Harry Ransom Center
Harry Ransom Center
4.5
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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Duration: 2-3 hours
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles240 reviews
Excellent
156
Very good
69
Average
12
Poor
3
Terrible
0

ashuk
Kirkintilloch, UK911 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Couples
The statements that "The Ransom Center acquired the self-portrait in 1965 as one of a large collection of artworks assembled by photographer Nickolas Muray (American, b. Hungary, 1892–1965), who purchased the painting from Kahlo. The collection, known as the Nickolas Muray Collection of Mexican Art, includes two other works by Kahlo—the 1951 Still Life with Parrot and Fruit and a 1930 drawing, Diego y Yo, inscribed by Kahlo to Muray—as well as a number of works by other Mexican artists active in the first half of the twentieth century." about a "large collection" and "two other works" led us to believe that that's exactly what they had but we were exceptionally disappointed to find that they only had the one Kahlo and that stuck down a corridor not even in a featured display.

So unless you are keen to see an early bible or an almost non-existent first photograph, do not go out of your way to visit, as we did, because you will be in and out in 10 minutes and feel like you wasted your time.
Written 15 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Laura D
Downers Grove, IL99 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
hey, it was free and air conditioned. It was really small and had a few interesting pieces highlighting their featured exhibit. It was not laid out great and you were not sure what to read first. Like I said it was free and was air-conditioned. It is a short visit (we were there for less than 30 minutes) also has a bathroom and water fountain.
Written 9 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

HenryCan5
Shanghai, China42 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2018 • Family
Currently there is an interesting exhibit focused on Vaudeville at the HRC. It was really informative and had some interesting installation that allow you to listen to some of the old songs and a few videos of Vaudeville performances. The kids in our group were not overly impressed but they were confused at the old tv and radio on display :-) Aside from that exhibit the Guttenburg Bible on display was impressive as well. One of less than 50 in the world, the book that changed history in more ways than one! a great indoor place to see some history on a hot TX day!
Written 29 May 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

T. B
Houston, TX42 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018 • Couples
This museum is actually a massive research library, which was very disappointing. We wasted an hour finding parking and getting to the museum only to find there was one or two tiny exhibits on one floor.
Written 4 March 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sandy K
Austin, TX81 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2012 • Couples
Very few people know about this gem. Ransom and his colleagues over the decades have collected some of the very finest books, manuscripts, and print and paper materials in the world. These efforts have built one of the great library/collections anywhere.

There are almost always special exhibits that are extraordinary. It's on the UT campus. Don't miss it.
Written 17 June 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Taylor B
Chicago, IL8,417 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023
Where else can you read Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's notes, interviews and manuscripts relating to the Watergate scandal, see the sunglasses that Gloria Swanson wore in the 1950 movie Sunset Boulevard, view one of only 21 complete copies known to exist of the Gutenberg Bible, marvel at the first successful permanent photograph from nature taken in 1826 and examine selected costumes, script drafts, storyboards and audition media from David O. Selznick's Gone With The Wind collection? It's all here--and much more--in the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. Located at 300 West 21st Street, on the UT Austin campus, it is an internationally known humanities research center, an archive, library and museum that specializes in the collection of literary and cultural artifact from the Americas and Europe for the purpose of advancing the study of the arts and humanities. Established in 1957, it is open from 10 to 5 Tuesday through Friday and noon to 5 on Saturday and Sunday. It houses five million literary manuscripts, one million rare books, five million photographs and more than 100,000 works of art. Other extraordinary holdings on display include Albert Einstein's unpublished notes and calculations for his work on general relativity, three copies of William Shakespeare's 1623 First Folio plays, one of only 23 copiesw known to exist of a suppressed 1865 first edition of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the papers of Robert De Niro, David O. Selznick and Gloria Swanson, unused props designed by Salvador Dali to have been used in the dream sequence of the 1945 film Spellbound, a complete set of Pablo Picasso's 1930-1937 Vollard Suite, Edgar Allan Poe's writing desk, John Wilkes Booth's personal production promptbook for Richard III, David Garrick's diary from his 1751 trip to Paris, which once belonged to Harry Houdini, a writing journal kept by Jack Kerouac in preparation for writing his classic On the Road in 1957 and the love letters of the ill-fated Mexican Emperor Maximilian I and his wife Carlota. All that's missing is a letter from Julius Caesar to Cleopatra.
Written 20 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

kzsull01
Windsor, CT348 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2019 • Couples
My husband and I visited the Harry Ransom Center, at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas together with my daughter and her boyfriend on Saturday, April 6th. We all enjoyed the special exhibits very much as well as the Gutenberg Bible. The exhibits were very interesting, informative and quite educational, being a great lesson in history. All the write-ups throughout the museum nicely provided good overviews and details describing what was on display.

We spent about an hour and a half during our visit to the museum. An added bonus to visiting this museum was that it had free admission, which was great!! We parked in the Brazos Garage, getting our parking validated for $4 by also going to the Blanton Museum of Art. But metered parking was available on the nearby streets

Special Exhibit:

The special exhibit ‘The Rise of Everyday Design, the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain and America’, nicely illustrated the history of the movement and how it transformed the homes and lives of people in the 19th and 20th centuries. The exhibit addressed how the movement began in Britain around 1850 based on concern for the corrosive effects of mechanization and industrialization on Victorian Society. The movement was about reformation by elevating the quality of life through better design. Some proponents sought to return to handcraft, medieval aesthetics, social collectivism and appreciation for artisans. While others sought for unification of art and industry. The exhibit showed how the movement transformed from workshops founded to produce handcrafted items or high-quality furnishings and decorative arts for the well-to-do to less expensive mass manufactured goods.

The exhibit was very comprehensive, well laid out, and addressed multiple aspects of the movement. It was organized into three main sections: ‘The Birth of the Arts and Crafts Idea’’ in Britain (around 1850), ’The Arts and Crafts in America’ (around 1890) and ‘The Postwar Legacy’ after World War II. It nicely illustrated the many important contributions of individuals to the movement, including William Morris and Company for textiles and wallpaper, the Kelmscott and Roycroft printing presses, for alternatives to Victorian printing, Gustav Stckley with techniques of simplicity and individuality in design as well as Frank Lloyd Wright, Alice and Elbert Hubbard and John Ruskin, among others. Very nice furnishings and decorative art objects were included in this exhibit. This exhibit was well done and definitely worth seeing.

Rotating Special Exhibit:

The rotating special exhibit ‘Stories to Tell, Selections from the Harry Ransom Center’ was both interesting and unique by illustrating stories of innovation, inspiration, adaptation, confrontation, collaboration and frustration. The exhibit addressed the creative process from multiple perspectives, including that of writers, artists, filmmakers and photographers. We particularly liked the highlights from inside the Arthur Miller Papers; the Renaissance books showing collectors searching for the “Collated and Perfect” copy with a definition of what makes a “perfect” copy and how the criteria collectors use to evaluate books has changed revealing new attitudes and reasons for keeping books around; the section about becoming a writer and early childhood writing; the photographic fabricated truths from the 19th and 20th centuries and the “the Glass Shot” with the development of the early film special effects. This exhibit was quite informative and worth seeing. . .

Permanent Exhibit:

The Gutenberg Bible on exhibit, which is part of the permanent collection in the museum, was quite impressive. It has much historic significance, and nicely demonstrated the viability of a printing press that used individual pieces of metal type to mass-produce books from the 1450s, which helped change how information traveled in Europe and eventually throughout the world!!. .

We enjoyed our visit to this museum and would go back again when visiting Austin.
Written 23 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Caitlin G
Fairfax County, VA43 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2017 • Solo
I went for a photography exhibit and wasn't disappointed. They always have interesting exhibits up. If there isn't something to your interest, just wait a little bit and something will turn up. The staff is very helpful and they've got a lot of info about upcoming exhibits.
Written 15 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BJMinParis
Saint Louis, MO62 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Couples
We were really looking forward to this museum. Rated 3 stars by Frommer, had lists of all the papers held in this museum but very little was on display. They do have a Gutenberg bible and the first photograph ever taken but you can barely make out what the picture is. Most of the famous author papers are held in their archives. They said they can be accessed by the public but not on a Sunday when we were there. Most of the museum had a display on vaudeville which we just weren’t that interested in. Definitely not worth the 3 stars Frommer gave them.
Written 8 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

austex_gringo
Austin, TX166 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2018 • Family
The Ransom Center always offers a great distraction on days when the weather is not cooperating my children's weekly adventures. There are only a handful of items on permanent display, including a wonderful Frida Kahlo, the first photograph ever taken, and the Gutenberg Bible. In addition there are busts from various artists of various famous writers menu which are exceptional. The real treat The Ransom Center, however, all the rotating displays. They change them out several times a year and there's almost always something of Interest to see. The collection itself is a gold mine of minutiae covering the last 150 years or so of the western experience.
Written 8 April 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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HARRY RANSOM CENTER (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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