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Arts Walking Tour in Houston (Self Guided), Houston

Among the wide variety of tourist attractions Houston has to offer, several art museums and galleries deserve special attention. These galleries will thrill all art lovers. Take this walking tour to discover some of the most spectacular museums and galleries in Houston.
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Arts Walking Tour in Houston Map

Guide Name: Arts Walking Tour in Houston
Guide Location: USA » Houston (See other walking tours in Houston)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 6
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: doris
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Contemporary Arts Museum
  • Museum of Fine Arts
  • Lawndale Art Center
  • Cy Twombly Gallery
  • Menil Collection
  • Houston Center for Photography
Contemporary Arts Museum

1) Contemporary Arts Museum

The Contemporary Arts Museum is one of the most interesting places to visit in the Museum District of Houston, Texas. As you might suspect, it focuses on more modern types of art. It is located on Montrose Blvd, in the heart of the District.

The location was founded in 1948. A group of seven prominent people from the city started the project, in order to give the Houston area a place to showcase the work of more modern artists. The museum has grown in size and stature throughout the years, and has had to be remodeled a couple of times. The last major renovation was in 1997. It is an award winning facility, which draws in exhibits from around the world. Many controversial styles of medium also end up being displayed here. It may very well challenge your understanding of what constitutes art. The museum is free of charge, so this can be a real budget saver for families.

Opening hours: Tuesday - Wednesday: 10 am – 7 pm; Thursday: 10 am - 9 pm; Friday: 10 am - 7 pm; Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm; Sunday: 12 pm - 6 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Museum of Fine Arts

2) Museum of Fine Arts (must see)

The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the hallmark institutions of the so-called Museum District in Houston. It is also one of the physically largest museums of its kind in the U.S. The museum was started in 1900, so it is also one of Houston's oldest museums.

The complex itself consists of two gallery style buildings, a garden that features sculpture, a visitor’s center, and two museums located inside houses. You can also see movies here, visit their library, and have a great meal at the cafe.

The artwork displayed here ranges in age from the present to 6,000 years ago. The permanent collection has over 63,000 pieces of art and covers over 300,000 sq feet. There are works here from six continents, so you can get a little of everything. 1.25 million people visit the museum each year. To see the entire collection, though, you would have to visit seven different facilities across the city. This is a definite must-visit, and the task of visiting here could well keep you busy all day.

Why You Should Visit:
Big museum constantly hosting worldwide exhibitions, in addition to the permanent collections from ancient art & medieval Cabinet of Curiosities.
It helps that you can also go see films and live musical orchestras, plus the MFA café is such a nice place to have a coffee and lunch.
The gift shop is not to be missed with all kinds of wonderful, unique artifacts, jewelry, books, children's toys and so much more.

Visit on a Thursday – free admission!
Make sure you leave enough time to see the whole thing if you go.
Especially helpful are the audio devices to tour the exhibit at your own pace.

Opening Hours:
Tue, Wed: 10am-5pm; Thu: 10am-9pm; Fri, Sat: 10am-7pm; Sun: 12:15pm-7pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Lawndale Art Center

3) Lawndale Art Center

Lawndale Art Center is a non-profit alternative space for the exhibition of contemporary works in all media, and is unique in its focus on local artists. Founded in 1979, Lawndale has owned its present location on Main Street in the Museum District since 1993. Lawndale has four galleries in a recently remodeled and architecturally significant 1930s Art Deco building, designed by Joseph Finger. The galleries exhibit close to 500 artists annually in changing exhibitions. Over twenty exhibitions, informal talks, and special events are offered yearly including annual events such as Dia de los Muertos/Day of the Dead, the 20th Century Modern Market, and The Big Show. Exhibitions, special events, and benefits are carried out with the invaluable assistance of volunteers, interns, work-study personnel and in-kind contributors.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cy Twombly Gallery

4) Cy Twombly Gallery

Edwin Parker "Cy" Twombly, Jr. (April 25, 1928 – July 5, 2011) was an American painter of large-scale, freely scribbled, calligraphic and graffiti-like works on solid fields of mostly gray, tan, or off-white colors. His paintings are in the permanent collections of the New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Musée du Louvre in Paris. A part of the Menil Collection, the Cy Twombly Gallery in Houston is dedicated exclusively to the work of American artist Cy Twombly (b. 1928). The building that houses the gallery is a piece of art in itself. Commissioned by Dominique de Menil and designed by Renzo Piano, it opened in 1995. The Cy Twombly Gallery, which was designed by Renzo Piano and opened in 1995, houses more than thirty of Twombly's paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, dating from 1953 to 1994. A large collection of Twombly's work is also kept by the Museum Brandhorst, the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich and The Dallas Museum of Art, Texas. In 1995, The Four Seasons entered the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art as a gift from the artist.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Menil Collection

5) Menil Collection (must see)

The Menil Collection is a museum in Houston that features the private art collection of John and Dominique de Menil. It is located in the Neartown area, very close to the University of St. Thomas. Dominique was very rich, having been the heir of the money from the Schlumberger Oil Company estate. Her husband was one of the executives of the company.

The facility opened to the public in 1987. The collection is mainly made up of pieces from the 20th Century. You can find sculptures, paints, photographs and the like from such famous artists as Max Ernst, Man Ray, Henri Matisse, and even Pablo Picasso. Besides this, the museum also has one of Houston’s best pop art collections. There are some antiquities and medieval style art here as well.

Why You Should Visit:
Free admission with outstanding permanent collections and exhibitions.
Recently renovated now better than ever, the design truly allows the viewer to appreciate each and every work.
Also, the grounds outside are good for picnics & chillin' if you want to read or study.

Check out the Dan Flavin lights installation, the Rothko Chapel, Cy Twombly Gallery, and/or the Byzantine Fresco Chapel, all in walking distance from the Menil Building.

Opening Hours:
Wed-Sun: 11am-7pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Houston Center for Photography

6) Houston Center for Photography

Located on West Alabama Street, Houston Center for Photography aims to introduce its visitors to a new perspective on art, to educate and inform society about the artistic value of photography and, above all, to promote beauty and taste. The gallery supports emerging artists. Admission is free.

Walking Tours in Houston, Texas

Create Your Own Walk in Houston

Create Your Own Walk in Houston

Creating your own self-guided walk in Houston is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Houston's Landmarks Tour

Houston's Landmarks Tour

Houston is the fourth largest city in the USA. A buzzing commercial and cultural center, Houston proudly boasts of many great museums, architectural masterpieces, and other landmarks. Take this walking tour to explore some of the most interesting landmarks in Houston.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Houston Downtown Walk

Houston Downtown Walk

While Houston, Texas is a massive metropolis, its Downtown is relatively compact yet a bustling business, culture and entertainment hub, with a vibrant theater scene. Alongside several theaters, Downtown Houston hosts a number of museums, parks and historic buildings, alongside many other attractions. To explore the Houston downtown, follow this self guided walk.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.4 Km or 1.5 Miles
Houston Architecture Walk

Houston Architecture Walk

Houston's Downtown is the city's busiest and most highly developed neighborhood. Mostly famous for its beautiful skyscraper district, Downtown has quite a few surprises awaiting visitors. Take a stroll down the crowded streets and you will see historic buildings and modern structures side-by-side. Walk and enjoy Downtown's architecture at its best.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Religious Sites Walking Tour

Religious Sites Walking Tour

Houston, founded in 1837, has grown into one of the biggest cities in the USA. This city features a large number of churches that are of great historical and/or architectural interest to visitors. Take this walking tour to discover some of the most acclaimed religious buildings in Houston.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles