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The Menil Collection, Houston

4.6
#5 of 40 in Museums in Houston
Art Museum · Museum
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The Menil Collection includes 17,000 pieces from the ancient times to the modern era. Browse through the numerous paintings, sculptures, prints, drawings, photographs, and books of one of the largest private art collections in the United States. You'll see works of Picasso and Matisse, view world-renowned Pop, Surreal, and other contemporary art, and come across artifacts like a pure gold casket from 6th-century Macedonia and a 16th-century Russian icon. After exploring the treasures inside, take a walk through the campus gardens, where you'll encounter additional galleries and two chapels. No photographs are allowed inside the museum. Plan a Houston trip in moments using our itinerary builder.
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The Menil Collection reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
958 reviews
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4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Visiting this place was great. They had a very good exhibition of works by Meret Oppenheim. There are other amazing art spaces at walking distance such as the Rothko Chapel and Cy Twonbly Gallery. 
    Visiting this place was great. They had a very good exhibition of works by Meret Oppenheim. There are other amazing art spaces at walking distance such as the Rothko Chapel and Cy Twonbly Gallery.  more »
Google
  • This was a very pleasant surprise. We intended to spend an hour or two with this museum snd instead spent most of the day including having lunch at the Menil Bistro. The Collection is housed in several buildings each thematic in content. The exhibits are very well lit and grandly spaced so you are not assaulted by walls of art. The buildings were design to house the collection so there was an added architectural element to the exhibits. Don’t miss the Rothko Chapel. We give it four and one half clams on the coveted Five Quahog Rating Scale
  • Most Houstonians who are in the mood for a museum experience will make their way to the Houston Museum District. There are, of course, lots of great museums in this district but there is another museum perfect for lovers of art that is located elsewhere. That would be the Menil collection, close to the University of St. Thomas. The bulk of the attractions of the Menil Collection are found in the main building, a single- story art museum that can be walked through in about one to two hours. You will find art from well- known folks such as Andy Warhol but the majority of the art will be from artists you have likely never heard of before. Besides the main building, there are a few smaller buildings across the street, housing more art. This is a quiet art museum and one cool thing about it is that the focus is on the art and not on learning about the art. What I mean is that, with each display, there is limited information- namely, the artist, year it was produced, etc. With other museums, there is often additional information about each work of art and you feel compelled to stop and read. The Menil Collection is different. It limits the information so that you can spend more time looking at the artwork. There is no charge to visit the Menil Collection, and this is certainly one of its appeals. However, you need to be careful where you park. There are several places along the street that look like they are available for parking, but they are not and the area police patrol will be quick to hit you with a fine. There is a bistro and a bookstore, too, for food and books to further your education. The Menil Collection is different from other art museums. It’s different in a good way and while it doesn’t house a ton of fine art, the abstract, three- dimensional, and contemporary art you will find here are certainly deserving of a look and you really can’t argue with free admission. I recommend a visit if you find yourself in the vicinity.

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