The Best Art Museums In Houston
Art is deeply embedded in and intertwined with the rich culture of Houston. The landscape of the art scene in this city is diverse.To help you in navigating the richness and diversity of the Houston art scene, here are ten of the best museums in Houston:
The Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH)
As the biggest cultural institution in America’s southwest region and Texas’s oldest art museum dating back to its establishment in 1990, the MFAH houses various facilities.Such as the Audrey Jones Beck Building, which features ancient art and American and European arts. Caroline Wiess Law Building which exhibits art from Asia and Africa.
The Glassell School of Art where art workshops and classes are conducted. The Cullen Sculpture Garden houses sculpture that holds masterpieces of the 20th and 21st centuries.
The Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens and the Rienzi houses American and European decorative arts.Overall, the MFAH encompasses arts from the eras of pre-Columbian gold, Renaissance, and Baroque art, as well as the art of the 20th century, among others.
Contemporary Arts Museum Houston
With its devotion to the contemporary arts spanning the last 40 years, the Contemporary Arts Museum features these new artworks not only through exhibits.
But through various educational means like lectures, workshops, and publications and it remains steadfast in its role of exhibiting contemporary art in today’s modern times.
Interestingly, the Contemporary Arts Museum is easy to spot because it is housed in the popular stainless-steel building of the Houston Museum District, which was crafted by the multi-awarded architect Gunnar Birkerts.
This museum preserves and promotes the rich and diverse art collection of John and Dominique de Menil who were both passionate art collectors and patrons.It is estimated that their art collection is comprised of 17,000 artworks including both visual arts, like paintings and sculptures, and literature such as rare books, which make it one of the seminal private art collections of the 20th century.
The collection, after all, covers art from the antiquity, Byzantine, and medieval eras, the early to mid-20th century art headlined by Henri Matisse, Jackson Pollock, and Pablo Picasso, pop art of Andy Warhol, and contemporary art such as of Mark Rothko, among others.
Art Car Museum
With Houston’s recognition as the “Art Car Capital” for the multitude of art cars in this city, the Art Car Museum gives justice to such a label by featuring cars that are refashioned to the vision, taste, and even idiosyncrasy of the artists.
These art cars reflect today’s popular culture of cars but, at the same time, it is a subversion of capitalism’s commodification as it turns cars into vessels of personal expression.
Similarly, it is also a subversion of the art world itself as art cars are products of the fusion of fine arts and public art with the end view of accentuating both the social and personal dimensions of art through cars.
Unlike traditional museums, Seismique welcomes its visitors to an experience powered by technology.
It boasts of an immersive journey through 40 unique galleries, referred to as “galaxies”, with the size of 40,000 square feet and complete with characters like extra-terrestrial beings and artificial intelligence, as well as the play of light and sounds, among others.
As part of its contribution to Houston, 12 of the aforementioned 40 galleries are allotted to local artists of the city who will showcase their unique artistic expression of these “galaxies.”Beyond immersion, education is also at the heart of Seismique as it incorporates workshops on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics for students of the schools in Houston.
Blaffer Art Museum
Named after the Houston art patron and collector Sarah Campbell Blaffer, the Blaffer Art Museum was established at the University of Houston, particularly in its Fine Arts building as part of the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts.
Thus, it features solo and group art exhibitions of the students as well as traveling international contemporary artists.These efforts and artworks not only lead to the Blaffer Art Museum’s being awarded by the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, but also to its recognition on the global stage as an incubator of culture and art.
Lawndale Art Center
Houston artists are the prioritized sector in this multidisciplinary space of contemporary art.By engaging the communities in the city, this museum consistently features art that reflects the social and aesthetic milieu of Houston's art exhibits, symposia, and various performances.
Moreover, the Lawndale Art Center does not shy away from opportunities through collaborations and expert opinions as long as it contributes to the flourishing of the arts and culture of Houston.
Czech Center Museum Houston
Championing the cultural heritage of Czechs, Slovaks, and Europeans, the Czech Center Museum features artworks from these nations and cultures.
Spanning the 18th century up to the present day with the view of promoting an understanding and appreciation of these creative traditions.
Furthermore, these artworks also serve as the means through which immigrants who pursued the American dream can be remembered and celebrated.
Station Museum of Contemporary Art
Endowed with a passion for the sociopolitical and socioeconomic, the Station Museum of Contemporary Art features international and domestic artworks with a focus on art that is reflective of the diverse culture of Houston.
Furthermore, this museum also regards itself as an institution that is supportive of activism for noble social causes.
It does so by presenting art such as film screenings, organizing fundraisers, and facilitating lectures in the context of the fervent belief that art’s role in the political and social sphere can never be understated.
The Printing Museum
What makes this museum unique is that it merges the past, creativity, and technology in its exhibits.As can be inferred from its name, the Printing Museum houses more than 10,000 classic printed documents and facsimiles spearheaded by the Gutenberg Bible and the earliest limited-edition newspapers, including the first editorial cartoons ever.
As well as seminal literary works like the collections of plays by William Shakespeare.Now, it is time to visit these ten best museums and start checking off your bucket list of the Houston art scene!