travel is my world

Arts destination: Houston, TX

Posted by wrldtrvlgrl on 12 October, 2009

Houston may not be a vacation destination but if you’re an art lover then you should seriously consider adding this city to your destination list. Because of people like the de Menils, the Blaffers, and the Hoggs, Houston has one of most renowned art collections in the world. You will find a representation of every art movement from antiquities to contemporary. Here is a list of the must-see museums and art spaces:

Menil Collection – Dominique de Menil’s collection of modern art. You’ll see all the big names from Magritte to Rauschenberg.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – 6th largest museum in the US.  Don’t miss the Turrel tunnel and the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Galleries on the 2nd floor of the Beck Building.  Catch  a Friday afternoon lecture if you have time.
Contemporary Arts Museum – across the street from MFAH. Changing exhibitions. Always interesting.
Houston Center for Photography – around the corner from the Menil and worth a stop. Changing exhibitions.
Lawndale – contemporary art space just down the street from MFAH. Changing exhibitions.
Diverse Works – on the edge of downtown with its own edge. Great space and works. Always surprising.
Fotofest 2010 – biennial photography exhibition. Large exhibition space that gives you a chance to see a range of photography in one place.
Aurora Picture Show – micro-cinema in an old church in Houston’s historic Heights neighborhood.
Rice University Art Gallery – one room but sometimes that’s all you need.
Blaffer Gallery, the Museum at the University of Houston – great space with changing exhibitions. One of my favorite spaces in Houston.
Rothko Chapel – across the street from the Menil. Houses 14 black paintings by Mark Rothko. I promise you will see something new each time you go.

This is just the short list. As you visit each museum or gallery, ask the person behind the desk their favorite place in town to see art. I find that most of them are very well-informed about the arts scene.

All of the museums and galleries are within a short distance of each other. If you are driving, all them have ample parking. If you don’t have a car, these places are close enough to walk, take a short ride on the light rail, or take bus 65 or 34 from MFAH.

I hope you get a chance to experience this rich and diverse arts scene in a very unexpected place.


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