International Museum of Art and Science
The International Museum of Art and Science is the Rio Grande Valley's premier science and art museum. It is a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate and is Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The 50,000 square foot facility offers hands on, interactive exhibits for visitors to learn about art and science. The permanent exhibits are: Science on a Sphere, a NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-designed exhibit that teaches visitors about space; RioScape, the valley's only interactive science playground; Water Journey and Watershed; and a sculpture garden, which includes a replica Olmec stone head sculpture. The museum also offers various educational and cultural programs.
Backstory and Context
In the 1960s, the McAllen Junior League wanted to increase the quality of life for the community and provide a place for people to learn about art and science. The museum was chartered in June 1967 and a year later the league leased a 5,000 facility. The museum opened a year later. It was moved to its current location in 1976 and went under a big expansion in 2001. Classrooms, an art studio, a cafe, a theater and exhibits were added.