With over 62,000 works, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is the largest art collection in the southwestern US and the 6th-largest in the country. Their permanent collection includes work from many cultures and periods, and pieces signed with famous names like Picasso, Gaugin, Goya, Renoir, Chagall, Cassatt, Degas, and Monet. They host high-profile exhibitions such as “Vincent Van Gogh: His Life in Art," which featured 50 of his works transported from Europe, and the first-ever retrospective of legendary contemporary photographer Sally Mann.
The Museum is not a single building, but a 14-acre campus in Houston’s Museum District that includes several museum buildings as well as an art school, movie theater, and sculpture garden. Like several of Houston’s favorite attractions, its had some recent upgrades thanks to local philanthropists. The art school building opened in 2018, designed by architect Stephen Holl, who also designed a second new building for the campus expected to open in 2020. Even if you’ve explored this campus before, there will likely be something new next time you visit.
For an experience unique to this campus-museum, visit the tunnel that connects the Law and Beck buildings (the two main museum buildings). You’ll find a space lit up by neon lights, an installation entitled “The Light Inside,” created by artist James Turrell in 1999 specifically for this tunnel.
Cover image: Hequals2henry, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.