Until June of 1994, when the San Antonio Museum Association was dissolved, the San Antonio Museum of Art was one of two museums the Museum of Art and the Witte Museum of Science and History operating under the auspices of the San Antonio Museum Association, which was chartered in 1925.
In the early 1970s, the growth of the Association&rsquos fine art collections led the Trustees to consider securing new space for the art collection. Plans were initiated to purchase the historic Lone Star Brewery complex for conversion into the San Antonio Museum of Art. The buildings were acquired in the 1970s. Following a $7.2 million renovation, the Museum of Art was opened to the public in March of 1981. Funding for the renovation was secured through grants from the Economic Development Administration, the City of San Antonio, and a number of private individuals and foundations. A National Endowment for the Arts challenge grant helped establish the operating endowment.
The San Antonio Museum of Art emphasizes the art of the Americas including pre-Columbian, Spanish Colonial and Latin American folk art. Included as well were eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth century American and European paintings, photography, sculpture and decorative arts. In 1985, the Museum received the unparalleled collections of Latin American Folk Art formed by former Vice President Nelson A. Rockefeller and Robert K. Winn, establishing it at the forefront of American institutions collecting in this area.