An encyclopedic museum, one of the largest in the U.S., with highlights that include a stunning Mies van der Rohe addition (and the only museum he ever designed in the U.S.) and James Turrell’s trippy underground tunnel, The Light Inside. (713) 639-7300
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The Finest Art in Houston, at the Museum of Fine Arts
Comprised of a sculpture garden, two gallery buildings, two house museums and two art schools, the Museum of Fine Arts is among the chief reasons that Houston is known as one of the top arts and cultural districts worldwide.
There are numerous rotating exhibitions and installations on view every day inside this exceptionally designed building. Art from a wide range of places and time periods fills the galleries, so plan to be here for a while. There are dining facilities onsite, as well as interactive programs for all ages. Thursdays are free all day, and feature a happy hour with drinks, DJs, and food trucks.
The sixth largest museum in the U.S. and one of the oldest art museums in Texas (it was founded in 1917), the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is a veritable city of art, comprising 63,000 artworks over 300,000 square feet of exhibition space. The collection has a particularly strong Impressionist and Post-Impressionist focus, but is hugely diverse, with areas of strength that include Asian and Islamic, African-American, and, yes, Texan. Two collections are of special note: the Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden was designed by Isamu Noguchi, opened in 1986, and contains outdoor works by Louise Bourgeois, Dan Graham, Henri Matisse, Auguste Rodin, and David Smith; and the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens (seen here), set in the former home of Houston heiress Ima Hogg, comprises the entire history of American interior design, from the colonial era to today.