Asia Society Texas Center, Houston

#19 of 39 in Museums in Houston
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
Farsighted Houstonians led by former First Lady Barbara Bush and former Ambassador Roy M. Huffington established Asia Society Texas Center in 1979. Sharing the vision of John D. Rockefeller 3rd, who founded Asia Society in New York in 1956, they recognized the need to educate Americans about Asia and to forge closer ties between Houston and the peoples and institutions of Asia.

In 1995 the Texas Center’s Board of Directors voted to build a home for its programs and activities. The Board selected Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, best-known in this country for his renovation and expansion of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to design the building, located in Houston’s Museum District.

Completed in early fall 2011, the 40,000-square-foot Center features the 273-seat Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater, Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery, Edward Rudge Allen III Education Center, Fayez Sarofim Grand Hall, and more. It opened to the public April 14, 2012.

With the opening of the Center, Asia Society takes its place as a major educational and cultural institution in the region, the driving force in transforming Houston into an Asia-Pacific city.
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Asia Society Texas Center reviews

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44 reviews
  • The Asia Society always has interesting programs from cultural, educational, political to meditation and cooking classes so I became a member. Their Night Markets are a blast with wonderful food...  more »
  • The architecture here is stunning and worth the visit. We especially enjoyed the beauty of the infinity pool and the green garden - both peaceful places in the city. The exhibit on display featured...  more »
  • WOW! Where do I even start? First of all, the building itself is gorgeous. I love the infinity pool/reflection pool on the rooftop -- what a tranquil and impressive water feature! When you sit in front of it you can see the steam rising and if you sit close to the floor or on the floor, you can't see much else, so it feels like you're in another world. For the past two summers, I've been lucky enough to be part of the video game making camp that is held there, and the facility for education is phenomenal. It's like having a whole city under one roof -- you have the water feature, a state of the art education room with wall dividers, outlets in the floor, and three separate drop down projection screens, and off from that room is a bamboo garden that is accessible if it is not too hot outside. On the other side of the second floor from the education area is a five room art gallery, where a variety of Asian artists display their work. The exhibits change frequently, so there's always something new to see. There are also art exhibits on the first floor that change out every so often and highlight other artists, sometimes local artists' work. The facility itself is very clean and neat, and the floors are made of limestone from the Jurassic period. There is also a fantastic auditorium with a great stage for various types of theatrical events. I have never been to one of the events there, but I want to go. It is just such a lovely place to think, visit, work and just be.
  • This is a wonderful museum inside a gorgeously tranquil modern structure with an infinity reflection pool. The staff are always cordial and helpful, especially the always pleasant front desk personnel. The exhibitions are quite beautiful as well as thought-provoking. There are many free events throughout the year, such as the week-long Spring Break family activities and the outdoor Night Market with local vendors and food trucks. The Asia Society also hosts many ticketed seminars, classes, concerts, and summer camps. The museum has a designated parking lot for $5 (card only), and there are parking attendants present for assistance. Additionally, there is usually street parking that is free. There is an accessible elevator to reach the 2nd level; the community activity room, another gallery, and the reflection pool are upstairs. There is an accessible ramp down to the auditorium; films and live performances are shown there. The The Pondi cafe has nice delicious items, though they could be a little pricey but worth the cost.

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