Laguna Gloria is a fourteen-acre campus on the shores of Lake Austin and offers visitors a unique art-in-nature experience. It is one of two museums that are run by The Contemporary Austin. The other museum is The Jones Center and is located on Congress Ave., downtown Austin.
What everyone knows
Laguna Gloria is one of many museums in Austin, yet only one of a handful of museums that is perfectly balanced with nature.
What they don't tell you
Laguna Gloria was once the place for socialites back in the day. It hosted international dignitaries and politicians. Thanks to its location on Lake Austin, party goers often arrived by boat!
Do it like a local
May I suggest you plan to spend part of your day at Laguna Gloria and take in its beautiful marriage of nature & art. There’s a lagoon on one side of Laguna Gloria and Lake Austin on another. The Garden of the Four Seasons borders the villa, as well as the Sunken Garden, where you will find one of Charles Umlauf’s statues. Lover’s Lane will lead you to the Temple of Love on the lagoon. It’s no surprise that Laguna Gloria hosts 80-100 weddings each year. It’s brimming with romanticism and serenity. Perhaps enjoy a sublime meal at its French-Cajun cafe. Perhaps peruse the gift shop and all the different sculptures that are stationed throughout its 14 acres of majestic grandeur. As for the rest of your day, you might like to go next door to Mayfield Park & Nature Preserve where you will be among free-ranging, colorfully bright peacocks! This gem of a park consists of 21 acres and has walking trails that lead to Lake Austin. You will see a historic cottage from the 1870’s, gardens, ponds, and delicate water lillies.
For the History Buffs
Laguna Gloria’s 14 acres hosts a café, a museum shop, the Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park, an Art School, two beautifully landscaped and furnished terraces, and the historic Driscoll Villa. It also includes a number of well-designed amenities situated in modern steel and glass structures and outdoor terraces along a shaded, landscaped pathway at the property’s very inviting entrance.
Their Art School recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and offers classes serving all levels, ages four to adult. Their studios have direct access to the outdoors, and encourage you to explore the grounds while working on class projects in order to foster your creativity, enhance your visual awareness, and improve your technical skills in your chosen medium.
Cafe Épicerie at The Contemporary features fresh French-Cajun comfort food for eating on site or taking to go. Guests may enjoy a meal, snack, or drink within the new shaded terraces, or find a grassy picnic spot throughout the grounds of the fourteen-acre sculpture park.
The Museum Shop at The Contemporary is a modern, design-forward gift shop that features a unique selection of artist-designed merchandise and other handpicked products from around the world.
The Driscoll Villa was once the home of Clara Driscoll, who had Laguna Gloria built in 1916. She was a world traveller who especially loved Italy and had her house styled as an Italian Villa. In 1943, Clara Driscoll donated Laguna Gloria to the Texas Fine Arts Association. Today it belongs to The Contemporary Austin (formerly known as AMOA-Arthouse). Inside the villa itself, you will find the creative art of Ann Tarantino and Bethany Johnson.more deets here
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