. The 1990 film was nominated for 12 Academy Awards, winning seven, including Best Picture and Best Director, and received Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.
- Sunday August 21, 1p.m. “Wind River” – In this tense neo-western thriller, Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen star as a U.S. Fish and Wildlife hunter and an FBI agent investigating a murder on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The 2017 film was “Yellowstone” creator Taylor Sheridan’s directorial debut.
Books and Brews: Briscoe Book Club
- Thursday July 14, 6p.m. – Briscoe Book Club: “No Country for Old Men” by Cormac McCarthy
Weathered Souls Brewery, 606 Embassy Oaks #500, San Antonio, 78216
Join the Briscoe Book Club for a lively chat in a laid-back social gathering as we explore significant works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction inspired by the vast and varied experiences of the American West. We will discuss a new book each quarter. Books are available for purchase at the Museum Store, or you may reserve a copy for check out through the San Antonio Public Library system before each meeting. There is no charge to participate in the book club. Reserve your spot by registering online.
Free Cowboy Fun: National Day of the Cowboy Celebration
Tippin’ its hat and celebrating the legacy of the cowboy, cowgirl and vaquero, the Briscoe Western Art Museum presents its annual National Day of the Cowboy celebration on Saturday, July 23, 10a.m. – 4p.m. at the Briscoe. The free community event, which includes free admission to the museum and its exhibitions, features indoor and outdoor activities for cowpokes of all ages. This year’s celebration will feature The Sons of Charlie Russell, with artist demonstrations to include leatherworking, metalsmithing and more. Saddle up with your family and head west for a day you will not forget.
The Lessons of Our Fathers: Panel and Artist Presentation
With The Sons of Charlie Russell: Cowboy Artists of America, the Briscoe Western Art Museum casts a spotlight on the history and significance of the Cowboy Artists of America and its efforts to maintain and evolve the style and subject matter of traditional Western art. The museum is hosting a panel of Western art scholars to discuss the importance of preserving traditions and the necessity for tradition to evolve and undergo revision to remain relevant in a changing world. The panel will also examine the CAA’s success at executing its mission: to authentically preserve and perpetuate the culture of Western life through fine art. The panel will be moderated by Emily Wilson, Curator of Art for the Briscoe Western Art Museum and the curator of The Sons of Charlie Russell. The panel is Saturday, August 27, 2p.m – 4p.m.
Before the panel discussion at 10a.m. – 10:30a.m., CAA artist Bruce Greene, the 2022 President of the CAA, will do a presentation detailing his journaling techniques and how he uses his journal to help with the accuracy of his art Both the presentation and the panel are included in museum general admission.
210 West: Gallery Talks
Join the Briscoe for in-gallery chats featuring selected works from The Sons of Charlie Russell. Using the exhibition gallery guide, Curator of Art Emily Wilson will provide an overview of the tools and strategies used to evaluate narrative art. Guests will leave with a deeper appreciation of the artistic strategy, methods and design choices made by the artists. Gallery talks are included in general admission and start at 1p.m.
- June 24, July 8, Aug. 12
The Sons of Charlie Russell: Cowboy Artists of America is supported in part by Jan McCaleb Elliott, the Eddie Basha Collection, Mr. and Mrs. Marrs McLean Bowman, The Elizabeth Huth Coates Charitable Foundation of 1992, the Klesse Foundation, Jessica Elliott Middleton, Debbie and John T. Montford, and Western Art Collector.
Admission to the Briscoe Western Art Museum is always free for children 12 and under and for active duty military members. 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, with 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.