Houston is home to some of the finest museums and most important art, cultural, and historical collections in the United States. The fourth-largest city in the country, the Bayou City has one of the most culturally diverse populations in the U.S., and celebrates both its culture and its love of art with an impressive array of museums and cultural centers.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) is the sixth largest art museum in the United States. With 270,000 square feet of display space located in seven facilities in the Museum District, MFAH’s various collections total over 64,000 pieces. The museum includes American, Italian Renaissance, French Impressionist, and African and pre-Columbian gold art; photography and lithography; sculpture; decorative art; and modern Islamic, Asian, and Latin art collections. Featured artists include Renoir, Monet, Cezanne, Picasso, Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams, and Jackson Pollock. The Museum of American Architecture and Decorative Arts features exhibits showing homes and furnishings from throughout American history. The museum is also home to one of the finest doll collections in the country which includes doll-like figures from the ancient Egyptian period through to an extensive collection of 19 th and 20 th century dolls. Perhaps the most unique museum in the area, the ArtCar Museum (affectionately referred to as the Garage Mahal) in the Heights section focuses on artistically decorated and modified automobiles, and fine arts centering on cars.
The Asia Society Texas Center offers visitors a wide variety of art from across Asia, as well as film, music, and performance art demonstrations from cultures throughout the region. The 40,000 square foot facility is located in the Museum District and welcomes thousands of visitors each year. The Arab-American Cultural and Community Center, located on Stancliff Road, maintains a large museum area in its 15,000 square foot facility featuring exhibits of Arab art, culture, and the history of people of Arabian descent who have settled in Houston for the last 100 years, while the Czech Cultural Center offers events and exhibitions related to the cultures of Bohemia, Slovakia, Silesia, and Moravia. The Houston Museum of African-American Culture, located in the Museum District, is one of the newer museums in the city. The multi-million dollar museum offers free exhibits and programs centering around the past, present, and future of African-Americans in the U.S.
The Holocaust Museum Houston is the fourth largest Holocaust Museum in the U.S. Located in the Museum District, it maintains a large permanent collection of artifacts, photographs, recorded histories, documents, and film footage related to one of the worst events in human history. The museum also hosts special exhibits from around the world related to the Holocaust. The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum, located on Caroline Street, is home to the largest collection of artifacts, photographs, and documents related to African-American military history in the world. Among the museum’s most popular attractions are the Civil War, World War Two, Artillery, and Vietnam history exhibits. Other notable history museums include the Museum of Southern History in the Sharpstown area; the American Cowboy Museum in the Taylor-Stevenson Ranch area; and the Heritage Society Museum, an outdoor facility in Downtown’s Sam Houston Park.Art, history, and culture buffs certainly have a home in the Bayou City. With many of the city’s museums and cultural centers located together in the Museum District, you can make a day of it and only need to park the car once!