Created by the nineteenth-century sculptor Elisabet Ney, who spent the last years of her life working in this building, the Ney Museum is one of the oldest in all of Texas. It offers visitors a preserved glimpse into early Texas history and the life of a creative woman who made great contributions to the art of the period.
The Ney museum is a permanent collection of Ney’s work, but it also includes personal memorabilia.
Ney called the studio Formosa and it was the earliest built in the state of Texas. Completed in 1893, Formosa was enlarged in 1902. When Ney died in 1907, the building was purchased by Ella and Joseph Dibrell to preserve it as an art center. Now managed by the City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Texas’ capital assumed ownership of the building in 1941. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.
The works inside of the building belong to the University of Texas, which received them from Ney’s husband with the understanding that they were to remain in the museum. The works include sculptures in bronze, plaster and marble depicting contemporary literary and political figures: Otto von Bismarck, King Ludwig II, William Jennings Bryan, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Lady Macbeth. The collection includes more than forty of the 100 or so busts and statues that Ney made during her lifetime.
Know Before You Go
Between 44th and 45th Streets and Avenues G and H in Hyde Park.