The Contemporary at Laguna Gloria is located west of downtown Austin at the end of West 35th Street. When I last visited, this location was called the Austin Museum of Art (AMOA). A few years ago, AMOA merged with downtown’s Arthouse at the Jones Center to form a new entity, The Contemporary Austin. The Laguna Gloria site now focuses on outdoor sculpture and art installations and is home to The Art School.
The main house, the Driscoll Villa, was built in 1916 by the Serviers: Henry Hulm and Clara (nee Driscoll). In 1917, Henry founded our local (and still in existence) newspaper, the Austin American-Statesman. Clara was instrumental in restoring the Alamo and in purchasing additional properties near the mission church as San Antonio grew. The couple divorced in the 1930s. Clara eventually donated the Laguna Gloria property to the City of Austin in 1943 and died two years later at the age of 64.
A shaded walking path circles the perimeter of the property. The permanent installations are positioned for a leisurely, contemplative stroll with views of adjacent Lake Austin.
A temporary installation, Net-Work by artist Do Ho Suh, is draped over a dock which extends out into the lake. The netting consists of interconnected gold or silver figures that flutter and glisten in the breeze. This is one of those pieces that becomes more interesting the longer you look at it.
My local readers are probably wondering: did I visit the peacocks next door at Mayfield Park? But, of course!
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