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Explore resources on researching about art as well as how to enjoy and make art, including information about art in the Library

Architecture as Art

Several of our branches are works of art in themselves.

Have you visited these branches for a different perspective on books?

Landa Library

Landa Library

233 Bushnell
SAT 78212
(210) 207-9090

San Pedro Library

San Pedro Branch Library

1315 San Pedro Ave.
SAT 78212
(210) 207-9050

Central Architecture

Ricardo Legorreta was influential in creating a bright and vibrant symbol of our Library System through the design of the Central Library.  Here you will find articles on his architecture.


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Art at Central Library

Come enjoy art among the bookshelves at the Central Library

Mi Vida by Jesse Treviño

Location: 1st Floor, near the auditorium

Jesse Trevino's first mural-size work. Painted in 1972, the mural depicts his painful experiences after returning home from serving in the Vietnam War.


The Compulsive Search for Ancestry by Danville Chadbourne

Location: 1st Floor, Lobby

Born in Bryan Texas, and currently living in San Antonio since 1979, Chadbourne's work is primarily sculptures made of clay and wood. His sculptures focus on the evocation of spiritual or primal state. They feature forms and images that may appear part of some culture, interrelated with mythological structures. His perception focuses on the speculation that our society makes in regard to other cultures, especially those related to ancient or primitive facts. 

Fiesta Tower

Fiesta Tower by Dale Chihuly

Location: Central Library, 2nd Floor

This sculpture commemorates our 100th anniversary as a library system. During the 2009-2010 Weatherization Project, the 917 glass pieces were packed away so this beautiful sculpture would not be affected by construction. The glass pieces have been carefully reinstalled on the metal framework by a project team led by John Landon of JDL Design. Dale Chihuly's studio has completed more than 100 public installations around the world - we encourage you to learn more about his art by checking out the books below.

Find Books on Dale Chihuly

Blue Room by Stephen Antonakos

Location: Central Library entrance

The Blue Room is a neon-art installation which greets visitors to the Library. Antonakos wanted the Blue Room to clearly establish a change of setting from people's daily rushing in and out of buildings. The room is designed to provide a calm, cool and inviting entrance to the Library.

Find Books on Stephen Antonakos



Days by Jesse Amado

Location: Central Library entrance

The public artwork commemorates the life of Linda Pace, an artist, collector and philanthropist, who founded Artpace San Antonio, an international laboratory for the creation and advancement of contemporary art. Each of the 22,722 crystals represents one day in her life, and the pieces were assembled over several weeks. Because the subconscious was such an important element of Pace's art, the crystals were chosen randomly. "This placement within the window will allow an exterior view of the work as well as an interior one and will serve as a metaphor for the outer and inner being of sources – the internal and external, the physical and metaphysical, the body and the spirit," said Amado.

Caballo Tamaño Grande

Caballo Tamaño Grande
by Fernando Botero

Location: Central Library, 1st Floor Lobby

Considered Latin America’s most famous and most beloved artist, Fernando Botero is a painter, sculptor, and draftsman who is known for rounded playful forms and political art. His prolific work is exhibited in public spaces and galleries, and has inspired, challenged and delighted viewers.

Find Books On Fernando Botero

17 Moovelous Young Voices

17 Moovelous Young Voices
by Jefferson High School

Location: Central Library Children's Collection, 3rd Floor

The Young Voices cow was created by the students of the Thomas Jefferson High School Fine Arts Program and given to the library by a group of anonymous donors. Each of the 17 Jefferson High School students who worked on the art piece is represented through the handmade tiles on the body of the cow. This art piece helps symbolize the library system’s commitment to San Antonio's youth as well as its pledge to support public art and visual literacy.


Orchid by Rogelio Madero de la Peña

Location: Central Library, 5th Floor interior balcony

Rogelio Madero de la Peña is a Mexican sculptor who is known for the largest Christian sculpture in the world, El Manto de la Virgen. De La Peña creates monumental abstract sculpture in iron and small-scale sculpture in other metals. His name is synonymous with art, metal and heart. Orchid is an abstract bronze sculpture with three polished curved shapes representing petals raised on a textured triangular base.

Axis Mundi

Axis Mundi by Sebastian

Location: Central Library, 1st Floor New Book Area

Sebastian is a renowned Mexico City artist that works with geometric forms in materials of steel, aluminum and cardboard. Axis Mundi was created by the artist especially for the Library. Sebastian is also the sculptor of the downtown Torch of Friendship and other local works.

Find Books on Sebastian


Mural by Jesse Treviño

Location: Central Library, 1st Floor Auditorium Foyer

Treviño is known for his photo-realistic paintings of San Antonio's Westside community. Treviño was commissioned to create a 36-foot mural for the library. The mural is like a time capsule of San Antonio during World War II. It features marquees from local movie houses and the city's largest retail establishments. The altar is another element of the mural, and it is a tribute to those who served in the war. It includes familiar items such as candles, flowers and photos. The photos commemorate all individuals who participated in the war. However, some of the people represent famous San Antonians. The woman featured is a likeness of Emma Tenayuca, leader of a labor movement in the late 30's and early 40's, the Hispanic man is World War II Medal of Honor recipient Cleto Rodriguez. The young Anglo male is a likeness of Retired General Robert McDermott when he was a Cadet.

Mexicano, Chicano, Americano

Mexicano, Chicano, Americano
by Jesse Treviño

Location: Central Library, 1st Floor New Book Area

Jesse Treviño’s three-panel self-portrait represents the artist through aspects of his personal relationship with the 1960s. Mexicano is symbolized by the colors of the Mexican flag and an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. A black Aztec eagle synonymous with César Chávez’s United Farm Workers Movement represents Chicano. The artist’s military service in Vietnam is reflected in the Purple Heart medal heraldry and representative colors of the U.S. flag in Americano.

Central Library Art Gallery

Central Library Art Gallery

Location: 1st Floor, near the auditorium

The Art Gallery is open with current exhibits that feature local artists and our community partners. We're also right across the street from the Southwest School of Art.

If you are interested in nearby galleries and the downtown art scene, you may wish to check out the Office of Cultural Affairs Arts Calendar on the Art Appreciation page.

Grecian Beach Rider II

Grecian Beach Rider II
by Dr. Amy Freeman Lee


Location: 3rd Floor

Dr. Amy Freeman Lee was an educator, artist and author. The Children's department at the Central Library is dedicated to Dr. Lee. From 1941 until 2004 Dr. Lee served as Chair of the Judges Committee for the Young Pegasus Poetry Competition.

Memory, Divider, Persona, Home, Lawn - by Larry Graeber

Location: Central Library, 2nd Floor Marie Swartz Art Resource Center (MSARC)

Larry Graeber, a Texas-based artist, considers himself a painter and sculptor. He presently works in San Antonio and Marfa TX studios. 

Landscape Series I & Summer Landscape - by Richard Mogas         

Location: Central Library, 2nd Floor Marie Swartz Art Resource Center (MSARC)

Long-time artist and architect Mogas’ work is inspired by the “hard scrabble, cactus and rattlesnake” life in South Texas with his father. There are also a few paintings of women representing his “continuing attempts to understand them and their amazing powers.”

Art at the Branches

The Brook and the Hollow

“The Brook and the Hollow” by Jack Robbins

Location: Brook Hollow Library, Children's Area

A fabricated pop-up tree and vine.

Great Northwest Library

By Twyla Arthur
Location: Great Northwest Library, interior

A tile mosaic floor treatment creates a flowing "river" from the entryway and through the building past a landscape mural, ending in a mosaic pool or in the children's area.

Guerra Library

By Henry Stein
Location: Guerra Library, Main Lobby Area

Mixed-media project consisting of a series of artist-fabricated panels. Each panel is composed of a grid-like pattern that contains images and made-objects that reference the library's connection to Kelly and aviation, as well as referring to the library's namesake, Henry Guerra.

Windmill Signifier

"Windmill Signifier" by James Hetherington
Location: Igo Library, exterior

Working 40-foot windmill of galvanized steel greets visitors and goes well with the rustic architecture and rural surroundings. This non-traditional hybrid windmill will harvest power from the intermittent wind source and, through a generator, provide supplemental power to a small water pump, allowing the water to flow down a channel and through the building to a water basin.

Maverick Library

By Henry Rayburn
Location: Maverick Library, exterior

The design enhancement builds on and elaborates the architects' early design ideas while bringing his own talents and experience with collages and artistic use of letterforms to the design. Rayburn's design successfully expresses the combination of the physical structure of the building and the library's goal of developing an interaction with the natural park built across the street.

Mission Library

By Chris Sauter
Location: Mission Library; Interior, entrance and courtyard

A mixed-media mural hanging in the library "metaphorically illustrates the deep stretch of geological history that lies beneath the grounds." There are also two outdoor sculptures resembling "core samples" of the library grounds—one is located by the entrance and projects the library’s name onto the library; the other is located in the courtyard and seeps water into what looks like the hole from which it came.

Parman Library

Stone Oak Shadows By Peter Zubiate
Location: Parman Library at Stone Oak; Interior