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 rapidly from 1979 to 1984, and focused on art by Texas and American artists. In the 1990s, it cast a keener eye to international artists while maintaining its domestic roster, and featured one-person exhibitions by Nic Nicosia, Ann Hamilton and Lari Pittman, among others.
The museum features both casual and formal events. It hosts regular family days and kid-friendly programs that accompany each exhibition. It also puts on benefit events, including the popular Champagne & Ribs party hosted by the museum’s African -American board and celebrating artists of color.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Information
- Public Transportation: Excellent (Metro bus lines 34 and 65 have stops within feet of the museum; the METRORail Museum District Station is a 4-minute walk)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Tuesday–Wednesday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. , Thursday 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m., Friday–Saturday 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Sunday Noon–5:00 p.m. Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day
- Admission: Free
- Tour: The FAQteam (Frequently Asked Questions team) is available on Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays to answer questions about the exhibition, about contemporary art in general, or to give quick on-the-spot tours. Schools and other groups may schedule a docent-led tour of any exhibition, free of charge
- Membership: Individual memberships start at $75; Dual/Household memberships start at $100. Artists, students, and seniors receive discounted membership of $35. Every member receives an invitation to the New Members Orientation, membership to Steelwired (the Museum’s e-mail service), a 10% discount at The Museum Shop, invitations to previews and events, and subscription to the Museum’s bi-monthly Calendar
- Other Benefits: Reciprocal membership to over 30 other museums is available for any membership over $100.