The half hour drive from Fredericksburg to Kerrville is beautiful even in the misty rain we had this day. Lots of open space...past ranches, rolling hills and wildflowers. We had decided to go to the Museum of Western Art first. Arriving just past 10, we were the first guests of the day.
The Museum is dedicated to Western Heritage and was originally founded as home to the Cowboy Artists of America, a group of artists who wish to perpetuate memory and culture of the Old West though art as typified by artists such as Remington and Charles Russell. Among other things, this art association conducts a trail ride and campout each year to have fun and stay in touch with the cowboy culture and give authenticity to their artwork. Although the affiliation with Cowboy Artists of America has since changed, the museum works to support Western Heritage with a reference library with resources for the artist on culture of the west: artifacts, information about ranching, cowboys, Native Americans....
The museum itself is architecturally interesting...designed by a famous Texas architect, O'Neil Ford, it features 23 bovedas in the ceiling. These are constructed with bricks leaning on one another to create a vault with no support.The floor in the main gallery is made of beautiful end-cut mesquite wood. I wish I had a picture but photography was not allowed in the museum.
The museum has a large permanent collection but we viewed an annual show and sale of various local and national artists. I had no problem getting Doug to go to this museum....he loves western art and dreams of being a cowboy.... In the mood for more BBQ, we headed to Buzzie's, had some great brisket, and then went downtown to explore the Schreiner Mansion.
Schreiner came from France, the Alsatian region, first to San Antonio when he was 14 years old. He started running cattle up north to market, made some money and built on his success to become a Texas Ranger, a Confederate army captain, a mercantile businessman, banker, philanthropist and wealthy rancher. He is considered to be one of the pioneers who shaped the Hill Country.
The Mansion was begun in 1879 and had several additions over 18 years. Many of the furnishings were original to the house which was given to the Masonic lodge then sold to a private owner in the 70s.
Now Schreiner University runs it as a museum. It was the first limestone building in Kerr County. We enjoyed it because of the history of the family that went along with the house.
A nice lady that runs the place knows some of the descendants of Schreiner who visit from time to time and she let us wander around on our own after giving us some history.