The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston contains an encyclopedic collection of art from antiquity to the present. Bayou Bend, the American decorative arts center of the MFAH, is the largest repository of early Americana west of the East Coast of the United States. The renowned Menil Collection has important examples of modern painting and sculpture, as well as significant holdings in Antiquity, Byzantine and Medieval, Tribal, and Twentieth-Century Art (with a concentration in Surrealism).
Directly across the street from the MFAH is the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, a non-collecting museum that first opened in 1948. Reflecting the full diversity of contemporary art practice, recent one-person shows have included exhibitions by Kiki Smith, Andrea Zittel, Shirin Neshat, and William Kentridge, among many others, and group exhibitions that include, “Double Consciousness: Black Conceptual Art Since 1970,” “Fade In: New Film and Video,” and “The Old, Weird America.” CAMH also hosts a wide range of cultural events and artist talks.
The Menil Collection, which opened to the public in 1987, is located in a quiet residential neighborhood about a mile and a half from Rice. Designed by Renzo Piano, the museum houses and exhibits the diverse private art collection of John and Dominique de Menil, in addition to hosting traveling exhibitions. The collection of approximately 15,000 objects features strengths in the European avant-garde, American post-war modernism, and African art, as well as the arts of Oceania and the Pacific Northwest. The Rothko Chapel, which features fourteen large paintings commissioned by the de Menils in 1964, is a short walk from the main museum building. In 1995 the Menil Collection opened the Cy Twombly Gallery in collaboration with the Dia Art Foundation. The Menil campus also features a site-specific installation of works by Dan Flavin, and the Byzantine Fresco Chapel. In 2007 the Menil Collection announced its plans for a Drawing Institute and Study Center dedicated to the acquisition, research, conservation, and display of drawings.
Rice Gallery presents one kind of art: installation. Five times a year,
we invite an artist to create a single work of art that transforms our
space. When you walk into Rice Gallery, you enter the art and move