Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 588 words read ~4 min. Section in process of completion and revision
Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Texas Art Gallery: history, collection highlights.
Contents Introduction – History – Main exhibition area – Facilities: museums, sculpture garden, school – Permanent collection – Contact information
BEST ART MUSES IN AMERICAWASHINGTONSmithsonian Museum of American Art Washington National Gallery of Art Phillips Collection New YorkOlbright-Nox Art Gallery Frick Guggenheim Collection, New York Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Whitney Museum of American Art PennsylvaniaBarnes Foundation Carnegie Museum of Art Philadelphia Museum of Art
Introduction First opened to the public in 1924, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH) is one of America’s largest and finest art museums. It is divided into several different spaces and locations, but the 2 main art galleries are located in the heart of Houston’s museum district. The museum also owns 2 arts and crafts houses, 2 art schools, a sculpture garden, a visitor center, a café, and a movie theater. The museum’s permanent collection contains more than 62,000 works of art, spanning 6,000 years of art history from all corners of the earth. A selection of these works can be viewed online on the museum’s website.
MASSACHUSETTSMuseum of Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of Fine Arts Boston CALIFORNIALos Angeles County Museum of Art J. Paul Getty Museum Los Angeles OTHER TOP MUSES OF ARTThe Art Institute of Chicago Detroit Institute of Art Indianapolis Museum of Art
EXECUTIVE ART See our guide to the art of painting (oil paintings / watercolors) or printmaking (prints / lithographs).
TEMPORARY EXHIBITIONSFor detailed information about any important exhibitions taking place at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, see Art News Headlines: Art News Headlines.
BEST EUROPEAN GALLERYS See: Art Museums of Europe.
ARTS EDUCATION For information on university level fine art programs throughout the United States see: Best Art Schools.
AMERICAN SCULPTURE For information on America’s Top 40 Three-Dimensional Artists, see: American Sculptors (1850-present).
History The site for the Museum of Fine Arts was dedicated in 1917, but the museum first opened its doors in 1924. Shortly before that opening, the museum bequeathed its first collection of important European and American oil paintings. Throughout the 1930s and 1940s, they continued to receive donations of art, including prints, drawings and antiquities, from prominent Houston families. In the late 1950s and 1960s, the brilliant international style architect Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) designed Cullinan Hall (1958) and the Brown Pavilion (1974) for the Caroline Weiss Law Building at the Museum. Between 1970 and 1989, the museum nearly doubled its collection through personal and corporate donations. In 1974, John and Audrey Beck donated 50 Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings to the museum on a long-term loan. Highlights include Impressionist paintings by Caybotte (1848-94), Edgar Manet (1832-83), André Derain (1880-1954), Pissarro (1830-1903), Georges Sera (1859-91), A. Matisse (1869- 1954) and Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947). Today, the museum continues to thrive and each year more than a million people take advantage of its exhibitions, workshops and resource centers.
Main Exhibition Space The MFAH’s main exhibition space, for both permanent and temporary exhibitions, is located in two buildings: the Caroline Wiess Law Building and the Audrey Jones Beck Building. The Law Building was built in 1924, but has been greatly expanded over the years. It features a wide range of exhibits, including Asian, oceanic Indonesian, tribal, African and Mesoamerican pre-Columbian art, as well as 20th and 21st century art. Of particular note is the Glassell Collection of African Gold, which includes a rare burial mask from Java. The Beck building was designed by Raphael Moneo, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize, and opened in 2000.
Art Facilities The Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens A lifelong trustee of the museum, Ima Hogg donated her home and garden to the Ministry of Health and Culture in 1957. Designed by architect John F. Staub in 1927, it contains one of the finest collections of decorative arts and furniture in America. Paintings, furniture, glass, metal, ceramic and textile objects were subsequently donated in 1962. Situated on 14 acres of woods and gardens, the house is about 8 km (5 miles) from the Lo and Beck buildings. American art on display includes works by artists John Singleton Copley (1738-1815), Gilbert Stewart. (1755-1828), portrait painters Charles Wilson Peale (1741-1827), and Thomas Salley (1783-1872). Pottery ranges from early tableware to the popular 19th-century Tucker porcelain.
Houston’s top 10 museums
Houston is a vibrant, thriving shopping city, but it’s also steeped in history, art and culture. H-Town is home to such a collection of unique, fascinating museums that it really should be on your wish list. Keep reading for your guide to Houston’s top 10 museums.
NASA’s Johnson Space Center slot machine – Half a Century of Spaceflight
A vacation to America’s Space City wouldn’t be complete without a visit to NASA’s Johnson Space Center, one of Houston’s best museums. The center’s exhibits are packed with spacecraft and scientific artifacts, including the largest collection of space suits in the world.
Here you can discover 50 years of space exploration through thrilling experiences and extensive collections. From practicing spaceflight on a replica space shuttle to living aboard the International Space Station, there’s plenty to do at the center. There’s even an opportunity to join a Martian mission, where you can touch a Martian rock and see a virtual Martian sunset! There’s no better place to learn about humanity’s quest to explore the Red Planet.
Have you ever been on a tour of a working NASA facility? Hop on the streetcar for a behind-the-scenes look at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. You’ll see the astronaut training facility as well as the 1969 Saturn rocket that launched a successful mission to the moon in XNUMX year.
Don’t miss the opportunity to conduct your own countdown to liftoff at the Apollo Mission Control Center. Just make sure you book in advance to secure your seat.
The Menil Collection slot machine – your free pass to the world of art
The Menil Collection is a treasure trove of art from almost every era. From medieval masterpieces and Byzantine splendor to modern and contemporary works as well as local and non-Western art, it’s a cultural stash to immerse yourself in with enthusiasm and an open mind. There is also one of the most important collections of surrealist art in the world to dive into. And the best part of all? It’s completely free!
When collectors John and Dominic Menil donated their eclectic cornucopia to the city of Houston, they did so with one condition: admission must always be free. Thus, one of Houston’s best museums is also the best. free museum.
The Menil collection has highlights for every era, locale and art form; so many that it’s hard to pick favorites. Pioneering architect Renzo Piano designed the building for Cy Twombly’s works. Max Ernst and the Surrealist collection is another must-see, and don’t miss the thought-provoking Magritte exhibit. Betrayal of Images , better known as Ceci ce n’est pas un pipe .
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that free means you don’t need a reservation; reservations are required . And remember that Menil is only open Wednesday through Sunday.
Don’t miss the Rothko Chapel with its 14 Rothko paintings, which are so large that they had to be lowered into the chapel through a skylight.
Houston Science Museum Slot Machine – From Dinosaur Land to the Energy Future
It’s hard to convey how much there is to see at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. It’s one of Houston’s best museums with 17 permanent exhibitions on five floors. You can easily spend an entire day here, so planning your visit is important if you want to see the best options.
Kids will love the dinosaurs, including the monstrous sea crocodile. Beauty lovers should look out for miniatures from the McFerrin Faberge collection; the Grand Duchess’ aquamarine and diamond tiara dates back to 1904.
Wildlife from Africa to Texas is also the focus of dioramas and interactive displays.
Don’t miss the opportunity to get up close and personal with a bison – you wouldn’t want to do it in the wild!
Houston Children’s Museum – great fun for little minds
Fun learning doesn’t come much cooler than the Children’s Museum of Houston. All of the exhibits are designed with innovative, child-centered learning in mind, and that means a great day out for kids.
Teens will love exploring and learning through interactive games and adventures. There are plenty of fun activities, and inquiring minds will love the Inventors Workshop and creative imagination lets loose in the Maker app. The Children’s Room, with its art and cultural exhibits, will appeal to budding travelers.
Keep in mind that this is one of Houston’s best museums, so it can be crowded. Try to go early or late to beat the crowds. And take a break by visiting Fresh Cafe, where you’ll find plenty of healthy dishes along with the usual fast food.
Don’t miss a visit to cyberspace! Enter through a space portal and join Cybersquad, solving puzzles to save the world.
Downtown Aquarium Houston – Get up close and personal with the shark
Aquariums have changed a lot in the past few years. The Downtown Houston Aquarium is a far cry from the dark and dank spaces of yesteryear; it’s not a run-of-the-mill traditional aquarium. Here, fish and sea creatures live in an authentic environment. Alligators prowl the Texas Gulf, red-bellied piranhas and venomous stingrays dive into rainforest rivers, and comical clownfish weave around a 17th-century shipwreck.
Sunken temples and shipwrecks add extra flavor to the blue depths. There’s even an offshore drilling rig where you can see the aquarium’s own divers.
Don’t miss the train ride through the 200,000 XNUMX gallon shark tank. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to come face-to-face with a shark, you have a chance to find out.
National Museum of Burial History – Dignity of the Dead
You may be thinking that visiting the National Museum of Burial History is not a very festive activity. And let’s be honest, it’s definitely not the place for a raucous day. Nevertheless, we all understand the importance of funerals in honoring the dead, and this fascinating historical museum in Houston brings that to life.
The museum’s extensive collection of funeral objects includes hearse, coffins and caskets. Especially interesting are the brightly colored Ghanaian coffins. Designed to capture the essence of the deceased, the coffins on display range from a leopard to a KLM airliner. There’s even one in the shape of a shallot bow. Maybe for a chef?
Special exhibits explore the funeral cultures of China and Japan, as well as New Orleans with its distinctive jazz funerals. Authentic 19th-century mourning clothes illustrate how personal grief became public mourning, and historical news reports take you back to the days of presidential funerals.
If you want to see a joyous celebration of life, check out the colorful performances of the Day of the Dead. The full-scale layouts of the Mexican house and cemetery decorated for Dia de los Muertos showcase this Mesoamerican tradition in all its multicolor splendor. It is a completely unique space and one of Houston’s finest museums.
Don’t miss the multimedia immersive exhibition of papal funerals-the museum worked with the Vatican for over three years to create this authentic exhibit.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – Antiquities, art and sculpture in abundance
Art collections don’t get much bigger than this. Some 70,000 6,000 works, spanning 12 years of history from six continents, make up the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston (MFA). From antiquities and American paintings to films and photographs, it all makes up the XNUMX largest art museum in the world and undoubtedly one of Houston’s finest museums.
Highlights of European painting read like a roll call of iconic Western artists: Rembrandt, Goya, Monet, Matisse, Picasso. Fortunately, the museum also pays proper attention to fine art and sculpture from Africa, Asia and the Islamic world. The renowned Latin American collection, established after World War II, is complemented by recent acquisitions.
Museum regulars and casual visitors may feel overwhelmed by the selection, so do your own research and plan your visit. Focus on three or four specific collections or pay attention to a few highlights – if you don’t mind a long walk; a collection covers several buildings.
Don’t forget to dig into the art in the MFA store. One of Houston’s best museums has one of the coolest museum stores, and it’s free if you want to come back for more souvenir shopping later.
Don’t miss the Native North American art collection, which includes pottery, sculptures, fabrics, masks and silver jewelry dating back to 2000 BC.
Health Museum – House of the Bicycle Skeleton
Health and medical science come alive with innovative exhibits at the Houston Health Museum. Biology, human anatomy, viruses and epidemics are featured here. There’s never been a better time to visit The Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World . Here you can explore the connections between human, animal and environmental health. Could you detect Covid-19? Test your new knowledge with games and see if you can identify and contain the emerging outbreak.
For a little extra, the Debakey Cell Lab is a real science heaven for kids. Dressed up in full lab gear, kids can visit the lab stations, observe experiments and learn about cell biology. There’s plenty to see in the short films at the McGovern Theater, too. But check the lists first: 30 minutes of brain dissection isn’t everyone’s idea of fun.
At The Amazing Body Gallery, the secrets of the human body are revealed in great detail. There aren’t many places where you can see a 22-foot spine and a 12-foot beating heart.
Don’t miss the bicycle skeleton; part educational, part bizarre and totally hilarious.
National Buffalo Soldier Museum: the African American military experience
If all you know about the Buffalo Soldiers is a Bob Marley song, and even if you don’t, this museum is for you. The Buffalo Soldiers were the first black professional soldiers to serve in the U.S. Army. Among them were former slaves and Civil War veterans who served in six specialized African-American units created in 1866. This museum honors and celebrates their amazing contributions to American military history.
The collection traces the military history of African Americans from the Civil War in 1770 to the Gulf War in 2000. The variety of exhibits provides a glimpse into the life of a bison soldier, from everyday tools on the “Wall of Technology” to historic uniforms showing off dress. development over the years. And clever curation reveals the hidden history of the first female Bison soldier, Cathay Williams, a cook who served for two years as William Cathay.
It is one of Houston’s finest historical museums and one of the best black history museums in the United States, providing unprecedented insight into the African American military experience. In the BLM era, respecting the contributions of African Americans in defense of the nation has never seemed more important.
Don’t miss the Buffalo Soldiers contemporary exhibit dedicated to NASA, recognized because they too are pioneers and “mapping the unknown.”
Lone Star Flight Museum – your boarding pass to aviation history
Historically significant aircraft and aerospace artifacts make this a great place for flight enthusiasts. Flying machines from biplanes to Soviet MiG-17s give a glimpse into the history of flying. You’ll see many World War II aircraft, including the Republic P-47D Thunderbolt fighter-bomber and Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress. These vintage warbirds played a crucial role in the Allied success.
What makes this museum one of the best in Houston is that many of these aircraft are airworthy and can be booked in advance. For an adrenaline rush from ground level, stop by on Saturday and enjoy a virtual flight simulator ride at the Flight Academy, where 27 hands-on exhibits introduce visitors to the basics of flying and designing airplanes. For those wary of reality, two hang glider simulators will provide a thrilling experience.
Don’t miss the Douglas A-1 Skyraider; these single-seat attack aircraft were in service from 1946 to the early 1980s.