- April 11, 2023

DIY Learning: Visit the Elisabet Ney Museum


Educational opportunities abound in Austin! There are so many amazing DIY educational adventures for families to be found around the city. Let’s visit and find a fun activity to do at the Elisabet Ney Museum.

elisabet ney museum

Visit: The Elisabet Ney Museum

The Elisabet Ney Museum is a historic building and the home and former studio of the sculptor, Elisabet Ney. The studio was built in 1892, and named Formosa, which translates to “beautiful” in Portuguese. Designed by Ney, the studio is built of native limestone, and is the earliest art studio built in Texas. The museum currently contains many of Ney’s sculptures in bronze, marble, and plaster, as well as her furniture, tools, and personal effects. The collection includes 50 of the 100 statues, busts, and medallions created by Ney and includes sculptures of Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, Gen. Albert Sydney Johnston, and Ney’s masterpiece, the allegorical figure of Lady Macbeth. In early Austin, Ney’s studio was a gathering place for influential Texans and the home of stimulating discussions on politics, art, and philosophy. A visit to the Elisabet Ney Museum gives visitors a chance to learn more about this talented and influential artist and to see the faces of some of Texas history’s greatest heroes reflected in her work.

Location: 304 East 44th Street.
Hours: Wednesday – Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.
Admission: Free.
Parking: Free street parking is available in the area.

Learn: The Work of Elisabet Ney and Ney Day

Elisabet Ney is best known for her beautiful sculptures of historical figures. The daughter of a stonecutter, Ney longed to be a sculptor despite her parents’ objections. She applied to the Munich Academy of Art in 1852, but was rejected because she was a woman. However, Ney persevered in her quest for admission and was accepted on a trial basis, becoming the first woman to study sculpture at the Academy. Ney went on to have an incredible life and career meeting and working with some of history’s most influential thinkers and leaders, as well as shaping the course of the cultural development of Austin. You can read a biography of Elisabet Ney here.

While exploring the museum and reading Ney’s biography online, let’s think about the answers to these questions:

  • Where was Elisabet Ney born?
  • What does a sculptor do?
  • What materials can a sculpture be made from?
  • Who are some of the famous Texans that Elisabet Ney sculpted statues of?

Do: Let’s Make a Sculpture!

Have fun making a sculpture of your own! Print a Let’s Make a Sculpture page here.


Also, be sure to grab a free Junior Ranger Activity Book while you’re at the museum!

activity book

Attend Ney Day!

Celebrate Elisabet Ney and her legacy by joining for the ninth annual  ! To commemorate this iconic artist, the museum will host an afternoon event dedicated to women in the arts, sciences, and civic culture. Like in years past, there will be a ton of artist-led projects, demonstrations, games, music, and food! They will also have booths set up by Latinitas Magazine, Typewriter Tarot, Batik by Design, Girlstart, Girls Empowerment Network.  Happening on April 22 from 1 to 4 p.m., Ney Day is free and open to all ages!

Want to learn about more Free Fun in Austin? Click here.