The original inhabitants of the city of Austin were the Native American tribes known as the Tonkawa, the Comanches, and the Lipan Apaches. After the settlers arrived, the city was carved out between the two creeks of the Colorado River namely the Shoal creek and the Waller Creek and its foundations were laid. As the city grew and thrived, it became the cynosure of annexation policies due to which there was a lot of political turmoil in the area. Finally, it became the part of the United States in 1845 and hence has been functioning as an integral part of the country ever since. Since the city of Austin has spawned a number of artists and performers, it is as famous for its cultural heritage as it is for its hi-tech advancements.
The history of the city is showcased beautifully in its museums, some of which are listed as follows:
The Lyndon B. Johnson Museum is one of the most visited museums in the country because it is one of those few museums which shed light on controversial topics like the JFK assassination, the Vietnam War and the life of the 36th President Lyndon B. Johnson. The additional attractions here are the unending and elaborate historical notes and memorabilia regarding the political highlights of that era and the replica of the Oval Office.
The Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum narrates the history of the state of Texas and educates us about its traditions and culture through interactive exhibits, displays and special effect shows which occupy the three floors of the museum. Some noteworthy attractions here are the 35-foot bronze sculpture of Lone Star installed at the entrance, a permanent exhibit titled ‘Encounters on the Land’ which portrays the first meeting between the Native Americans and the European explorers, 17 media installments, a souvenir shop, and a cafe.
The Austin Museum of Art at Laguna Gloria is an Italian style mansion of Clara Driscoll which was built in 1916 and is currently serving as a museum and an important historic site. This museum strives to celebrate art in all its forms like the twentieth-century artworks, works of contemporary artists as well as art inspired gifts in addition to providing inspiration to upcoming artists through its famous venture, The Art School, which organizes art classes for adults as well as children.
The Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum is dedicated to the memory of Charles Umlauf who was a noteworthy artist and lived in the city from 1911 to 1994. Therefore this garden exhibits all his sculptures which are based on a variety of topics like families, animals, religious leaders, and mythological creatures and oscillate between realism and abstraction.
The French Legation Museum is a typical nineteenth-century mansion that was built in 1841 over 22 acres of land by Count Alphonse Dubois de Saligny of France. According to history, the Count never stayed in the house and moved to Louisiana. After having remained vacant for a number of years, the house was bought by a renowned physician and stayed in his family until it was taken over by the State of Texas in 1949 and henceforth was converted into a museum.
The Blanton Museum of Art is home to almost 17,000 works of art representing the American, European and Latin American cultures. This museum is the largest University art-space in America since its atrium rises to 70 feet above the floors and apart from the temporary exhibits which keep changing, the museum also organizes lectures and presentations by noted museum curators, artists, and historians from all over the country.
The Mexic-Arte Museum is a tribute to the art and culture of Mexico and Latin America and features exhibits showcasing the Mexican revolution which took place in 1910. The museum also organizes lectures and discussions about contemporary topics and current issues like religion, politics and ethnic origins.