Elisabet Ney Museum

The Elisabet Ney Museum is a museum located in Austin, Texas, United States. It is housed in the former studio of sculptor Elisabet Ney and is dedicated to showcasing her life and works. There is a permanent collection of her portrait busts and personal memorabilia on display.

Elisabet Ney Studio and Museum
Elisabet Ney Museum Front.jpg
Location304 E. 44th St
Austin, Texas, United States
Coordinates30°18′24″N 97°43′35″W / 30.30667°N 97.72639°W / 30.30667; -97.72639Coordinates: 30°18′24″N 97°43′35″W / 30.30667°N 97.72639°W / 30.30667; -97.72639
Area2.6 acres (1.1 ha)
Built1892 (1892)
ArchitectElisabet Ney
Architectural styleClassical revival
NRHP reference #72001374
RTHL #13829
TSAL #624
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 29, 1972
Designated RTHL1962
Designated TSALMay 28, 1981


Formosa, as Ney called the studio, was completed in 1893 and enlarged in 1902. It was the earliest art studio built in Texas. After Ney died in 1907, Ella and Joseph B. Dibrell purchased the building to preserve it as an art center in memory of her.[1] The City of Austin assumed ownership of it in 1941 and it is managed through the city's Parks and Recreation Department. In addition to being a local and state historic landmark, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 29, 1972, and is one of the 40 museums in the Historic Artists' Homes and Studios program.

Until 1973 the Ney museum emphasized the exhibition of contemporary art. From July 1980 to November 1982, the museum was closed for restoration and the installation of a climate-control system, after which the museum began to reconstruct the studio as it was used by Ney. In 2007 the museum commissioned a master plan for restoration of the grounds. Part of this plan has been completed, including planting wild flowers and prairie grasses around the building to better resemble the appearance of the grounds in Ney's time.[2] In 2017 the city of Austin announced a planned restoration of the museum's frame, windows, and doors to improve the building's climate control and a restoration of the property's historic wall and gate.[3] Other planned improvements include a new bridge across Waller Creek, which cuts through the Ney property, and the formation of a supporters group, Friends of the Ney.[4] Recently, the museum has again returned to a focus on contemporary art more than Ney and her work, and holds numerous public events and art exhibitions annually.


Busts on display inside the museum

The museum houses a collection of originals and replicas of Ney's works, along with many of her personal belongings and tools. The more than fifty busts, medallions, and full-sized figures on display include her portraits of European notables such as King Ludwig II of Bavaria, Otto von Bismarck, Giuseppe Garibaldi, and Arthur Schopenhauer as well as Americans William Jennings Bryan, Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, and General Albert Sidney Johnston.[5]


  1. ^ "Elisabet Ney Museum". Handbook of Texas Online
  2. ^ "Project returns Elisabet Ney Museum grounds to what artist experienced," Austin American-Statesman, October 17, 2017.
  3. ^ "Several historic Central Austin sites set for restoration using hotel tax revenue," Community Impact Newspaper, February 16, 2017.
  4. ^ "Elisabet Ney Museum to get improvements--and its own supporters group," Sight Lines, April 15, 2018.
  5. ^ "Elisabet Ney Museum". City of Austin. April 9, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2017.

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