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Houston, Texas

Houston: Art Museums

As the sixth largest city in the United States, Houston has an abundance of world-class art venues for the discerning connoisseur. The Museum of Fine Arts (or MFAH) located in the aptly named Museum District is an internationally renowned museum located in a complex that includes the prestigious Glassell School of Art, Bayou Bend, Rienzi decorative arts museum and Cullen sculpture garden. The MFAH offers a collection housed with all of the biggest names in the history of art as well as a diverse range of exceptional non-Western artworks. The year of the dragon is starting off auspiciously with the recently appointed former director of the Met, Gary Tinterow, taking the helm as director. The general collection is free on Thursdays and there are discounts available for students and seniors the rest of the week. On the first floor, visitors can attend art house films in the cinema and lectures by noted scholars on any given day.

Other notable museums and collections include the Menil Collection, the CAMH and the Rothko Chapel (a non-denominational space designed and painted by the late artist, Mark Rothko). The latter is the best place to zen-out and retreat from the Houston heat. The CAMH offers an ever-changing array of contemporary art by some of the hottest local, national and international talents. The late esteemed collectors, John and Dominique de Menil, founded the Menil Collection which boasts some of the most important Modern European and American art from the 20th century as well as the African and Pacific Islander art that inspired much of it. Nearby is the Cy Twombly Gallery and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel Museum.

Houston also contains more than 60 art galleries within a fifteen-minute drive of each other. Don’t miss “First Thursdays,” where galleries open their doors for an evening of opening receptions and complimentary wine. (Elle Miller-Cavatore)

Houston Art Museums: Art Museums Around Houston

Below are our Houston Art Museum recommendations, with information on location, admission, transportation/parking, museum history and other points of interest in Houston Art.

Blaffer Gallery (Houston, TX)

The Blaffer is the art museum of the University of Houston, and has one of the city’s premier contemporary art collections. It has exhibited the work of Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, Julian Schnabel and architect Richard Neutra. Since it opened in 1973, it has been an important part of the city’s art scene, showing works by the Texas artist Michael Tracy, French royal jewels from the Smithsonian, and the work of Ansel Adams in the exhibition “American Icons”. ...more...

Contemporary Arts Museum Houston

The museum was founded in 1948, and has put on exhibitions by esteemed modern and contemporary artists such as Laszlo Maholy-Nagy, James Turrell, William Wegman and Robert Rauschenberg. It has no permanent collection, instead presenting the work of artists both local and international, and seeks to showcase the most exciting art being created today.

In the 1980s, the museum played part in making Houston a vibrant art city. The museum grew …more…

Houston Center for Photography

This center, which has no permanent collection, is the Houston’s pre-eminent photography exhibition space. It exhibits photography from the medium’s early days to the contemporary. It was founded in 1981 as a visual artists’ organization, and is the only institution of its kind in the South or Southwest devoted solely to photography and related media.

The center is open to exhibiting all types of photography, and has recently shown exhibitions on …more…

Menil Collection

With nearly 15,000 pieces, the Menil collection excels with its wide array of antiquities, including Byzantine, medieval, and tribal art, as well as multiple works from 20th-century Masters (with an emphasis on surrealism). The museum has a unique feel. In opposition to most modern-day museums, the Menil’s holdings are selective rather than encyclopedic, offering depth to specific areas and artists. With a collection that clearly echoes the range of interests …more…

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH)

The Museum of Fine Arts of Houston is the largest museum in the U.S. south of Chicago, west of Washington, D.C., and east of Los Angeles. While it’s known for its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, other areas of strength include Baroque, Renaissance, and African Tribal art.

The museum grounds also include a sculpture garden, teaching wing, and a special section for top Texas artists and students to display their work, a …more…

Stark Museum of Art (Orange, TX)

Made up of a Western Art collection, a Rare Books and Manuscripts collection and an American Indian collection, the Stark Museum of Art in Orange, Texas focuses on the stunning land, dramatic people, and diverse wildlife of the American West.

The art collection includes work from over two centuries and spans the explorations of the nineteenth century to the artistic colonies of the twentieth century. Artists represented include Frederic Remington, Charles …more…